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!
At 50:03 took too long to blur the text could pause and read all
crazy boy
Sir humko Roto ka kaam aata hi humko job mel jaayge 9 years ka experience hi M. 8840429234
You keep saying you're very busy and don't have a lot of time to read your emails, but you sure take your time with these videos; uou keep saying 'again, ....' and reiterate everything you already said 10 times over. Trim it down.
Dan Pryor
Hello Allan! I've discovered your channel few hours ago and I've saw already 5 videos in a row! (and more will come, for sure. I've subscribed and joined already to your inside circle, of course). I don't want to overwhelm your YouTube notification inbox with gratefulness messages in each video, so rather than that, I would like to send you a massive THANKS!! You're helping lots of people with your content (me included)! I've been working on remote as a generalist freelance for 3 years, and now I'm looking for working as a nuke compositor in bigger projects within a London based VFX company... all the selection process is kind of intimidating me, but your content is giving me lots of valuable resources and encouraging me so much. Really thanks for that!! I hope that your busy schedules let you can keep uploading so interesting videos as long as you wish, due is really valuable content! Lots of love from London and thanks for reading (if you did it hehe)
"yr company." Too be fair spell check does not catch every typo. I think what I learned from this video is to Introduce yourself, with position title, what you do, how many years, and be grateful.
David Serrano
Thank You Allan !
Mikkel Melby
Wow Allan, you rock!!
Farhan Akhtar
Hello sir, thanks for this very informative video. No one tells about these minor things that can lead your email to trash. I have a question. I'm from India and my English is not that good, so do you consider people like me for job as it's a communication barrier. I'm student learning 3d modeling now so just wants to know these things.
Tomas Laureckis
Allan, you only looking from your perspective view and what you like (so it cannot be treated as proper advice). You not event trying to understand what they are writing. You mentioned that you travelled a lot and love to talk and communicate with people, however it does not look like that after your comments on this video. What I want to say, US and EU is little bit different don’t you think? https://youtu.be/mpFEGIv8lCo?t=1385
Korabkoff Denis
Fnx a lot!
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 Mckay Following 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!