Gettin me some of that thar work experience!: An update (Part 2)

Before I began to search through every animation studio in the UK, I made a rule that I would only try to get work experience in a place where I would be able to travel to easily over summer either from my rented house in Leeds, or from my home in Hartlepool. Unless I was able to get work which I could do at home and have my travel expenses compensated for, I just don't have the money to spend on more accomodation than I am already.

So I began to Contact potential employers...

I started out with a couple of companies which I believed would be establish a good line of contact with.

The first was Eutechnyx in Gateshead, a games design company. I'm good friends with a programmer who works here and after making a trip up to newcastle to visit him three weeks ago, we discussed plans for me to go back to Newcastle during the summer in June to visit the games studio as he works there. This will be a great opportunity for me to explore the studio and dispel my delusions of how the infrastructure there operates whilst doing my best to get to know the art department. It might not work out to be that great but, it's a start.

The next is Fat City Films in Manchester, a cartoon company owned by Vincent James, a close friend of one of my clients, Tony Garth. I chose to make contact with Vincent because cartoon studio experience is something I'd like a taste of, along with professional experience in storyboarding and character animation AND with Tony as a contact, this seemed like a natural choice. Also, I was able to send him work I'd done on a brief him and Tony created so, good oppotunity to use it.
This is what I sent:

Work experience student hopeful from Tony Garth

4th May, 2008
Add sender to Contacts
Hi there Mr James,

My name is Will Campbell, a 2nd Year student at the Leeds college of Art & Design and I'm contacting you in hopes that you could help me out with some work experience.
I would be very interested in earning some professional storyboarding experience and basically tasting what a cartoon studio really is. If I could work on or assist with actually animating that would be fantastic too but I will be very enthusiastic to help you in whatever way you feel I can.
I'm a big fan of the playful and bouncy style in which you draw your characters, a source of inspiration certainly for a recent project I've been working on, assigned to me by none other than Mr Tony Garth! -fan fare-

As you may be able to tell from the attachments, the project revolved around developing the character 'random ronnie/roger' whom you and Tony came up with for an older internet-viewing audience and thats a little of what I've come up with so far.
There's also a storyboard involving his roommate, an evil sock puppet called Neil and his eyeless dog, Pok, so plenty to look at.

If you click here, this is a link to a selected page from my blog which features a handdrawn animation I worked on recently but I've had to perspone finishing to finish my other briefs.
If you click here, this is a link to an animation I worked on for the D&AD competition this may.

Anyway, thank you very much for the time you've taken to read this e-mail and any advice or support you may be able to offer me. Even if I could just visit the studio for a day or even a few hours, I would be very grateful to you.

Thank you in advance Mr James,

Will Campbell

This is quite an informal e-mail despite me addressing Vincent as Mr James (as I've never met him) because I'm friendly with Tony and as such bring up his name a couple of times to show Vincent that I can be his friend as well. I also include work that shows storyboards and characters that I made specifically using a brief which he wrote so I'm really trying to solidify a link with him. I also gave him some of my animation work to ponder over to strengthen my chances of him taking me on.

Initially I was quite hopeful that this would be a fruitful correspondence but as of today, I've not heard anything back yet. I've sent 3 other e-mails politely asking if he has recieved my first e-mail but still nothing so far. The website lacks a phone number to call Vincent so I've asked Tony for it via e-mail and.. he's also notoriously slow to respond so it could take a while. If I can find Tony's phone number anywhere, I'll get that sorted.

Moving on we have Masspro and Qurios Entertainment, both based in my hometown of Hartlepool. I had already been in contact with both of the companies earlier in the year to attempt to get placements so this was a catch up.

This was the e-mail to Masspro:

Working over the summer

4th May, 2008
Add sender to Contacts
Hi Mark,

Will here, hope you're doing well up North with everything. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get through to you in time for easter earlier this year but I'm wondering if at any time between june and early september that I'd be able to get some work experience with you or your colleagues in your animation department.
What I would be most interested in would be advancing my skills in 3D modelling/animating in Maya, 3d Studio max or soft image because these are deeply important to someone like myself who fancies a future career in this industry. I would be more than willing to work on any projects you havn't the time to fulfill for free in this area if you could give me a little assistance with the programs in return.

Cheers for any help you can give me Mark,


As I've kind of expected, based on their treatment of me the last time I dealt with them, I've not heard anything back from the company as of now after 3 extra reminder e-mails.

This mail I sent to Mr Bushnell of Qurious entertainment. It's similar to the one I sent Vincent James but its a bit more formal and I had the initiative to include my phone number in it:

Hartlepool Student follow-up

May 4th, 2008
Add sender to Contacts
Hi Mr Bushnell,

My name's Will Campbell and I'm a Visual Communication student from Hartlepool who is in their second year of study at the Leeds College of Art and design.

I'm e-mailing you concerning any possible chances of work placement in your studio in church street. In an ideal situation, I would be looking to be able to strengthen my storyboarding and flash/hand drawn animation skills whilst also picking up a developing understanding of 3D animation, all in a professional studio environment. In return I would be very motivated to assist your company in whatever way you felt I could for the time I spent in it.

If you click here, this is a link to a selected page from my blog which features a handdrawn animation I worked on recently but I've had to perspone finishing to finish my other briefs.
If you click here, this is a link to an animation I worked on for the D&AD competition this may.

I would love to discuss the possibility of organising some actual work placement with you, perhaps for a few days or over a week this summer but anything you can offer me is greatly appreciated. My phone number is 07515168340.

Thank you for your time Mr Bushnell,

Will Campbell.

And after a couple of reminder e-mails, on the 20th of May, I got a phone call asking when I would be free to come and look around the studios. I told them from the 8th of June onwards and the 9th was set as the date I will be looking about, discussing opportunities for placement. Success!

No comments: