Important factors involved on getting a job?

Hello there!

I’m a brazilian guy currently living in Rio de Janeiro and I’ve been studying VFX for over 2 months now. I don’t think I’ll be ready to apply for jobs anytime soon, but there has been this voice in my head that shouts a lot of concerns and would be cool to put some light on it :smiley:

I’ve been doing a lot of reads like:

What I gathered so far is:

Your reel should be your best.
Degree isn’t necessary.
Keep on making cool effects and opportunities will show up.

With that in mind, I wanna make some more questions but, before that, I wanna say that I know it’s kinda hard to give me objective answers for some of the stuff I’m gonna ask, meaning reporting what you’ve seen now and then during your career will do just fine too :smiley:

Demo Reel
What are recruiters really looking for on a Reel and who are they? I mean, usually, are they also VFX artists already working on the company or just HR people?
Is it optimal if I target my Demo Reel with an specific job/role/game style in mind or it won’t make that much a difference and should just do whatever I feel like doing? As long as it is good, of course! :laughing:

Remote Jobs
How common are Remote Jobs nowadays? Is it something studios/companies are friendly with or is it some kind of last resource/something avoided? :pensive:

Foreigners
How common is it for companies to hire foreigners to work on site? And what about remotely?
Do companies have some kind of preference when it comes to that? It came to me that it might be more troublesome to hire someone from abroad Vs hiring someone currently living on the same territory. Do companies even hire people from abroad or is a big no no? If they do hire, let’s move to the next question…

…Work Visa, Contract, Citizenship related stuff
Here in Brazil it’s very common for people to work “iregularly”, meaning there won’t be an official document/contract saying you work for a person/company. This is specially true for art related jobs or any other “results profession” where people do a lot of freelancing/gigs. Is it common when it comes to RTVFX too or not? If it’s not like that, does it mean they arrange a way to take the person in the country? Like, legally hire them?

The core of my concern is: Where I currently live now and my nationality - how does it impact on getting hired? Does it cripple my chances somehow?
I wanna state I’m totally willing to move, but I just can’t do that beforehand, I mean, before actually landing a job :pensive:

I’m also interested on knowing if you’ve been on a similar spot as I’m now and your story. Have you had to move beforehand or after getting the job? How things have rolled out for you?

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Where you live doesnt matter, if you’re good at what yo do and speak english you will get a job.

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This is really comforting actually! :smiley:

Mostly personal opinions of course:

Demo Reel
What are recruiters really looking for on a Reel and who are they? I mean, usually, are they also VFX artists already working on the company or just HR people?
Is it optimal if I target my Demo Reel with an specific job/role/game style in mind or it won’t make that much a difference and should just do whatever I feel like doing? As long as it is good, of course!

  • Effects should be clearly presented, if sensible from different two different angles.
  • If you want to add some sort of breakdown in the same video, make it super quick and concise (or have a seperate breakdown video/blog entry).
  • Clearly label what we see and what you have done (eg. shaders, particle system, textures,…)
  • Effect in game context > effect in a grey void
  • No loud music obnoxious music. No speedy hard cuts (to the music). You can get a bit creative with the editing if you like, but it should not distract from the effects.
  • tailor your portfolio to the company needs if you can. If they are focused on realistic 3D, then 2D fx might not make the cut.
  • What I personally like: end with a “tools used” followed again by your name. Your name should stick coming out of this.

Remote Jobs
How common are Remote Jobs nowadays? Is it something studios/companies are friendly with or is it some kind of last resource/something avoided?

  • Freelance is often remote with no regards where you are. But without great portfolio and/or connections, it will be very difficult to get the ball rolling
  • Remote ful-time jobs are more common nowadays. But, depending on where the studio is from, they want that you at least move to the country (as financials and legal issues raise up if you hire somebody from outside the country. Happening to UK atm)
  • Studios that are fine if you stay in your country still want to hire somebody that is near their timezone, so you can still share the core hours.
  • Be prepared to move for you first job though. Remote work needs a specific kind of communication imo. And if you are new to company work, it might be hard for both sides. Companies know this and mostly want juniors to be on-site. But this should be an advantage for both sides.

Foreigners
How common is it for companies to hire foreigners to work on site? And what about remotely?
Do companies have some kind of preference when it comes to that? It came to me that it might be more troublesome to hire someone from abroad Vs hiring someone currently living on the same territory. Do companies even hire people from abroad or is a big no no?

Very different between countries and studios (see points above for example). There are studios that do, that can’t and some that could but don’t want to.

Work Visa, Contract, Citizenship related stuff
Here in Brazil it’s very common for people to work “iregularly”, meaning there won’t be an official document/contract saying you work for a person/company. This is specially true for art related jobs or any other “results profession” where people do a lot of freelancing/gigs. Is it common when it comes to RTVFX too or not? If it’s not like that, does it mean they arrange a way to take the person in the country? Like, legally hire them?

  • Cannot comment on Work Visa
  • Always have a solid contract. It is there to protect the interest on both sides. If the other side doesn’t want a cotract or only one that puts you in a bad position. DO NOT TAKE THE JOB. This is a giant red flag
  • Some companies do help relocate in their country/town and even may have some budget for that. But even if they don’t, if they want you to move far to work with them, you should request their help with the legal stuff (as you legally cannot work for them otherwise)

The core of my concern is: Where I currently live now and my nationality - how does it impact on getting hired? Does it cripple my chances somehow?
I wanna state I’m totally willing to move, but I just can’t do that beforehand, I mean, before actually landing a job

  • Many studios have a diverse team already, many more strive towards that. (of course there sadly still be some black sheep)
  • You shouldn’t have to move beforehand. But if you are willing to move when the contract is signed, it will greatly improve your chances (feel free to state that you can move in your application)
  • Have a strong portfolio will mostly increase the chances. If you can show you have knowledge is specialized software (eg Houdini, Embergen, Slate,…) and not afraid to work with shaders, this will improve your chances even more. (of course you should need knowledge of at least one engine, even if the company uses another)

Again: my opinions and experiences, but I hope they still help. :slight_smile:

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Fellow Brazilian here!

Demo Reel Question

Well, Honestly I never made a demo reel. Every job opening I got was through artstation + CV combo. On the CV, I had a bunch of stuff like my own game, freelances I did and my participation on Dota’s modding community, these were key factors for me to get my first job (I think) since I was a junior sprinkled with some extra experiences on top. If you have these, rely heavily on them to set yourself apart from the competition.

Remote Jobs

All jobs I’ve had in the field have been remote (even my first 2, which were to Brazilian-based companies). Most of the messages/opportunities I get are remote too.

Hiring to work on-site

Ahh yes! Brazilians and emigration, name a more iconic duo!
I’ve got few opportunities to move out of Brazil in my lifetime from work, but I did get them. I assume if you work for it with this intention you’ll get much more chances. Important to note, that I’ve always been more on the technical artist side of the spectrum, so maybe there is some differences there.

I’d say that if you get a well-paying dollar-based income, you can emigrate rather easily regardless of having a job or not. A lot of European countries have Digital Nomads visas, and Portugal/Canada has 10 thousand programs specially tailored for people like us. (I myself recently started the process to get a Portuguese D7 visa.)

If your goal is to get out of the country through VFX, I think you can do it regardless of working on-site or not.

Work Visa, Contract, Citizenship

All my gigs that were outside of Brazil have been contractual work. I consider myself “Hired” but its not the same as getting hired by the Brazilian sense. Brazil has a lot of strict work laws that simply don’t exist anywhere else, so don’t come to the industry expecting the same ammount of rights and perks as a CLT contract would yield on national ground.

This doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, but if you are working for a US-based company, don’t expect a 1 month-long vacation every 11 months.

I don’t have experience with Work Visas, but I can say that Citizenship is something completely unrelated to the company you are working with, and something you must pursue yourself, outside of your professional life.

The core of my concern is: Where I currently live now and my nationality - how does it impact on getting hired? Does it cripple my chances somehow?

HELL NO! I’d say that being Brazilian has only impaired me getting hired once (It was an on-site job) but in most scenarios, it has been a plus. People (rightfully) value having different backgrounds on the project, they value the baggage that comes with your life experiences and I’d say despite the past few years, Brazil still has this “friendly aura” permanent buff around us. From what I hear, taxes are also simplified when hiring outsiders and, I’d argue, if you make your portfolio irresistible, all those hurdles will be a minor concern.

I’m also interested on knowing if you’ve been on a similar spot as I’m now and your story. Have you had to move beforehand or after getting the job? How things have rolled out for you?

This is perhaps a bit more on the personal side, but yeah, I’ve had opportunities to move out, but choose to stay until I sorted things out here in Brazil, but this was a personal decision. Now I’m looking to emigrate, but I wanna do it without depending on any corporation, which is why the Portuguese D7 visa was a good option for me.

Pay your taxes, search about “Carne-Leão”, make Invoices and save them up too. It might sound obvious to some, but it took me a year of pain to figure out how to taxes on foreign income.

Cheers!

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@raytheonly, @Nokdef

Can’t thank you 2 enough for putting the time to type down all this! I was indeed in the hopes for someone to come by and type down such clarifying and detailed texts! BIG THANKS!

First some replies to Ray and later some for Nok:

About company work: yeah, I’m totally new to that and could foresee it would definitely be better to work on site at first (actually, I would love to!)

I’m totally willing to move and I would love to! :star_struck:
I’ll remember to always state that :slightly_smiling_face:

What do you mean by that exactly? I’ve been creating some shaders here and there, but I suppose it’s not what you mean, since I’m just messing with some basic stuff like: make textures move/pan using the offset, make distortions with noise and etc.

Eaaeee! :smiley:

A classic :joy:

Ohhh I have a vague knowledge of that, thanks for bringing it up! I’ll definitely remember to look it up in the future.

Oh yeah, that’s also something I now little of but could foresee that it would be hella different.

Shhh if they know we have that, the burning desire to come over will flourish!
It’s worth to mention that the year only really starts after Carnival too :joy:

Oh you mean huehuebr aura debuff is not live on current patch? :joy:
Joking a part, I also heard a lot of this friendly aura we have, that’s great!

My current journey (and struggle).

Another fellow brazilian here, I can share some of my experience, but have in mind that I’m from another generation (been doing this for 12 years) so today, especially in this post-covid world, things will certainly be a bit different -

Demo Reel
Smaller companies might have the art team comb through the internet looking for good candidates, larger ones will have recruiters/hr people preselecting a list of portfolios for the art people to review. As someone has been involved in the hiring process, I can say - please please have your information clear, easy to find, have your website be readable, your reel easy to watch, reduce friction in any possible way. Sometimes I’m looking through a massive list of portfolios, if yours doesn’t load, or if I can’t find your contact info, I’ll have to skip to the next one in line. Put yourself in their shoes - imagine how many hundreds of portfolios a recruiter at riot/blizz has to look through in a single day. Make their life easier!

Remote jobs
Very common these days! Though the specifics will change greatly depending on the country of the studios. Freelancing is very possible, and you’ll need to figure out your own taxes. Luckily they’re not as complex in brazil as they are in other countries, and earning in euro/usd could be quite interesting if you’re paying bills in brl :wink:

Foreigners
Every studio I’ve worked in had people from all over. All that’s necessary is to speak clear english and be a bit more culturally sensitive, play it safe. Things that are ok for us might be a bit obnoxious or offensive to other people, and vice-versa. Culture shock will definitely be a thing!

Work visa, immigration etc
Some companies might help you get a visa and relocate. I’ve moved countries twice with their help (argentina, then canada). It’s a risky move for a company, so not all of of them would be willing to do that, but they do exist. Some will hire you remotely and then help you relocate later on. Many possibilities! Having a degree helped a bit in this process. Not having a degree is not a dealbreaker, especially if your work is stellar.
Some countries have immigration programs that you can apply to without necessarily having a job, but in this post-covid world of remote work, I feel that’s a bit of a weird move (unless there’s somewhere really specific you want to go). If you’re fully open to adventure, I’d advise you to focus on getting gud, making a killer reel and seeking good opportunities. Boa sorte!

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