Recruiter Hot Seat: Axis Animation - MCV

Recruiter Hot Seat: Axis Animation

Studio manager Jill Wallace on how to land a job at the Glasgow-based firm
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Jill Wallace - axis animation.jpg

BIO
Name:
Jill Wallace
Title:
Studio Manager
Developer:
Axis Animation
Country:
UK
www.axisanimation.com

What differentiates your studio from other companies?
Axis is unique in a variety of ways, from the diverse scope and style of work we do to the completely collaborative approach we offer clients. First and foremost though, Axis continually strives to increase the quality and creativity of our work from project to project. Our staff pride themselves in always looking to achieve better results, be it in creating more realistic characters or bigger, more complex effects.

Our teams don’t just want to get the job done, they want do it and make it look awesome – that in itself is a very rewarding atmosphere to work in, which is why we have a low permanent staff turnover and such a large pool of returning freelancers who come work with us from all over the world.

How many staff are you currently looking to take on?
Due to the turnaround time on projects and the number of projects we are able to run concurrently in the studio, we are constantly hiring for contract roles, across all disciplines. This ranges from concept artists to animators, to pipeline TDs and lighters. Most of these are short-term project-to-project roles. However, we do offer longer contract opportunities to outstanding individuals who prove themselves to be invaluable members of our team.

We are currently recruiting for full-time roles too – specifically for producers, pipeline supervisors and Unreal experienced technical artists.

What should aspiring new recruits do with their CV to get an interview?
We get a lot of applications, via the recruitment form on our website. If you’re looking to apply more generally then you can do so by sending your CV, cover letter and portfolio/showreel link and breakdown if applicable to recruitment@axisanimation.com. At this point, applications are filtered out by myself, to the relevant department heads and supervisors for review and shortlisting.

It is worth noting that speculative applications are very welcome. Even if we don’t have a vacancy at the time you apply, if you’re shortlisted, you’ll be added to our ‘to hire’ list and we’ll be in touch as soon as a suitable spot arises for you. When you apply, remember to make sure your contact details are included, and importantly, they’re correct – no typos.

Who is the best interviewee you have ever had?
All interviews are pretty unique, from the shyest person with an outstanding reel and portfolio to the new graduate who is just brimming with excitement about even getting an interview. It is worth noting that we conduct a lot of telephone and Skype interviews as a lot of team members are from Europe and beyond so often we don’t meet in person until they’re hired and actually arriving at the studio. The best way to impress us is by having an awesome portfolio, a confident can do attitude and showing that you’re passionate and love doing what you do.

And who was the worst?
The worst interviews have to be the ones where people are so nervous that they struggle to converse, and it is just really awkward for everyone involved. The opposite of this is where individuals are overly confident and instead come across as cocky and arrogant. It can be pretty tricky striking a good balance in an interview situation, but there are lots of online resources available on interviewing tips if you struggle in these kinds
of situations.

What advice would you give for a successful interview at Axis?
One key thing is to have researched the company that you’re applying for and have been successful in getting an interview for – you will always get extra points for being able to chat about the work we do and it shows you have taken the time to go find out about our studio and our portfolio. Take notes during the interview which
you can use as prompts for questions to ask at the end, when the usual ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ is asked – a lot of people don’t ask questions so you’ll stand out if you do.

If Axis has recruited internationally, what was the process like?
We hire from all over the world. If you’re an EU citizen with an EU passport there are no restrictions on working with us and our multi-national studio team is testimony to that. Further afield we have on occasion sponsored outstanding individuals. But this is a lengthy process with no guarantee of success so it is not something we’re able to do very often. This shouldn’t dissuade non-EU citizens from applying though – ancestry visas are another option if you qualify – we have a few individuals in our team at the moment who were hired via this route.

All things considered we’ve been very fortunate to find such talented individuals who are able and willing to come and work with us in Scotland, even for really short periods of time.

How have your recruitment needs changed at your studio?
I think because the volume and variety of the work in our studio has increased and expanded over the last year or so, in turn we are hiring a wider range of artists. For example, in the last 6 months we have increased our freelance contact pool for compositors tenfold.

Also with our drive on quality, to deliver bigger and better projects, we’re constantly striving to hire the best talent possible. If we find someone with an awesome portfolio we’ll do our very best to find the opportunity to hire them.

To read our other Recruiter Hot Seat articles about studios looking to hire, visit our archive.

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