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!
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!
David Martinez
So basically, you didn't look a reel because of a cover letter??? that's stupid, you should watch the demo and then if you are interested in, read the cover letter.
Roozbeh Manouchehri
Hi Allan. When does your Live Action Series term 1 start? I want to enrol but dont know where,when,and how much. Thanks
Is $80 an hour too high for an editor? Definitely not in NY or LA.
Vatsal Nanavati
Thanks allan , it was valuable :)
Svetlana Ermilina
Thank you so much Allan for such valuable information! I will definitely utilize all this knowledge in my future job seeking! I also looked at your website and podcasts, however I couldn't find anything about the email templates you are mentioning in your videos. Are they still available?
Within Cells Interlinked
This was so great, Allan! I think I’ve definitely been guilty of some of these mistakes when I was younger. 🙈 Thanks for doing this. Currently rebuilding my portfolio, so will keep this mind for the future. Appreciate all you do. 🙏
Hi Allan, thank you for doing these videos! As someone who has been looking for a job for a while, I truly appreciate your insight.
Diogo Carrijo
That was great! Awesome stuff as always Allan!
Happy New Year Allan. Thank you for telling me a good story. You let me have a big dream and You provide direction to what I do and how I do it. I am looking forward to this year. I'll follow you through, slowly and steadily. Thank you very much.
also, here's my 2 cents: -make it short, simple and straight to the point as nobody has time to read your fluff. -tell who you are and what can you bring to the table. remember, company will be interested only if they can make money out of you. -do your research before you apply. if a company does animation and you do photo-real monster creatures or natural disaster fx like allan, then you are not the best pick. -double check your resume and all your links, make sure they are up-to-date and on point. -find the right email. don't email to sale's people, other artists, or a marketing team. they are not in charge of hiring and they don't give a shit. -connect with folks the right folks on linkedin, but don't spam them. don't ask to hire you, but ask them if there's any openings at their company.
omg, those emails are soooooo bad. i really feel bad for those people, we all need to learn, hope they will up their game and get a good job.
I really want to thank you for making this video! Been looking to get my first job in the games industry and have had little luck thus far, and being inexperienced I haven't really known what to improve in my process. Seeing what I can do to improve helps me stay motivated and on track.Have great year! :)