Interview with Animator Joe
Framestore carried out a number of Q&As through Periscope with some of their employees to find out what their job consisted, how they got in and advice for others, and have been transcribed here for you all...
Joseph Kane - Junior Animator
Jessica Bingham - Crewing Manager, Integrated Advertising
Jess: How did you get into visual effects and animation?
Joe: At college I studied Physics, Maths, Economics and Art. I didn’t do well in Economics, I didn’t do well in Physics, I didn’t do well in Maths but my Art was good. That was the deciding moment that I should do something with my art. At first II saw animation as a more of a hobby until I found my course at University of Hertfordshire. The course was really incredible and it was really intense, especially in your first year of picking up Maya.
Once I completed my degree it took a long time to complete the next step, as I didn’t know how to apply to places, where I would sit in the industry and I didn’t know anyone either. I applied for a lot of places and didn’t hear back – it was really quite frustrating but finally my lucky break came and started running at Framestore.
I ran on the commercial side for about 5 months and while I was doing that after work I would do sit with the animators and work on my animation – I did this almost every day. I sent my showreel to Crewing in case they had any opportunities I could apply for and there were. I went on secondment for two months in animation. It went really well, so well that they didn’t let me back [to running]!
JB: What it’s like to be a Junior Animator at Framestore? What kind of projects have you been involved with?
JC: I’ve had a really good streak of projects. After my secondment the first project I worked on was Spectre which was massive, especially because we were in Commercial so I wasn’t expecting a film project. I also worked on the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert with Mog the cat. I’ve worked on really varied things – each project is always different.
JB: What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the industry?
JC: Just keep going. Keep animating. Keep doing what you’re doing and show everyone to get their opinion. It’s a competitive industry so get out there and come to Soho there are plenty of events to meet people.
JB: Did you do a lot of research on related industry events?
JC: At the start of university I didn’t go to any – I didn’t know about them, but slowly you work out where you need to be and who you need to speak to. It will happen, it just takes time.
JB: What’s it like to work at Framestore?
JC: Commercials is great. It’s quite small as a studio so everyone knows each other, it’s a good place. It doesn’t feel as if someone is above or below you, it just feels like a team.
JB: What would you say is the most challenging project you’ve worked on?
JC: It’s between my first project – it was really nerve-wracking – and James Bond because it was so huge. For Spectre there were lots of changes, you sent out work and got some back whilst others were shelved or reworked. We worked backwards and forwards because the design was heavily concept-based, it involved a lot of teamwork. The rig required so much development and we had to fight to get the octopus to work... But we got there and it looked great.
JB: What advice can you give about putting together showreels?
JC: You should only really put in your best work. Fewer examples of polished work is better than a lots of examples that may not be your best. Hard work, passion and persistence is key.
Q: Do you have any interview tips?
JB: Spend time on your showreel and spend time ahead of the interview thinking about what kind of work you want to do and how that relates to the work that Framestore or any other company is doing. Always be honest – be clear about what your abilities are and don’t oversell yourself, but be confident in your abilities.