To get a job at Pixar is notoriously difficult. The American computer-animated studio, known for its critically and commercially successful computer-animated feature films such as “Lightyear” and “Coco”, does not employ the best of the best.
It is one of the most important studios in disneythe realm of the media. Pixar did US$14.7 billion at the worldwide box office since his first major film “Toy Story”. Their goal, as stated on the website, is to “make great movies with great people”. To be one of these people, you must first understand how the company works and what type of employees it is looking for.
If you’re about to graduate or just looking for a career change and have set your sights on Pixar, here are some tips from Pixar veterans on how to get your foot in the door.
Focus on your job
According Dan Scanlon, the headmaster of Monsters University, people who end up working for Pixar are usually “obsessed” with their own work and telling their stories. “These are the kind of people who would continue to do these jobs without being paid,” he said in a Youtube video. “Even if they didn’t have this job, they would still do it, because they love it.”
The people who work at Pixar have been there for a long time, which means there’s not a lot of turnover. When turnover is low, says Set Supervisor Nathan Farissexpect to stand out from the crowd when it comes to the application process.
Have a good portfolio
This brings us to our next point: having an exceptional portfolio.
A piece of advice from Amit Baadkar, a technical effects artist at Pixar: your portfolio is what makes or breaks your entry into Pixar. The portfolio is the very first thing Pixar recruiters see before they even call you for an interview, so it all comes down to perfecting it.
Gain work experience
Eric Bravoa production assistant, explains that having previous work experience despite being a fresh graduate is what landed him an interview with Pixar. In a YouTube video, he explains how he was never called for an interview at Pixar, no matter how many times he applied. That is, until he fleshed out his resume with two internships at Nickelodeon and Warner Bros respectively.
It also doesn’t hurt to hone your craft through work experience – you’re not your only critic. Working at other studios will give you the confidence you need to apply for a job at Pixar.
A mistake many job seekers make when applying to animation studios is to treat it like any other job. Although the work and the culture can be fun, it is essential to apply for the position in a professional manner.
Having a good portfolio means nothing if you don’t email them a cover letter detailing why you want to work there, what you would bring to the company, and how your experiences can contribute to the team. Telling them you’ve always dreamed of working there isn’t enough – demonstrating how your skills and experiences will be a good addition to the company is what really matters.
Are you a good candidate?
It doesn’t matter if you’re introverted or extroverted, Scanlon shares. “We’re always looking for someone we know we can communicate with or collaborate with,” he says. You need to get along well with your teammates and the studio you work for, because movies and shows require a whole team of creatives and experts.
Bravo also indicates this in his YouTube video, where he spent two to three rounds of interviews spread over a few days. He went for an interview with all the different Pixar studios just so they could see where he belonged.
work your way
Finally, don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. At Pixar, it’s important to understand all facets of production.
“A lot of our producers started out as production assistants and worked their way up,” Kori Rae, producer of Monsters University commentary. Basically, to get that dream job, you have to do the not-so-good jobs first.