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Splash Talk VFX Conference Notes

By September 20, 2018 No Comments
Here are the notes from my talk at Splash VFX Conference. Enjoy!


Books Mentioned in the talk
Tim Ferris – 4 Hour Chef
Tim Ferris – 4 Hour Work Week
Robert Cialdini – Influence

Click here for the audiobooks I’m currently listening to.


Model and talk about jack pond and andrew hodgson what did they do to be successful as outliers as they moved out of running incredibly quickly
– Both put in more hours an
– spoke to artists already in the role they wanted
– not afraid to make mistakes
– asked for feedback
– Worked and made sure people could see them working
– Made sure people knew what they wanted and where they wanted to go.
– you can learn from other people’s mistakes, you didn’t need to make the same ones to learn from them.


– Look at other industries
Who are the best fashion designerS?
How do you know they’re the best? Qualifiers.


  • They burn stock that isn’t brought – elitism
  • The price
  • Celebrities own it/people you know, trust own it
  • It’s something lots of others can’t have
  • Their brand story



– The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war
  •      Worst time to learn anything is when you’re under pressure, do no-pressure practice, so you can’t muck up
  •     Make contacts before you need them, I have my students start emailing 2 months before they’re going to apply.
– Do the work
  •      If you wanted to be a professional cyclicst/swimmer you wouldn’t just passively watch videos of people teaching this then get in the pool and expect to be amazing. But so many people do this when learning VFX tools.
– Order
  • Most people don’t fail at things and aren’t bad at them, they’ve just get the order wrong. Most people have the ability to do and achieve what they want, but get the order of doing things wrong.


Junior, mid, Senior?

Don’t expect to be a mid just because you’ve put in years.
Some guys have 10 years of experience some guys have 1 year of experience, they’ve used for 10 years in a row.



  • This is when the upside is way bigger than the downside.
  • Get people to realise the risk of sending an email to industry.
  • Would you take a bet on a coin that gave you a VFX industry job for heads and you lost nothing if it lost?
  • This is the bet you are taking when you send an email to a VFX industry, although odds are different.
  • Right now you have nothing to lose/little risk/big upside little downside.
  • As you get older you’ll have bigger downsides.Bigger living expenses/ kids etc. If you’re starting now and you have people relying on you, you have a slightly bigger risk but having something to work for will give you more drive.


  • Put away X amount of months it would take u to find another job.
  • Having money put away lessens the downside is you can cover rent/ living expenses.
  • Shorter contracts with bigger salaries allow those with savings to rig the game. Can take a risk on a shorter contract, make an awesome impression be asked to stay on.
Know your odds and play accordingly. People sending one email getting disheartened when they don’t have a reply. The odds can be low, maybe the artists away or busy etc send a load of emails. This will encourage you to do it more



People need to know you exist! Make your sure you’ve got a website, with your work as well as a linked in page

Here’s a tutorial  on how to make a VFX portfolio site under an hour.



Make your own luck, opportunity/preparation. Tell them how I was asked to do the conference. Met Mirek who was a great mentor.
I didn’t think he was going to invite me to a conference one da, we just walked to work together.



Two options stay at one company hoping you get put in a senior position, slower salary increase bu possibility of it going higher Or hop companies, quicker salary increase can be capped at a maximum salary.



  • Knowledge over money at first. This will lead to bigger responsibilities quicker and allow you to keep your learning momentum high.
  • You can then move this momentum to other things, I’ve done this with teaching no longer watching tutorials in the evening but teaching/writing/ making tutorials instead. The momentum is there but I’ve thrown it at a different problem.
  • Companies aren’t dicks for paying you less than you think you’re worth, their job is to make money, they do that by paying out less than they bring in. Don’t take anything personally.
  • If you do feel like they aren’t being you what your worth then you have two options leave to another company or tell them and see if they raise your salary. And if you really do have such a huge impact on the company then when you leave it’ll all fall apart and you can go back and ask for loads.


Know what you know, and what you don’t know, do something about the latter and share the first.

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