Career advice

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Career advice

Postby colandoj on 07/12/2016, 9:20 am

Ok time to pour my heart out here!!

Hello everyone, my name is Jon and I am 27 years old. I graduated from Northern Illinois University back in 2012 with a bachelors in communications in hopes of working in post production. I soon realized how hard it was going to be considering my college did not offer much of a curriculum to help the students create a portfolio of any kind.

I soon discovered Video Copilot a few years after graduating and eventually kept tabs on it. Once again this was all back in 2012 when I finished college. fast forward I am now 27 and am about to be out of a job in which I was sort of forced into (financial industry). My dream has always been to work in film and TV, whether it be behind the scenes or (everyones dream at one point) in front of the camera. I really do enjoy special effects and the wonders of what you can create in the software. However I feel as if I have trouble creating files from scratch. I can watch a tutorial and follow along great, but sometimes when I try and just play around and create something I get nowhere. Like I said, it is a dream of mine to work in the film industry and I don't mind putting the work in. However, sometimes I feel like I am not making any progress as a motion graphic designer.

Is there any sort of advice anyone can lend? Between my imminent unemployment and what I wrote about above, I have become extremely depressed with myself because of the difficulty of finding a solid career in todays job market. I don't mean for this to be a sob story, I just figured I would reach out to the community.
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Re: Career advice

Postby plae57 on 07/12/2016, 12:24 pm

I have one word for you "Instructional Designer"....

I work for one of the largest finance companies in the US, and I make everything from financial videos, movie parodies, application, product, and soft skills training films. I do a lot of green screening, a lot of set extensions, and a lot of motion graphics. I work on a team of 10 instructional designers, none of the others have any after effects skills at all, so I get to do everything. And they pay me REALLY REALLY well.

On the side I make food safety videos for several national restaurant chains. They pay me really really well too. (My wife and I just got back form a 3 week 5,700 mile 22 state driving vacation across the US all paid for by three 6 minute food safety videos.)

My point is, the training industry is just now getting into videos, green screening motion graphics and VFX, and it is a gold mine for people with some skills, but maybe not "Hollywood" skills. My skill level would probably never get me a job for anything above an indie film, but in the training film world I am HUGE fish in a tiny pond. And there are tons of jobs out there because it is cheaper to hire you to make good training movies than it is so send someone around training people.

Study up on Instructional design, the ADDIE system, and watch a few videos on Captivate and Storyline. A long with knowing how to make movies, you need to know how to make interactive training and evaluations using these tools too. The nice thing is that much of your movie making skills can be applied in these applications.

If you want to make Hollywood movies, then this is not the way to go. If you want to make movies, and a lot of money, then think training films. It is a wide open field.

Oh, I have no degree and no formal training as an instructional designer. At 47 I left software development and started making training. That was 13 years ago. And today the demand for people like me is even bigger.
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Re: Career advice

Postby 211rdj112 on 08/23/2016, 5:45 pm

Hi Colandoj,

I am in a similar position to you. I graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Finance back in 2013. I have been teaching middle and high school technology classes most recently, but found that I really enjoy video production and especially VFX. I am in currently in the process of getting creating a fun cooking channel on youtube where I can use VFX, but I am really interested in what plae57 does for a living!

plae57,
How did you make the transition to Instructional Design? I still want to teach for a few more years, but as I hone my adobe skills I am looking at doing freelance stuff like what you are doing with training videos. If you don't mind me asking, how did you reach out to the fast food company, or did they reach out to you? I just don't know where to start with some of this.

Thank you for mentioning this,
"Study up on Instructional design, the ADDIE system, and watch a few videos on Captivate and Storyline. A long with knowing how to make movies, you need to know how to make interactive training and evaluations using these tools too. The nice thing is that much of your movie making skills can be applied in these applications." I plan on spending sometime each night poking around youtube videos related to this. Are there any good books that you recommend?
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Re: Career advice

Postby krakensurf on 12/5/2016, 12:28 pm

Thanks for the insight.

I've been waking up in a cold sweat. Terrified that the VFX industry will become a wash like the web industry. I remember when I started web development back in the 90's the sky was the limit. I invested a lot of time and money into technology that petered out. Now at the ripe old age of 52 I've just stumbled into VFX and have massive anxiety that I may be wasting my time and resources focused on the wrong technology or that we're going to be over saturated by third-world talent/competition and all these rewarding projects will now be reduced to a VFX equivalent version of "Wix.com".

My biggest fear is the race to master these skills so that I can have a prosperous career will be lost in the tides of change (mostly due to being a slow learner).

Is there any safe guards I can enlist to hedge future potential losses?
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Re: Career advice

Postby narenn on 10/19/2017, 11:42 pm

There's quite a bit of resource out there on the current state of the industry. In short, for film vfx work, most of the global vendor hubs are in Vancouver.

A key aspect is to focus your skill-set toward a specific role while growing your experience. My best recommendation is to search out for artists already working in the position you are keen to progress into, and see what it took to get there. General trends, experience, reels, etc...

Starting out is difficult, though as you grow in experience, landing the next gig will only become easier.
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