Evening With… Eamonn Butler

Eamonn Butler

We regularly invite artists from all parts of the industry with varied backgrounds to speak with our students. On Wednesday 4th October, we welcomed Cinesite’s Head of Animation, Eamonn Butler, to inspire and educate our students and to give them an opportunity to hear first-hand what it takes to be successful in the creative industries.

Eamonn kicked off the talk with how he got to where he is today. He started his early career in the army before moving to London and working in a variety of creative studios in Soho. He credits putting long hours and ‘working harder than everyone else’ for the reason he’s had such a stellar career, and also for having enough confidence to approach people to ask for more senior roles - he wasn’t one to wait around for opportunities to come to him.

Prior to working at Cinesite, Eamonn was the Head of Animation at Double Negative for over 6 years and he also worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation for almost 10 years. So our students really couldn't have asked for a more awesome first speaker to kick off the new term!

Some of the highlights of the evening included Eamonn offering an insight into the VFX industry as a whole and how his team have created award winning work. He also shared advice on how to balance multiple film projects in the production pipeline.  Eamonn also shared information about the software that he and his team used on some of his projects. Eamonn also talked about how he hires people; he looks beyond how talented applicants are or how confident they appear; successful candidates will be working long hours, in close proximity to each other, so he's protective over the people he lets join the team!

Eamonn shared some invaluable showreel advice and spoke about what students need to do to create a great showreel:

  • Keep it relevant to the job that you’re applying for - make sure it’s specific for the role.
  • Don't steal credit for others’ work (word gets around quickly in the industry).
  • It's no longer about hard-copies - it's about having a fully functional website.
  • Be ruthless - if you're advised to cut out work - cut it out (even if you’re precious about it).
  • Make your showreel funny - too many people go for macabre.
  • Check that everything works - too many online portfolios have broken links, or content that doesn't play properly.  
  • It's not about showing your 'progress' - don't show bad work, only your best work.