Jurassic ParkThis time we go to California for a chat with Tippett Studio (HR Manager Rebecca Byars) about what they are looking for in the artists they hire. Tippett Studio was founded in 1984 by Phil Tippett and Jules Roman. The studio produces character animation and visual effects and has worked on classic movies like Spielbergs Jurassic Park (for which they won an Academy Award), Starship Troopers, The Matrix and Hellboy. In this interview we also get a quick insight in the projects they are currently working on.

What do you look for in a candidate when hiring? What makes a candidate stand out?
We look for high quality work and a proven track record of working well within a team.  Strong communication and collaboration skills are essential. The ideal candidate will be able to point to multiple examples of this in his/her resume and work history.

What are you looking for when viewing showreels from the applicants? What is a good and a bad showreel?
Again, much like the first answer – we are looking for strong quality.  A good reel will be brief but highlight the absolute best work that the artist has completed to date.  And be sure to put the very best shots on the front end of the reel. If the first part of the reel does not include top-notch work, I may not get to the really great shot at the end of the reel.  Quality over quantity:  show only your very best work that demonstrates where you’re at artistically and technically.

What are the do’s and don’ts when applying for a job at Tippett Studio?The Crossing
Pay attention to our job application guidelines.  If we ask you to enter specific information in the subject line, or ask for PDF versions of your resume and cover letter – please follow those instructions.  We get so much interest in our job openings that we might pass on an applicant if they’re not following the guidelines.  And applicants need to pay closer attention to our studio name:  we are Tippett Studio – no “s” at the end of it.  Depending on how much interest we’re generating with a particular job opening that kind of typo can make or break the applicant’s chances of progressing in our hiring process.  With interviewing, please maintain professionalism.  We are very casual here, and it can be easy to fall into that pace and forget that you’re applying for a job.  Profanity and inappropriate anecdotes don’t have a place in the job interview.

Can you reveal a little about which projects you are currently working on at the studio?
We are currently working the John Woo project, “The Crossing” and Alex Poryas’ “Gods of Egypt“.  We are also about to embark on Seth McFarlan’s TED2 and we have a couple of other exciting projects in the works that I can’t reveal at this time.

Allan Torp Jensen
Author: Allan Torp Jensen

Allan has worked on visual effects for feature films and television for 20 years. He has experience of the full VFX pipeline but has focused on compositing for the past 15 years and has been a Lead Compositor and Compositing Supervisor on various shows. He has worked with the talented people at Cinesite, Bluebolt VFX, Automatik VFX in London, and Weta Digital in New Zealand. For the past five years, he has worked remotely at his own Torper Studio on various high-end TV and feature film projects.