Jessica Ashman (RESEARCH INTO FREELANCE)
Animator, stop motion, hand drawn animation – director and modeler. Traditional.
Everyday is hustling. She does a variety things. She is not only a director but a tutor and modeler. (Understood what she liked – art based and experimental.) Willing to do anything to land that first job. She applied for internships in BBC wales in Cardiff (unrelated) She worked online for the Doctor who, Flash animation. Played with animation instead of assets. Experiment learn new skills and connect for a year.
Got another internships – training scheme, with Scotland. 18 month training shop for animation. Oogles – best jobs. Met people in stop motion – Aardman people and etc. Her break was in Scotland. Fixing Luca a short film that was recognized and won many awards.
Passion project that put her out. Took to lots of places and got to meet many animators because of it. Got her freelance work in London.
MA royal college of Art – FUNDING. She had to work in the commercial side and this took her down the wrong path – she was selling out (the masters helped her get back on her own work). ALL our different things we can do. ‘Discovering what is inside out in an interesting way. It doesn’t have to be an animator forever.’
Tip for animating. (Promotion)
Promoting ourselves is important. (How to promote own work – show what our angle is.) I kind of a bit stubborn, you should pick a specialize. Difference ourselves from other people. What we are good at and what you want to do are separate things. Directing is managing people but designer more than animator. If your working together. Realistic what you can achieve in the time. I’m good at everything but don’t be afraid to ask anyone for help. Take apart what you are good at doing. Think about what you are GOOD at. 2D hang in on there.
What is your style? – Animation as a bubble is installment. Look outside of animation for inspiration.
It needs to be interesting do not copy Disney style. CAL arts <– having something about you that is interesting and different.
Steps into employment:
Elusive Internships, Work experience, creating a giant billboard of cv or Runner in a studio, Assistant
Showreels – are really difficult to show where we are as a creative. Edit them and approach them. The strengths, Not everything. Acting, lipsync, performance – to get it looking unique. Better to be short than long. You can do pieces just for your show reel. Not the first animation that I did but developed thought out pieces. A director should be able to communicate story – do the same in your work.
Inspiration from online, on social media. Therefore you should upload online. Have a website, make it the first thing that you see. Show-reel can be 30 secs as long as they are snappy and powerful.
Keeping up to date with what your favourite studio and artists, what are they doing?Following them on social media – Attending talks they put on. (events or premieres or festivals – go and talk to them) Don’t be creepy. – if you get the sense they are not into you then back off.
Twitter – to say that you like someone’s work. Twitter encourages chats to take place. Having a personality is also important. Put a bit of yourself on your twitter. Contacting people directly on twitter. Lots of opportunities.
Internships and Training schemes.
Don’t be afraid to do things outside of what you want to do but don’t loose your animation dream. Do what you want to do – keep the goal in mind. Be a spy in the company, who does the animation here – find out about them!
Schemes are run by BBC and Creative skillset. Women may have more opportunities (less women in the industry). How we can get in there and meet people.
LinkedIn too. It’s who you know not what you know (unless your work is mind blowing). You should get to meet them this will always trumped a media platform.
- Highly encourage us to submit work on
- There are pros and cons
- Great way of getting your work noticed by employees or people who admire
- Can take you all over the country or the world (flight and accommodation if the festival likes your work a lot.)
- Chance to meet lots of other film-makers and animators. Animators are generally nice people – I’ve never met a mean animator.
- Make life long friends. – could promote each other. They are fun too.
- Network and make contacts
- Edinburgh Internal Film festival
- Annecy (big one) – champion independent animators.
- Encounters – short film and animation festival Most approachable for new comers and may be a prize.
- (lead to you entering bafta and awards.)
- Can be expensive – festivals often charge to help support the fest itself. Look for student discount rate or even contacting the festival wavers.
- Do your research. Some festivals like premieres of new short films. I.e London film festival.
- Make sure to still promote your stuff online – festivals are a big audience but not as huge as the internet.
- May not let us submit if its online.
- May not let us submit if its in another festival (BFI for example). Weigh up which ones you what to submit.
Instead you could put your work online. Staff pick on video on vimeo. Short and snappy videos online and etc.
Being freelance. Animation director point of view.
1.) Working for a production company or agency who represent you as a director. A lot of work before the work and money comes. Pitching and etc. They will push you forward if you are good.
2.) Blinkink , Studio aka (family run like office job, group effort), Th1ng, Partizan
3.) out on your own! Freedom to work on a variety of projects but more hard work. Relying on contacts and being tenacious.
Working as a tutor. Working on commissions, studio.She decides between passion and commercial work. Financial decision. Being freelance… “You are your own mini company.” – “never too early to start thinking like one!” Might need to work with other people because you have so much to do. Be nice to everyone. You never know who you are going to end up working with. You will see the same people over and over again. You will start meeting a lot of people you admire.
Keep in contact with people from uni – they may employ me. When working with other people you are more flexible. Make a studio together and etc. Keep friendships,
Freelancing is awesome, but also sometimes really lonely and sad.” Dry spells and ‘ill never work again’. Keep creating even in down times. Keep working on your own work.
Don’t compare yourself to others – just work on you. Stay on the ground. Don’t fit into a mainstream. The mainstream tends to come to you.
- Keep making stuff – it can take years to grow and to work to pay off. So have faith.
- Balance between passion projects and commercial.
- Late night work club – independent animators. Passion projects. Making films at night. December.
- Don’t work for free unless it has a massive advantage – you have no commitments live at home etc. depends on the work. What opportunities.