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jayson mark

Wise to head to LA without job?

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I am a motion graphics designer with 5 years of experience and a moderately awesome reel. (thanks to my employer... we don't do cool, we do quick). Would going to LA without a job be a good idea? What kind of struggle am i looking at in LA? Are there still jobs for designers who don't have kick ass reels? Has anyone taken this leap of faith? What kid of savings should I be having in order to survive in LA, 5K, 10K, 20+K?

 

Just curious to know other people's experience of moving to LA without a job.

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I moved out here 4 years ago with 2k in pocket and no job. But I was couch surfing for about 6 months while trying to find work.

 

Once your here, visit the Motion Design Directory and go from there.

 

Hey thanks Aroma. about the directory... don't companies hate it if you give them cold calls or end up on their door steps?? 6 months 4 years ago eh? when economy was good...and now??? phew :blink: .

 

Thanks for the info man.!!

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This is pretty much what I did. I had one week of work lined up, but that's all. A lot of companies seemed put off by me looking for work before being in LA, so I just said screw it. Ended up going staff for the company that gave me that first week.

 

Everyone seems completely rocking with work right now, from what I'm hearing, so if you're gonna do it do it soon.

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Everyone seems completely rocking with work right now, from what I'm hearing, so if you're gonna do it do it soon.

 

 

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: Thats quite encouraging. thanks man. Its good to know bad economy has not resulted in exhodus from LA.

Edited by jayson mark

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don't companies hate it if you give them cold calls or end up on their door steps??

 

How else are you going to get your name out? Stop by, drop off a nice reel with good packaging, printing, an insert card with your rates, resume... whatever.. and leave. No need to bug them further. Save the energy of really selling yourself for when there are postings, etc and you are up against others.

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Hey thanks Aroma. about the directory... don't companies hate it if you give them cold calls or end up on their door steps?? 6 months 4 years ago eh? when economy was good...and now??? phew :blink: .

 

How else are you going to get your name out? Stop by, drop off a nice reel with good packaging, printing, an insert card with your rates, resume... whatever.. and leave. No need to bug them further. Save the energy of really selling yourself for when there are postings, etc and you are up against others.

 

I've been wondering about this myself. Things have slowed down some what in the last 2 months and me need'um some work.

Maybe this is a stoopid question but should I be calling companies to follow up on cold-emails I've sent them? Or, call to follow up on job postings I've replied to?

I'd say I hear back from someone saying that they've received my reel/info about .0001% of the time. <_<

I know some ads specifically say "NO PHONE CALLS". But most do not.

Will calling and trying to speak with the creative director or art director just piss them off???

 

 

Also, do you guys really still make DVD reels?? I was pretty much under the impression that wasn't even done anymore.

I really have had it set in my mind that I would never have to make another DVD reel again!

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Maybe this is a stoopid question but should I be calling companies to follow up on cold-emails I've sent them? Or, call to follow up on job postings I've replied to?

 

I don't think you would be pissing people off if you called to follow up, this is part of normal job seeking process and I don't think mograph is an exception.

 

I've found this has worked out well for me a bunch of times, where I call to tollow up and someone says actually we were just about to look for someone can you come in next week/tommorrow and bam I get some work. Although I tend to only call if a place has replied to me and said they like my reel and might have work for me in the future. In my experience people are busy/lazy and often go with the easiest option if you call them and they need someone you are the easiest option.

 

Good luck.

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I don't think you would be pissing people off if you called to follow up, this is part of normal job seeking process and I don't think mograph is an exception.

In my experience people are busy/lazy and often go with the easiest option if you call them and they need someone you are the easiest option.

 

Good luck.

 

You make an excellent point. Thanks!

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I've been wondering about this myself. Things have slowed down some what in the last 2 months and me need'um some work.

Maybe this is a stoopid question but should I be calling companies to follow up on cold-emails I've sent them? Or, call to follow up on job postings I've replied to?

I'd say I hear back from someone saying that they've received my reel/info about .0001% of the time. <_>

I know some ads specifically say "NO PHONE CALLS". But most do not.

Will calling and trying to speak with the creative director or art director just piss them off???

 

 

Also, do you guys really still make DVD reels?? I was pretty much under the impression that wasn't even done anymore.

I really have had it set in my mind that I would never have to make another DVD reel again!

 

You should always keep in touch with the producers of shops you have worked at in the past. Just give them a ring, and let them know that your schedule is clear and you are available for work if there is any. if you have not worked at the facility in the past, then just send an email / your reel and give a follow up call, "verifying that they have received your information". Obviously, if they request no phone calls - don't call.

 

I do believe DVD video-only reels are dead - if you produce only a DVD video. With everything being HD, it may be wise to getting a Blu-ray reel together (make sure they are replicated though, as duplicated discs play on few players. Nothing would be worse than having the client pop in a blu-ray only to see an error message). I know that this is still a very new, hard, and confusing process for most - so if you go with DVD it should be more than just DVD video. Maybe a flash / flex application that displays your work and streams it from the web so its dynamic and always updated. If you do not know flash / flex, etc - just make the designs and hire someone from elance or something to put it together.

 

IMO, the perfect demo disc would consist of

  • DVD Video for standard players
  • ISO 9960 / HFS+ / UDF hybrid partitions
  • Auto launching Finder window on the HFS+ side with a custom BG image and a small app that displays your work (flash, flex, etc)
  • Auto running application on the ISO 9960 side for Windows (same app as above but a PC build)
  • HD content that can be viewed from the pc/mac apps

Maybe its a bit overkill, but you would definitely stand out.

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Or you can just send a link to a simple, no-hassle website. :D

Someone's gonna get the email. It's one click. They don't even have to get up. Done.

It's as updated as you want it. It's always there. It's absurdly available. Everyone likes easy and attractive.

 

Follow up to make sure you didn't get junk mail filtered.

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if your reel is good then nobody is going to hate you for sending it in (via email) and maybe giving a call to follow up. Good reels are a rare occurrence. Probably 1/20 or 1/40 are "good". The good ones went in a special email folder for the days when we hired. I'd hit the folder, send out emails, and snag the first "good" freelancer available for hire.

 

As for moving to LA, I think it'd be good to have some savings stashed up, but that depends on the quality of life you want. Do you want an okay pad or do you want 8 roomates in a 2 bedroom in the valley?

 

-sf

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