How to get a job at top VFX agency The Mill

With studios in London, New York, Chicago and LA, The Mill has been creating world-class visual effects for over 22 years for big name TV shows, movies and commercial clients. Working there would be a dream job for any VFX artist or animator - and the good news is, they're constantly searching for new and young talent!

Here Angus Kneale, executive creative director of The Mill in New York give us an insight into what kind of people they're looking for, and how you can go about putting your name forward...

Q: What's the best way to get into the VFX industry?

Angus Kneale: There are many different ways of getting into the VFX industry. One way would be having a film school background. We have quite a few people that come to VFX from a design angle. Either way, having a background in creative arts is a big plus. Knowledge from these different backgrounds translates very well into the VFX world.

Focus on the techniques not the tools. Another powerful way of getting noticed is to make something, show what you are capable of. For us, the portfolio is the most important thing. Personality is second. Education is third.

Q: What are the most common mistakes you see applicants make?

AK: People often show quantity over quality when they apply. In the first 10 seconds of your showreel, if it's not great work, seldom are you going to watch the rest. It's better to have one strong piece than 10 mediocre ones.

Q: How much competition is there to work at The Mill?

AK: Competition is intense, people know it's a great place to work. In the industry people know it's a great place to cut your teeth and get exposure to some of the most exciting work happening in the world.

VFX and design is an industry you only want to be in if you're passionate about it. While intense and hours can be long, we try to have a lot of fun too.

Q: How do you find runners and interns to work at The Mill?

AK: We find our runners through schools, we post on job websites and a lot of times it's via word of mouth. We don't have a lot of interns but when we do it is very much the same process as what a runner would go through.

A lot of the people that are running the creative parts of the company started as runners. There is a strong tradition at The Mill for promoting from within and a strong culture of training. People rise up through the ranks learning the way we do things. Culture plays a huge part in our every day.

  • You'll find more details about getting hired as a runner at The Mill here while would-be interns should head here.

Q: What sort of qualities do you look for when recruiting for The Mill?

AK: Communication skills are as important as talent. At The Mill, we look for people that have a combination of artistic, technical and social skills. The best people we have are a blend of all three. The best way to get noticed is to present us with your best work. We respond well to those with passion, talent and the work to show for it.

  • Check out current vacancies at The Mill in London, New York, LA and Chicago here.

Delivered in conjunction with ZED!

This content was produced in collaboration with HP & Intel as part of ZED - a Pop-Up Studio for the Creative Community held in Soho, London. For more information about ZED and any future events see here.

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