This weekend (Saturday, June 16, 2012) in Los Angeles, New York and London there is the second annual VES Career Fair & Tech Expo.

The event runs all day and allows artists in the visual effects industry to meet and talk with the top companies in entertainment industry from around the world, and was a surprise big success last year.

The VES VFX Global Career Fair & Technology Expo has the distinction of being the world’s largest visual effects-specific Career Fair and Technology Expo dedicated solely to the visual effects professional.

Hours are 9am to 5pm at all locations. All welcome (VES free, non-members $25, students $15). Click here for more info. (BTW discounts are available to current fxphd members – see members forum (BKD) for details).

fxguide spoke to almost a dozen companies who will be attending this year. The common feeling is that the VES job fair was so successful last year as it focused on high quality artists and as such many companies made more hires from the VES than from say SIGGRAPH, which has another very strong job fair component.

In our informal survey of companies many of the same points were raised:

  • No need to make an appointment, but if you know you are going it is not a bad idea to contact companies ahead of time
  • All but one company we spoke to wanted to see show reels online, so bring some DVDs, but make sure you have a business card with a clear URL ready to go. Keep the reel short and best material first
  • While the event is happening in LA, NY and London, companies are interested for staff in LA, Sydney, Vancouver, NY, London, Berlin, NY, Hong Kong, Beijing and elsewhere
  • Effects TDs especially Houdini, Nuke compositors and pipeline TDs are in great demand. Also often mentioned was generalists, animators and lighting artists
  • ILM for example are hiring for Singapore and California and are looking for FX TD’s, Creature TD, TD’s with Rigid Body Sim experience, Senior Digimatte Artists and concept artists. (Singapore is more Staff positions rather than project based).
  • Recruiters would like to hear from you even if you are not immediately after a position, and most like to track good staff in their extensive databases
  • There is no need to turn up at 9am…anytime during the day is fine
  • Some companies like Method are part of larger groups and service very professionally a global community
  • Some companies like The Mill are focused on say primarily commercials – so do you research in advance. The Mill do great work – cutting edge brilliant work – but just not solely feature film work as others VFX studios do
  • Companies like ILM etc also have great online database job tools, use these – they are key to working with larger organizations
  • Some companies like Sony do great VFX but also have a brilliant animation group. Be clear what interests you
  • Meeting face to face can be especially key in ‘people’ positions like commercials work
  • The recruiters we spoke to were all really open, nice and very keen to connect with talented people, over and over we heard “we always are looking for talented people!”. So be bold and connect, you do not need to be a VES member to attend


There will also be courses from companies such as Adobe and The Foundry, plus talks on things such as the Universal’s Virtual Stage, GPU Nvida Maya particle simulations and more…

For more information on the courses on offer click here.

Companies so far confirmed (subject to change):

Disney Animation
Prime Focus
Rodeo VFX
Double Negative
The Third Floor
Utopia People
Look FX
Mokko Studios
Method Studios
Stereo D
Avalanche Studio (Game)
Alchemy 24
Legend 3D
The Mill
Infinity Ward (Game)
Gentle Giant
Red Giant
Sony Pictures Imageworks


A big thanks to Anthony Horn, Director of Marketing & Development at the VES for helping with this story.

10 thoughts on “VES Job Fair this weekend”

  1. Christopher Kirkman

    I’ll be attending, business cards in hand, this weekend but I’ve never done a career fair before. I’m confident that I interview and present myself well to prospective employers, but this situation is unique to me. I hail primarily from a web design background and I’m trying to grow my horizons. I’m well versed in After Effects for a wide variety of tasks and I’m starting to take on Nuke. My portfolio is slim in the field of visual effects and motion graphics, but I have a few things to show.

    Would you mind throwing out a few pointers on how to approach recruiters at the job fair on Saturday?

  2. Elaine Thomas

    Do you know if all of the companies will be in each location or is is some at each? I saw pixamondo posted that they’re going to be at the Hollywood one, so I guess they won’t be at the London one. It’s a bit misleading.

  3. Bryan Dunkley

    Strange not to see Framestore on the list. Oh well still going to be a great meet and greet! Looking forward to it.

  4. Hi, this may sound like a noob question.. but, I take it my showreel on Vimeo is not the way to show my work.. I mean, I will need a hard copy on dvd?.. And I’ll need enough copy’s to leave with all the studios I speak to? Cheers!

  5. No – that is not true – all but one company we spoke to (D.Neg) wanted to see a reel via the net… but some like D.Neg still do like to see a dvd – so ideally take a business card with the WEB address – but have a few dvd’s just in case


  6. Thanks Mike, Forgot to mention I enjoyed the BKG class you spoke of this last week. With this being a job fair though, I wasn’t sure of the setup and how it works. I assumed you would have a chat say with someone from DNeg at their own booth while they look at your reel (via dvd) which would give them a chance to ask questions etc.. or is it just the case that you have a chat and leave your details, link to my reel and they’ll get back to you?! Cheers

  7. I’m fairly new in the industry so about half my current reel is actually work done in Mark’s Arbiter class at FXPHD. Are recruiters used to seeing this sort of work from people who are just starting out or do they get tired of seeing the same projects over and over? It was excellent footage to work with so it looks great on the reel. ie. I can spot an Andrew Kramer tutorial on a reel a mile away, but I feel like FXPHD is much more like classwork than a straight up tutorial. In your experience is it treated this way by recruiters?

  8. Dawid Skrodzki

    Hi Mike,

    I just realised that I might be able to attend the London fair. I don’t have a business card yet because I am just about to graduate and unfortunately I won’t be able to get it in time for tomorrow. Could you suggest any other acceptable way of handing in your showreel link? Maybe together on a CV?

    Kind regards,

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