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ivan

Daa And Other Agencies

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we have been struggling frequently with finding Houdini artists lateley. There are these agencies (DAA, Bob Coleman, etc...) that offer to find artists for you, for a sizeable fee. I somehow don't really believe that they are going to find anyone that we can't find, butr maybe we are wrong.

Is there a significant number of people on this forum that use representation?

I think that these reps can find Maya guys, but not Houdini guys.

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This doesn't come up in regular conversation, but I'm pretty sure I haven't met anyone who does use this sort of service.

Perhaps they just have contacts that will dig people up? A large LinkedIn profile? ;).

SESI normally has a good idea of how many people are out there, but yeah you're not alone in having a hard time finding people. Seems like a pretty frustrating experience all around.

M

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I think it was DAA (it might have been other agency...can't quite remember) that I've poken to probably about a year ago through another friend of mine. Though what ran through my mind was, given how small Houdini camp is, I am not sure how an agency would be helpful to me -- though from an artist's standpoint, they can probably negotiate far better than I can... But then, I am not sure how the agency system works either... Funny thing was that one of the agent said to me "you (houdini) guys are so hard to find!"

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I don't think I've ever met anyone that does either. The thing that makes me nervous is if I ask them for their listings, and they give me someones name that I was already talking to, I suddenly have to kick an additional %20- %30 to the agency.

And I still wouldn't have found any new artists.

This thread has been up for a day, and I didn't get a single person piping up with a "those agencies rule" response.

My hunch must be right.

This doesn't come up in regular conversation, but I'm pretty sure I haven't met anyone who does use this sort of service.

Perhaps they just have contacts that will dig people up? A large LinkedIn profile? ;).

SESI normally has a good idea of how many people are out there, but yeah you're not alone in having a hard time finding people. Seems like a pretty frustrating experience all around.

M

Id love a houdini job ...................

R

come to LA.

Edited by ivan

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If there's a shortage of Houdini people, does that mean someone without "at least 3 years experience in film" can get a Houdini job in LA or London? Are there any studios that would help with getting a work visa?

PS: Not meaning to hijack the thread.

come to LA.
Edited by whalerider

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Most studios will organise visa's for people outside the country, and I've seen plenty of people with less than 3 years experience get jobs... however combining the two might be a problem :).

It's a lot of cost and effort to get a visa for someone who may or may not work out anyway, at least if they have some experience then it's easier to justify the costs.

Just continuing the hijack... apologies ;).

M

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The only thing I am worry about is my education.I only have 2 years of college education .I do have almost 3 years of exp as a 3d artist in commerical studio.

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experience counts more than college.

I have never been asked about my scholastic background in a job interview.

As an employer, I don't care where you went to school or for how long, I only care about your ability.

School is rareley a substitute for production experience.

The only thing I am worry about is my education.I only have 2 years of college education .I do have almost 3 years of exp as a 3d artist in commerical studio.

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The problem is, is that to qualify for an H1-b working visa, you need the equivalent of at least a 4 year college degree. If you don't have that, then 3 years of work experience count as 1 year of a degree (so you'll need 12 years experience in place of the degree).

When I got mine I combined my work experience and 1 year of college to qualify for the visa. It's a complete pain in the ass...

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Totally agree with Marc... its just a pain in the ass... and most important.. a -stupid- pain in the ass... ridiculous...

you can win a Green Card .. but you almost cant get a VISA without a degree... ther's people who'd sell "his mother" to get a job in USA ... and ther's no way this can happen (getting a job... not selling the mother.. )...

But by opposite... I also know companies can do -a lot- to solve VISA problems sometimes... its just a matter on how much they wants you ... funny is... ther's not many Houdiniers around apparently.... but ther's not much a oversea Houdinier (junior maybe.. but still... ready to work) can do to get a job in USA.

so where's the truth? ... a friend of mine is in NY since last year now.. he have no degree... he have no 12 years of experience... he just was what that company needs (and believe me.. I'm talking about a normal guy ... not a unfoundable genius)... and they got him a VISA... and this is just an example.

Ivan.. you got pm.. btw.

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So, just curious, if 3 years of work experience equates to 1 year of college education in the US -- what about overseas? How does it work in places like UK, Canada, and NZ?

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I have used those agencies, and in some situatons, they are well worth it.

I have found 2 types of freelancers, those who do it beacuse they rock and like to be hired guns and ride the LA ifestyle of bouncing from show to show, and people who are freelancing because they cannot find work for whatever reason....

The agencies are worth it beacuse they provide nearly guaranteed quality people, I have met some of the best people in the business through them. I have also met some real lemons. The agent always follows up, and I have noticed that the lemons I met are no longer on the roster.

When I send out a call for reels, I usually get overwhelmed by crappy reels of people looking for fulltime work. I do not think I have ever got a reel from a viable freelancer. I no longer send out calls for reels.

The tip for wanna-be guns for hire who want to do it without an agent is 1:fantastic reel showing generalism 2: a very clear desire for contract work, so we do not have to dance around the fact that we will not be hiring you when the gig is over.

It seems typical that the agent takes 10% or so of the day rate, which can be a pretty wide range. 600$ comes to mind as a normal rate for an expert level TD. Keep in mind that these people are getting their health insurance through the agent, so the agent is not exactly robbing you, although YMMV.

Houdini people are difficult to find, but it does seem to be taught in more schools, so Ivan, I would start there. You may have to homebrew a junior person, but it will be worth it versus having to deal with a veteran looking to jump onto the next show.

MD

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the agencies have found Houdini artists? or just Maya artists?

I know they place Maya guys, and I've heard you can staff up with some good freelancers for Maya that way, but I've never heard of freelance Houdini people being represented by agencies. Am I wrong?

I have used those agencies, and in some situatons, they are well worth it.

I have found 2 types of freelancers, those who do it beacuse they rock and like to be hired guns and ride the LA ifestyle of bouncing from show to show, and people who are freelancing because they cannot find work for whatever reason....

The agencies are worth it beacuse they provide nearly guaranteed quality people, I have met some of the best people in the business through them. I have also met some real lemons. The agent always follows up, and I have noticed that the lemons I met are no longer on the roster.

When I send out a call for reels, I usually get overwhelmed by crappy reels of people looking for fulltime work. I do not think I have ever got a reel from a viable freelancer. I no longer send out calls for reels.

The tip for wanna-be guns for hire who want to do it without an agent is 1:fantastic reel showing generalism 2: a very clear desire for contract work, so we do not have to dance around the fact that we will not be hiring you when the gig is over.

It seems typical that the agent takes 10% or so of the day rate, which can be a pretty wide range. 600$ comes to mind as a normal rate for an expert level TD. Keep in mind that these people are getting their health insurance through the agent, so the agent is not exactly robbing you, although YMMV.

Houdini people are difficult to find, but it does seem to be taught in more schools, so Ivan, I would start there. You may have to homebrew a junior person, but it will be worth it versus having to deal with a veteran looking to jump onto the next show.

MD

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I think it differs in each country. For example in the UK things may be a lot easier for people from EU countries, unless they are from some of the countries that joined the EU in recent years (Eastern European countries).

I myself have a masters degree (Information Systems), no full-time experience in the CG industry, but do have several years experience using some of the things frequently mentioned in TD job descriptions (Unix, Perl, etc.) Does that experience count for anything?

So, just curious, if 3 years of work experience equates to 1 year of college education in the US -- what about overseas? How does it work in places like UK, Canada, and NZ?

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never tried houdini artists, just maya. I would come here first if I needed that. And you mention place... d-a-a is contract only, I don't think Bob acts as a recruiter, just an agent.

My only contact with independant recruiters i pretty bad, they call me and seem pretty clueless about the industry, and I would by extrapolation have to think that of the employer who would hire the type of bozo's that have called me. Recruiters for the big houses are a different story, they usually have a clue. Trick wuld be to find one that used too work for a big place who now have their own firm. I seem to recall someone from ILM going indie - Beth was her name I think, up in SF, I have no further leads on that, and that was a few years ago.

Fortunately (or unfortunately..), I think the entire English speaking Houdini community is right here.

What about sideFX? Gnomon has a houdini class too now, right?

MD

the agencies have found Houdini artists? or just Maya artists?

I know they place Maya guys, and I've heard you can staff up with some good freelancers for Maya that way, but I've never heard of freelance Houdini people being represented by agencies. Am I wrong?

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Hi Ivan,

Myself and With A Twist are represented by DAA, they have done great by us both here in

Venice and Detroit. They have repp'ed us for 3 years, and I can 't say enough great things

about them.

-david

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So, just curious, if 3 years of work experience equates to 1 year of college education in the US -- what about overseas? How does it work in places like UK, Canada, and NZ?

From personal experience I can say that it is much harder to get a visa to the US than Canada or the UK if you don't have good qualifications.

I have an Australian friend who worked with me in the UK, Canada and now the US. He has a good deal more industry experience than myself but found it much harder to get a US visa than I did. The difference is that I have degrees and he doesn't. Getting the Canadian visas was pretty easy for both of us. The UK visa for him was easy too (I'm British so obviosuly no trouble there!). The catch for his US visa application was lack of college degree. He had to get good references to vouch for his ability (and he is very very good). The references had to go right back to the start of his career (including references from companies that no longer exist).

I agree with Ivan that there are very good people who don't have a degree and that ability primarily comes from industry experience but the US immigration services are really looking for those qualifications so if you don't have them expect a tough time.

john.

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Bob Coleman here from DAA. I appreciate the threads I've been reading about us however I 'd like to calrify a couple of things.

There are Talent agencies and Employment Agencies.

The talent agency business model is a contract relationship between talent and agent. Talent agencies in the business of procurring work for talent and negotiating on their behalf, need to be licenced in the state they operate in. The repespective state labor commissions must approve their contracts before a license is granted, generally for the protection of the talent. These commissions also deem 10%, no more no less, as the appropriate and allowable commission. Talent agencies do not recruit or recruit on behalf of employers. They owe their allegience and loyalties to their contracted clients, the talent/artists.

The Employment agency business model is a contract relationship between the agency and the employer. There allegiences areTo my knowledge, no license or state department oversight exists. Fees to employers range from 10% to 35% but probably average around 20%-25%. While there is no contact with the talent, their contract with the employers can often bind the talent to the agency indirectly. Something to be watched carefully.

Anyone who attempts to do both recruiting and talent representation, I believe is in a conflict of interest.

With respect to the threads on Houdini Effects TD's, they are in great demand, which may explain why agencies, employment or talent, may not have many available artists. If an FX TD is a dedicated freelancer and doesn't enjoy the job pursuit, an agent can be very helpful.

DAA and like talent agencies can also sponsor an artists visa which allows the artists to work many places without having to constantly transfer visas. This can be a majoe value to overseas talent

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Hey Bob

Thanks for explaining that. It's definitely a huge thing for the visa's, since it seems like the people who have the hardest time getting work are those outside the country.

Thanks again

Marc

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