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> Freelancer's Manifesto - A Collection of advices (Page 3 of 4)

Freelancer's Manifesto - A Collection of advices (Page 3 of 4)

Date Posted May 19, 2007  Default   Viewed 4110 Times       ID 255
Roman  - 3D Jobs Admin
Freelancer's Manifesto - A Collection of advices (Page 3 of 4)
By: Anselm v. Seherr - Thoß, Germany
Web: www.3delicious.de

Treat yourself as a product

Sounds odd? It shouldn´t! There´s a saying: “there´s no second chance to make a first impression”.

That means create a certain look. Have your own style. Represent that personal style at your website, business cards, Bills, etc. Don´t get me wrong. First of all you should have great skills if you wanna kick *** as a freelancer there’s no way to dodge that having a corporate design for your stuff is the extra frosting you should add. But there´s an extra component to it. Personality and a certain style you should represent. For example take “Meats Meier, the Organic Mechanic” as he calls himself (Zbrush/MAYA artist). ”Organic Mechanic” describes perfectly his style of creating art. You recognize it was him under hundreds of images. In brief: He got style. His style is a brand you recognize.

Here´s my CD (Corporate Design) in very brief:



The style of my business card fit´s to the style of my showreel DVD and website layout. It’s a homogeneous entity. Same fonts everywhere, Same colors, Same pictures and so on. And I use 3 different fonts for everything not 10 or 20! There´s the front of my logo, a font for longer texts and one for URLs, email addresses, links or any kind of short stuff like addresses. And I NEVER use one of these fonts in a different context. Every one of those 3 has a purpose.

Another topic I´d like to cover here is an empiric study I made. When I was new to CG in 2004 I gave myself a nickname. Because I was lazy I chose the same nickname I already had as a DJ Tag-Team since 2001: “PsychoSilence”. That was partly laziness partly because this name was already established in certain music communities. When I was new to CG I asked mostly noobish questions as we all did when we started. Honestly I hide behind that synonym because I was afraid of redicule myself! When I got a little more self-confident I started greeting people and helping out with problems in the forums myself. Today I (at least I ) think I´m not the worst particle and shading artist around so I´m even more self-confident and enjoy helping other community members with their questions and problems. Nowadays I write greetings and my real name under every post I contribute.

This gives a more personal touch and shows that I really care and avouch for what I´m doing or writing. So I kinda evolved from an anonymous noob trying to hide behind the mass of community members to someone who really cares for the community. Think about which stadium you are.

Showreel. Show Reel!


After we covered how to put information on your website and how you should “sell” yourself I would like to take a brief look on showreels. I´ve read a lot of articles covering this topic (some are listed below) so let me summarize that information in a synopsis. I would like to start with a quote by Pamela Thompson:

“If you are an artist, it is essential that you have an outstanding portfolio and demo reel. The purpose of the resume, portfolio and demo reel is to get you an interview with someone who can hire you. They are marketing materials--prepare them with care.”


Before you start assembling your reel make up your mind what you want to feature. Your reel should represent only your best and most recent work. That´s why people have new reel every few month It should be relevant to the job you want to get an interview for so if you are a shading artist don´t show silly walk cycles. Got me? Focus on what you´re really good at and put your best work first. HRs might skip the rest. So test if it´s still kicking a$$ without sound and 1 minute of length only. The total length shouldn´t exceed 3 minutes in total (I have to admire that my current reel is 3:14 actually…). I would highly recommend to divide the reel into logical entitled sections if you cover more than one skill (1. modeling, 2. texturing/shading, 3. rendering, 4. compositing would be a logical order). If you worked in a team on a shot add a breakdown in any circumstance showing what your exactly part was! HRs aren´t ******. You couldn´t probably finish an entire feature film shot on your own…

After you assembled your reel ask friends to give you feedback. If they don´t think a shot is from butt kicking quality drop it! It´s like English grammar, in doubt leave out After you got feedback and maybe changed certain things find out which format a company accepts then put it on DVD/CD/VHS. Along with job Opportunities Company often feature portfolio requirements on their website. If you created a DVD with navigation test if people get it or if they get lost in sub-menus! And test it on more than one machine and on every platform.

And never ever send your only copy to anyone! Don´t expect to get anything back unless you send a self-addressed stamped container for return.

This part sounds s t u p i d but remember the frontpage topic. Add your name, address, email address, phone number and any information necessary to get in touch with you on the DVD Case, the CD itself and on the booklet in case the DVD or case gets lost! My reel even has a booklet inside along with the outer cover. It contains my resume, a shot breakdown, a company portfolio showing what I did at which company and a little pocket with a few business cards of mine.

Useful Links:

Building Your Demo Reel With Sony's Vegas 6.0 and DVD Architect 3.0
http://www.cgfocus.com/article/story/336&page=1

Demo Reels, Portfolios and Interviewing
http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=sear ch&sval=demo+reel&ar ticle_no=2491

Demo Reels are Key to Opening Doors to Employment
http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=sear ch&sval=demo+reel&ar ticle_no=2881

The Career Coach: Portfolio Essentials
http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=sear ch&sval=demo+reel&ar ticle_no=19

The Career Coach: Demo Reel DOs and DON'Ts
http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=sear ch&sval=demo+reel&ar ticle_no=16

The Career Coach: It's Show Time
http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=sear ch&sval=demo+reel&ar ticle_no=11

Document Everything



You deliver services like shading, compositing, modeling, rigging etc. being a good service provider includes a good documentation. If you buy a DVD player the documentation has 100 pages or more. Because it´s a complicated device. So is CG! One worst case scenario:

You get hit by a car, you can´t finish your assignment. Some other artist has to jump in. If there´s a good documentation on everything and he is of your skill level that wouldn´t be a big deal. A scene file with objects named: “Box01 - Box352” drives me nuts! Have a namespace for everything. Even if the names are long they are useful: Char01_Left_Hand_Pro ps_Gun
I can say pretty confident that the object I´m dealing with is a gun the character “Char01” is holding in his left hand. The object seems to belong to the category “Props”. So you have CharacterName_Side_B odypart_Category_Obj ectName and that´s a namespace I can work with actually…I don´t wanna get in any more detail with this because that´s more of an issue I already covered in my last article/tutorial for CGArena entitled:

“Project Setup/Management and Quality Assurance for Small Business”:
http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/tutorials/max/projectSetup/index.html

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