Recently I met a guy seeking traditional animators. He gave me his card and asked that I send him my demo reel. I rejoiced. It was just the opportunity I was waiting for! Or was it?
Fortunately, I did what every applicant should do before sending a resume and portfolio. I researched the company I was applying for. While exploring the website, I watched his demo reel to get a feel for what I should include in my own. In it I recognized some of the work. At first I was excited. This was clearly a seasoned animator who I could learn a lot from.
But my spidey sense began to tingle. Soon I found myself looking where I first saw the piece of animation I recognized. To my shock and disappointment I found a different animator's name attached to it. So I continued my research. An instructor was able to identify another piece from the reel and gave me the name of the studio. Within an hour of sending an inquiry, the Executive Producer of the studio wrote back to confirm the clip in question (and a dozen others in the reel) did not belong to the artist claiming ownership. Later that day, a handful of scathing comments appeared on the video telling the artist not to steal other people's work. By the next day, the video had been removed.
While I'm disappointed not to be involved in a project that sounded very interesting, I am quite happy not to be working for someone who thinks it's okay to take credit for another artist's work. Good thing I did my research.
Simmon Keith Barney is an animator living in Fort Collins, Colorado.