There’s a number of ways to look for work as an animator. Using the mail is a great way – that’s right snail mail…but it still is a very effective way to send out your material for studios to review. It’s how I got my first job.
It’s effective because your sending out hard copies as opposed to digital. It’s a physical thing that they get in the mail and can hold it rather than simply clicking “delete”. In some ways it’s less easy to dismiss – sure it might sit in a box or on a desk for days or weeks, but it’s better to exist somewhere in the studio than in a digital recycle bin.
How To Do It
Use a manila envelope and put your demo reel (burned onto a CD or DVD) and resume inside. If your seeking your first job you may want to include a cover letter. I suggest using a bubble wrap lined envelope if your sending it long distance to protect the disk. Make up one if these packages for each company/studio you will be sending out to.
Package it together very neatly – everything you can do to leave a good impression counts. The ridiculous pursuit of perfection is a good quality in an animator. Then just bring’em to the post office and send them out – with proper addresses and postage of course.
Use a black Sharpie marker (or something similar) because they stand out well – and write “ATTN: RECRUITMENT -ANIMATOR DEMO” in one of the bottom corners of the envelope. This will make it obvious to who ever receives it and will be more likely get into the right hands.
Know the arrival day of each package you send out and write them down. Send out follow up emails to each company that you applied to about a week after your package arrives there.
Get creative with the presentation of your application and follow up message. You could put an image on your demo reel disk – you will need some equipment to do this but you can usually get what you need in any office depot or office supply store and it’s not that expensive. For your follow up you could send a jpeg image of your characters posed in a comical way, with a message asking if they’ve reviewed your material – “looking forward to hearing from you”, etc…
These are just suggestions, you can get creative with your application in any way, funny is usually a safe way to go but you don’t know who will be reviewing your material so keep it in good taste and try to make sure it has broad appeal.