Congratulations to one of our first year animation students, Daniel Baidoo who has just landed a position as a freelance junior animator with King Bee animation, located in Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, just outside of London.
Daniel started off as an animation intern, a great start to his career in the animation industry. We asked Daniel a few questions about how he got the initial internship, and how he got his animation career off the ground so quickly.
What are you doing for King Bee?
King Bee is now producing an educational animated internet series for children, and I am helping them out with the animation. We finished one of the episodes last week; we are now making a few changes to some shots after the client reviewed our work.
How did you get the internship?
Escape Studios' Head of Animation Alex Williams was teaching animation to one of the classes here at Escape, when he told them about the internship. One of the students passed the details on to me and the next day I applied for the position. I sent my demo reel to King Bee and they asked me to make a couple of animation tests to confirm my internship. After that, I started working as a 2D animator intern. I have been doing it for about two months and from next project I am going to start working for them as a junior animator.
What skills are involved?
The skills involved to be able to do the internship are just a basic knowledge of Adobe Flash and a strong desire to learn 2D animation. One good point about this internship is that the intern does not have to work from the studio but he/she can work from home as well.
My mentor at King Bee is Escapee Emma Thorpe, she has been sending me files with an animatic as a reference plus some instructions about what to do and what not to do. I would like to thank Emma because she has been an amazing mentor; she helped me a lot giving me plenty of feedback and advice all the time.
What advice would you give to students looking for internships?
My advice to students looking for internship is to make a nice demo reel; even one minute is fine. Mine was about 50 seconds. It does not have to be that great - because we are still studying, and recruiters do not expect to see a high quality demo reel from a first or second year animation student.
After that, just apply for as many internships as you can! Make a different cover letter for each studio you are applying for explaining why you want to do the internship; you must convince them that you are really into animation and that you are not doing it just because it is cool to get an internship.
You could make a blog or a website to show off your artwork but studios are more likely to consider just your animation. It is good to have other skills as well but remember that you are applying for an animation internship.
Another piece of advice that I would love to give is to not be scared. Just apply. Do not think "my demo reel is not good enough". It is always good to put all your work together, write a cover letter and a CV. Even if after the interview you will not get the job, just apply for other internships. Is also a great experience to have an interview if you never had one. On the next interview you will not be as nervous as you were the first time you had one.