Any tips to help get started in the industry?
I would love to hear if anyone has any tips to get started in the special effects industry! A little about me, I just finished schooling in Germany at a special effects school where I learned a bit of everything from sculpting, casting, hair laying, foam latex to making bondo transfers, and etc. I recently moved back home to Atlanta and really want to focus on working on making a website to showcase my portfolio. I would eventually love to work in a SFX studio. Any tips to help me from there? Thank you so much!
Focusing on developing your portfolio (both online and printed) is a good idea. To help add more content to your portfolio, refine your skills, and network, you can look for local opportunities to apply your craft. This could be anything from working with a local theater group, film school, haunted house, or small local production company.
The more well-rounded your skillset (and your portfolio) the better chance you'll have of getting hired somewhere. For example, if I were hiring someone to run molds, but discovered they can also sculpt, make molds, do finish work, and paint, they would be a much more attractive hire. Along the same lines, you may also want to apply for entry-level positions in other departments at a shop to get your foot in the door, learn more about how they operate, build up skills and experience, and then move over time into other departments as you grow.
Don't be afraid to reach out to studios to see if they are hiring, send them a portfolio, and follow up with them regularly to see if any new positions open up. When a studio lands a big project they will often hire more resources, so hit them up every few months.
Make sure your portfolio has some unique work in it that demonstrates your own style. While it's awesome to see that someone can make and apply a perfect prosthetic nose (a great example to include), or do basic wounds/gore/zombies, having something unique to help you stand out is important.
Also, tailor your portfolio to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a position making molds, have all your best mold work at the front, and then you can show off your other skills at the back of the portfolio.
Our course series "The Business Of Making Monsters" has some great tips that would help you.
Best of luck!
Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it a lot. I'll be sure to work hard on my portfolio and watch the course!