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Mary Hawkins

Member Since 03 Dec 2006
Offline Last Active Oct 22 2010 04:19 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 10 pro tips on applying for motion / broadcast / designer jobs.

22 October 2010 - 04:13 AM

I keep my cold call cover letter short and sweet and I've gotten good results from it:

My name is [my name!] and I've been working as a freelance AfterEffects animator+designer at [my client] for [years!]. I really like [client], but we've had a slow summer and I'm looking to pick up a few more clients.

Here's a short sentence about the type of project where I excel. Here's another, longer one that elaborates that and lists a few good qualities. Here's what I mostly work on, followed by my favorite projects.

My website and resume are available online. I'd love to meet you in person, go through my reel and answer any questions you have.



I list my info afterwards: reel, resume, email, cell... I don't give people my rate in my cold call email. If I'm answering a specific job post, I make sure that anything they specifically want is listed. If I see something on a site that I want to highlight, I add it in -- I don't speak Spanish, so it's not on my resume, but I have worked on Spanish language spots. If people have a lot of Spanish language projects on their site, I usually write something like "No hablo español, pero soy francófona. I've worked on many Spanish language and Spanglish spots over the years for [my Spanish language clients]." Likewise if we have a client in common, I write that in too. I try to keep everything super short. I have cool work and I don't want someone to spend a whole lot of time reading my letter -- or worse, hit something stupid or pretentious and delete the whole thing.

Years and years ago, I applied to a quick job with a quick email. The guy told me that he got all sorts of long "we do everything!" emails from presidents of companies, but they didn't sound like his project. I sounded like I knew what he wanted and I sounded like I'd be easy to work with and he wrote me back first... That's all it took. Think about the type of email that you'd want from the person that you'd want to hire. That's what you need to write.

In Topic: Drazen_Zeljkovic_reel2010

25 August 2010 - 02:32 AM

Very cool stuff! There are two things that I would change. The first is pretty easy -- in that shot with your name and the mountains, the black type gets lost. Switch it to white and it'll stand out better. The second is a bit harder. Everything on your reel is cool and high quality, but it's getting pretty long. Have you considered making two reels? You could do one for motion graphics and a second for compositing and effects. I really like the way you've set up shots and I like the work that you've chosen, but at 1:20 I wondered how much longer I was going to be watching this thing... "Too much" is a good problem to have!

Overall, it's a really strong reel and the only thing you have to worry about is the short attention spans of your audience.

In Topic: Lazlo Supreme "Feather Lighter"

25 August 2010 - 02:04 AM

If you're going to tackle this sort of project again, I'd choose something much shorter and really nail it. Grab something a sentence or two long and see what you can come up with. It's hard to experiment with animation when you choose a really big project and you end up biting off more than you can chew.

In Topic: Lazlo Supreme "Feather Lighter"

24 August 2010 - 07:15 PM

It's a good start, but you need to tighten up a few things... Before I start in on what I think needs work, your timing is really spot on. I like the transitions and you do a lot of interesting things. This is also a good song to apply this sort of treatment to -- the lyrics are interesting and it has a good beat. That's all solid. Where you lose me is in your color treatments and illustration style. They just get kind of generic in places. You don't have to be complicated, but there's something about your current illustrations that look more like clip art and less like this:

If you want to revisit this, I'd work on individual frames as compositions and go from there. It's not fair to compare a one-man-band project with something that ten pros worked on for a month, but the that should be your goal. You can tighten up your type treatment in places, but the color schemes and illustration need more help.

I'd also try to take the choruses and change them from one shot into a sequence. It doesn't have to radically change, just make sure that we aren't sitting on that one shot for 10s. You could have the motion trails separate out to be the same guy dancing three times, you could zoom in on things... I like that they stop totally changing, but they need a little movement and a little variety. That's a good place to take a breath, but you do still need to have things moving and changing a bit.

Definitely a cool project though! Thanks for showing it off...

In Topic: Ugh. My site desperately needs an update

24 August 2010 - 06:02 PM

I finally finished my reel/montage update. I did end up uploading and hosting everything on Vimeo instead of my own site. I swapped a few things around and added in bugs for the stuff I made outside of MTV. While I hopefully want to stay in the building, the whole thing was starting to feel aggressively poppy and I don't want to look like I've only ever had one job at one place.

Thanks for your input guys! It's been really helpful. Most of the friends and co-workers I showed it to were complimentary but didn't really have much to add, so it's been good to have some honest feedback.