I actually have a degree in Economics from Colorado College. This was pursued at the behest of my father and after bartending for a year in London after I graduated, I went to the Vancouver Film School and took their course in Multimedia.
My first jobs were all menial labor: I worked sorting packages at a Greyhound station, cleaning recycled bottles at a brewery and erected party tents. After VFS, I moved to New York and freelanced as a web designer/flash animator for a bit before I helped found heavy.com with two of the guys I had been freelancing for. That lasted for about five years before I started Buck with my partners in 2003.
I am the Executive Creative Director for the LA office. This basically means that I evaluate and choose the jobs we do (both paid and not), I manage the creative directors and creative department heads, find and hire talent, try to keep the culture on the right path while acting as an owner managing growth, HR, and identifying/navigating other creative pursuits outside of our service industry.
We definitely do! Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door here right out of school and show us what you can do. That being said, we receive a lot of applications and are very selective. The majority of interns end up working here.
Of course that depends on the type of artist, but in general we look for talented individuals who not only show dedication for their craft but have multiple skills showcased in their portfolios. A studio like ours does so many different kinds of projects, and people who have the ability to do more than one thing, or even five things well, are much more attractive to us.
Currently, we are about 140 people on staff in Los Angeles, so I will not name them, but I will say that they are all super nice, extremely talented and are a pleasure to work with!
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective employer when you are putting together your online portfolio. Know that the average person will only give you ten minutes of their time maximum, and you need to put your best work where it is visible. Don’t make them work too hard to find it, and take as much care building your site as you would your own work. If the first two shots of a reel are crappy or their website does not function properly, people will just close it.
We have a lot of exciting things in the works over here. Beyond some really cool projects that we are about to drop for the holidays, we also just developed and our continuing to develop our very own AR app called Slapstick!, we are developing and growing an experiential/spatial design department, we are trying to get our mobile game into production and we are continuing to grow and renovate our campus just north of Downtown.