REAL Emails I Get Applying for VFX Jobs!

As a VFX Supervisor and business owner, I want to be BRUTALLY HONEST and deconstruct everything wrong (and right) with emails I receive on a daily basis from artists applying for visual effects jobs. As VFX Artists, Designers and Game Developers — a lot of us make the mistake of assuming people will just click on our demo reels just because we send them.

You’ll be shocked to see the minimum effort put into some of these applications.

The goal of this series (I’ll be posting these regularly) is to show what works, what doesn’t and be brutally honest as I go through this Email Teardown series.

Not just 3D artists applying for work, but studios reaching out to me to work, or collaborate, consult, etc. as well as outsourcing studios requesting to be added to our vendor list. I want to show emails that are great and why they are, what they did right. But I also want to share what big mistakes people make — that can lead to their emails being deleted, and sometimes even blacklisted.

The goal is to educate you on what to do — but also show what minimal effort you really need to do, to already stand out from many of the others applying for jobs.

Whether they’re Vancouver Film School, Gnomon, Dave School, Full sail or other VFX students learning 3d animation or illustration. Loads of artists applying for work with 3DS Max, Houdini, Maya or After Effects, Nuke or other software packages. Some have plenty of experience, others are showcasing just 3d tutorials they’ve followed off the web from Film Riot, Video Copilot, mine or others. All of these are welcome, but when there are emails that aren’t able to even communicate who they are or why they would be a good candidate, it’s hard for any supervisor to stop what they’re doing to look at every single demo reel that comes in the door. This is why writing the perfect cover letter is so critical!

I receive emails from Roto Artists, 3d Modelers, FX Technical Directors, Animators, Designers, Compositors, Programmers daily. And most are responded to courteously and respectfully, either they’re hired or put in our archives for when positions open up. But then there are some that truly stand out and those end up in a folder I’ve been building for the past 6 years — and I’m going to start finally rolling out on “what not to do” in the first ever Email Teardown.

Youtube comments:

Carlos Osa
Allan, I am really glad I found out about you from CGGarage podcast! Not that many people talk about this stuff, yet it is extremely valuable - one could say priceless! Thank you so much for putting your time and effort into these podcasts. I am looking for work in VFX /Games in completely new country for me atm and I am sure this knowledge will help a lot! Thanks again!
S Earle
Man, I can't imagine sending a cover letter like some of these. I actually put a lot of time and effort into cover letters and usually end up staring at my prepared email for 15 minutes before I send it trying to work up the courage to hit "send".
dean skidmore
"Whether they're Vancouver Film School, Gnomon, Dave School, Full sail or other VFX students learning 3d animation or illustration. Loads of artists applying for work with 3ds max , Houdini , Maya or after effects, nuke or other software packages. Some have plenty of experience, others are showcasing just 3d tutorials they've followed off the web from Film Riot, Video Copilot, mine or others." -- Allan MckayFollowing a tutorial and saying look what i made, is all good and whatever, but i believe you should take the information you get out of the tutorial and make it something your own, much more impressive. Then say did this tutorial and i created this from what i learned watching it.just my little pittle pattle opion.:)
Great content Allan, thanks for sharing! Now, that "Fwd" guy... I'm sorry for you guys who need to read those things every day, that's tough.
Allan thank you so much for your time and effort you put to make all these videos and give us amazing advises. I recently graduated and through your videos am learning really important stuff that help me to improve. I truly appreciate it.
Ignacio Lopez Larsen
this is gold, great video
James Shen
Bitbounce auto-replies with that standard response if your email address is not on his whitelist. That's why I stopped using it. Anti-spam became the spam itself.
Polite Q
Never start an email like these with "Hey guys!". Recruiters aren't your friends. Act professional and somewhat formal.
Polite Q
That is not the "definition of insanity".That's an example of not learning from experience.
Tony Wells
I really enjoyed this video. Particularly at the 35:10 mark when the screen moves out of place with the blurred overlays and the persons name is revealed!
Mr. Balloffur
So this is what not to do.....what is a good way to do it?
frank wells
Allan, You Rock!!! Thanks for sharing this knowledge. I have 10 years experience in VFX and Motion Design and have been doing my emails and correspondence all wrong. Great vids keep em coming! SUBSCRIBED!
Awaz Sobare
Can someone please put the link to the email templates of Allan, I have searched for it but i did not found it . Thanks in advance
VFX King
I really love these, yet I do think there is some "fat" in this video. I encourage you to not shy away from editing down the extra content!
Mason Williams
Great stuff! Thank you!
Andriy Misuyrak
yep, thats a french 'recrutement'
Rahul Ankush
This information is so valuable.. Thanks Allan!!
Danny Mo
thank you for helping people like me learn to communicate with other human beings. I am 100% not a android learning to live among humans, no sir.
Here's another angle. You put out ads saying you're looking for people but you can't "stop what you're doing" to bother to look at someones stuff? You asked me to apply for the job, if I think I'm qualified for it. You need me, and I need you, so how about some give and take? Now, I understand you need to stand out from tons of applications, but that's not how you presented the video imo. In the end the employer has the power so do what you like, and some of these example are horrid indeed.
Don Terrell
Allan, this was a great video! Thanks, learned a lot. I was surprised at the effort a lot of people put forth in applying for a position but it definitely made me think a lot about my own efforts. While definitely humorous, I appreciate your email breakdowns. Teachers are supposed to be honest if their students are to grow and develop. While I'm not in the VFX/Animation industry to that level YET, your training and videos have definitely taught me a lot! Keep up the great work!