Career Strategies for Animation and VFX Survivalists – Options and Opportunities to Re-Invent, Re-Educate and Thrive

June 11th 12:15pm – 1:00pm

Whether the challenges we face today in the VFX industry are revolutionary, evolutionary or momentary – no one moves forward without a plan and a purpose. Join this diverse panel of leading educators and professionals to discuss hiring trends and needs in the coming year, strategies for staying in demand as well as the career challenges and opportunities within the local, regional and global context of digital production.

The challenge for digital artists and production support staff is the balance between developing highly specialized skills and the ever-changing needs from one production to another. Where are the options for experienced professionals and entry level artists in this economy?

Our panelists will discuss the prospects for full-time, part-time and project-based positions that are expected in the coming year as well as the expectations and requirements of entry-level, mid-career and senior staff positions. Our panel will also make projections on the viability and growth of digital production over the next three years in film, commercial, advertising, internet and interactive installations.

Deb Stone
Senior Recruiter,
Blue Sky Studios
Conference panelist

Deb Stone, began her career in feature animation at Walt Disney Animation Studios where she worked her way up from recruiting assistant to talent development supervisor. In 2011, Deb was happy to move back home to the east coast and continue her career in feature animation as a senior recruiter for Blue Sky Studios.

Mark Voelpel
Executive Creative Director,
Conference panelist

Mark puts his expertise with storytelling, filmmaking, CG, post, and digital marketing into practice at R/GA where he has led and directed media projects for clients including Nike, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Tiffany, General Motors, AARP, Subaru, MasterCard, and Ad Council. Mark was an ECD for the Grands Prix winner of the 2012 Cannes Lion Festival, Nike’s Fuelband.

Lara Hopkins
Head of Recruitment,
Conference panelist

Based in Framestore’s New York office, Lara heads up recruitment for film and commercials across the company’s New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and London offices. She plays a strategic role in talent acquisition and management, and over the last year has focused on expanding the artist teams in New York as well as new offices in Los Angeles and Montreal.

Ila Abramson
Founder, I Spy Recruiting
Conference panelist

Ila works with leading animation, VFX, and motion-design studios throughout North America to staff freelance and full-time talent for a wide range of projects. She is a frequent guest lecturer at art schools around the country and an adjunct faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York.