This week seemed to fly by, mainly due to some temporary work on an outsourced animated feature. On Tuesday, I received a text from a former coworker (who I met for lunch a couple of weeks ago), asking if I could come in to their local San Fernando Valley office for a few days to help get them through a crunch. I’m starting to get bored here at home and was happy to offer my assistance! That afternoon, I started marking up sequence storyboards with detailed character, prop, and set references before shipping them to India for animation. The work wasn’t terribly exciting, but it did require a good amount of focus that the other crew members couldn’t maintain with all of their other responsibilities. I was able to get through them pretty quickly and by Friday afternoon, I completed three sequences that would all be shipped to India that night.
Overall, it was fun to get out, learn a little something new, and feel useful to that studio. The commute was about 30 minutes each way, which is pretty good for LA. I even rode my bike there on Friday, which took an hour and a half to cover the 17 miles each way. I was pretty tired last night, but it was a warm, sunny So Cal day and it felt great to get a good ride in along a wonderful bike path that spans across the Valley.
Ironically, the first week I got some work since losing my job happens to be the first week that I qualify to receive Unemployment! Go figure. My hourly rate was about 40% less than my former rate, but the 25 hours I worked earned me more than what I would’ve gotten from Unemployment.
In other exciting news, I got an email on Thursday night from the VFX studio on the west side saying that they’re prepping an offer! So excited to hear this. After dodging the salary question twice already, I finally had to cave and give her a freelance salary range that I compiled based on information I received from several of my friends in visual effects (which pays more than animated features). The bottom of the range I gave the recruiter is $350 more a week than my last salary, which is awesome! This was taking into consideration that they will start me as freelance with no benefits, which means paying over $400 a month for Cobra health insurance and receiving no 401K match or sick/vacation pay. My expenses for gas (since I will have a long commute) and food (my former studio offered free breakfast and lunch) will increase, as well. I’m now anxiously awaiting their offer, which should come on Monday.
On Friday, I received an email about setting up a second interview for the animated feature in Vancouver. It had been just over a week since my first phone call and I was getting nervous that they moved on. But the Line Producer (who would be my boss) at the Vancouver studio asked for a call and I promptly responded with some options over the weekend. Now that I have an offer coming in, I want to move this process along as quickly as possible. If I get offers for both positions, I think it will be a tough decision to choose! Obviously, the huge factor is whether I want to make the move to Canada, but salary is another big consideration. I’ll just have to stress out about that if/when the time comes. Argh! But that will be a good problem to have, right?!