Posts Tagged ‘getting work’

How I got into Animation.

November 11, 2009

For those of you who have been following this blog, you’ll notice that I’ve had to be creative and come up with unconventional methods to win every job I ever got.

Well, my first job in the animation biz was no different.

One day I came across this 3D animation magazine and was struck by its cover. It had this really well built, well-rendered animated character that had me in awe. Thinking it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, I felt compelled to find out who its creator was and contact them. Living in Ottawa Canada at the time, it ended up that this image I was so drawn to was created by a commercial animation studio in Toronto called Red Rover.

I sent out an email immediately to tell them how it would be a dream to work for their company, and asked if they needed anyone. They replied back asking to see my portfolio and when I sent it over, they responded saying they were a little doubtful about my skills being up to snuff.

In my heart, I knew this to be true. But believing in the impossible, I answered back telling them that I’m aware of the current level of my work, but that I feel that it’s not the greatest representation of my true skill. I then went on to propose a challenge. (Yup, you read right… a challenge).

With balls of steel and guts of glory, here’s the tail end of an email exchange between the head animation supervisor and myself:


Email between Kyle Levey @ Red Rover and me:

You wrote…

<I had a thought… since I have nothing else animation wise to show you… maybe you could send me a model of something you’ve made…tell me what you want it to do, and I’ll send it back to you animated… even tell me how fast you want it done.

I figure this is a better idea, than me telling you I’m a better animator than what I have to show for.>



I’m Kyle Levy, Animation Supervisor here at Rover. I have been looking for an animator to help me complete our upcoming spots. The superman test I saw was descent but not enough info to tell if you are up to the challenge that would be involved with this job.

So… I have attached an audio clip for you. Take it and do your thing. If it’s good, you’re in.

Use your superman character. Make it waist up shot and show me good ACTING and LIP SYNC. Send me something before Friday at 3pm Toronto time. Dont wory about pretty renders, a preview is fine. All I care about is acting.

This “test” is optional of course. But you have a unique opportunity here.

Good luck!

Kyle Levy


And here’s the spot that won me the job:


Assisting the assistant.

November 10, 2009

I once dated this lovely girl from Indonesia. We met in college where she had come from halfway around the world to study photography.

During her studies she had always talked about how she’d love to work for the famous Canadian commercial photographer Shin Sugino.

After graduation, she made many attempts to contact him and sent her portfolio in the hopes of being able to not only assist him, but learn from a true master as well. Unfortunately for her, she kept getting stymied by a rather insecure assistant who was already working there and would say to my partner at the time, “Sorry, Shin doesn’t hire any assistants with less than 5 years experience.”

Discouraged, my partner felt like there was no way in and that it would be best to just give up her dream. But me being the creative person that I am said, “Don’t worry, I got an idea that’ll get you working at Shin’s studio in no time.”

Knowing that many assistants send photographers their portfolio (which is irrelevant because they never take the pictures), I came up with a promo that highlighted and spoke to the job my partner was wishing to do, and did it in a fun and interesting way.

So I went out, bought a box, and filled it with tiny little paper cutouts of photography equipment I printed from the web. I made sure it was the very same type of equipment a photographer’s assistant needs to be trained in using, in order to work on the job. Then I included a little note on the inside that read “Dear Mr. Sugino. I’m an expert at setting these items up. However, I’m also very good at setting up the full size versions as well!”

I then sealed the box, glued my partner’s resume and contact info on the top, wrapped it like a present, and had it express delivered to Mr. Shin Sugino himself.

The result: On the day the package arrived my partner received a call, and by the very next week, was working for her dream mentor. Creativity wins again!


The interview from the campaign that started this blog.

November 5, 2009

It was a dark and stormy day back in November of 2008…

Ok, ok. I won’t tell a horror story here, but on that dreadful day I was fired from my well paying job at a multi-national advertising agency that sent me into a long and painful bout of unemployment.

It was the biggest financial melt-down of our time and  nothing I did seemed to work. I’ve always been a creative person but I was really at a loss for ideas this time and unemployment was really getting the better of me. A man can only take so much video games and Oprah.

Then, one day it hit me. And here’s what it was:

After this aired, a ton of emails and phone calls poured in from small business owners looking for help with their advertising. A creative success if I do say so myself.