Character Artist

Job Summary

The people person of Vanilla Video, literally.

Our Character Artist designs character sketches used by every member of the Creative / Production Planning department. Truly someone who understands various personality types and how they appear onscreen. Project work can be as minimal as guiding the correct type of voice for a video requiring voice over or as involved as working alongside score composers in soundtrack creation. The Character Artist knows characters better than they know themselves, visionary – they imagine characters coming to life while reading a customer’s order.

A former member of the Vanilla Video videography fleet, the Character Artist is well versed in video production as well as our standards in customer service. Additionally, you possess highly developed creative capacities in critical thinking, writing, and collaboration. You enjoy working with others to bring an idea to life. Since you have worked with Vanilla Video previously, you have a great deal of understanding in various components of video production and how they fit together to create a project.

The characters created by the Character Artist have the potential to be iconic members of American pop culture or simply memorable to the small company with an animated mascot for their training videos. Opportunities at Vanilla Video continue to be endless, and you are ready to stretch your creative muscles while allowing us to provide high quality video production to anyone.

The Character Artist is a creative above all, whether they are coming up with a character or helping actors during a costume change – they do whatever possible to make a production successful. While our team continues to grow, it is imperative every member puts their whole heart into their work, whether it’s in the job description or not.

Character Artist

  • Experience: 2+ Years

  • Education: Not Required

  • Type: Mid-Level Position

  • Class: Auxiliary Staff

  • Pay: $18.00 - 26.00 / hour

    Approx. $37.4k - 54.1k Yearly.

    Standard Benefits

Key Qualifications

  • 2-3 years of experience as a Junior Videographer at Vanilla Video

  • Developed understanding of the creative / planning process – especially for Production Level work

  • Previous experience or interest in creative writing, script writing, directing, story blocking, or any aspect of creative planning for video production purposes

  • Highly motivated by trying new things and working with a variety of people

  • Able to work diligently to create concepts for customers to choose from, sometimes requiring several hours of work

  • Well versed in dramatic and literary devises, trends in cinematography, and character tropes – you understand the rules so well that you can break them

  • Familiar with the use of characters / spokespeople in commercial and advertising use

  • Savvy in social media and web content management and creation

  • Passionate about Vanilla Video and working on larger, more involved video productions in a very technical, hands-on way

  • Works well with Creative Development Team in addition to having excellent customer service skills

  • Motivated by personal passion and desire to grow professionally, always ready to try something new, excited to work with new clients and people

  • Organized and able to keep track of their work on multiple projects at once

  • Project management skills necessary to work with a team of people and ensure everyone is completing their tasks effectively to meet deadline and other customer requirements

  • Basic understanding of psychology, physiology, human mannerisms, anatomy, fashion, history, and key elements that influence the way a character appears and behaves on screen

  • Strong leadership skills, able to speak up and do the right thing, even if it is as minor as the color of a costume, or the font used in editing

  • Well versed in Adobe Creative Suite and some drawing skills a plus – able to provide a visual for characters you create

  • Experience in stand-up comedy a plus, you make people laugh and smile

  • Passionate about creativity – you stand behind your ideas and justify your creative decisions and help others carry out your vision

  • Communicate with a variety of team players and stakeholders throughout the Video Production process, able to maintain conversation with customers when necessary

  • Love for video production, movies, drama, advertising,

  • Methodical approach to design and creativity – strive for perfection in every aspect of character design

  • Comfortable in a highly collaborative environment, yet able to work on your own in initial phases of character development phase

  • Undying sense of dedication to your work – thorough and complete in every task, does everything possible to ensure the team understands everything there is to know about your characters

Description

The Character Artist uses their creativity to design memorable characters for a variety of video production products, from commercials, to music videos, to internal training videos. This highly specialized role makes the Character Artist a critical asset to the Creative Development team responsible for the careful planning of Vanilla Video Productions.

Prior to convening with others, the Character Artist takes direction from the Creative Director and Account Manager to understand what a client is looking for. On their own, the Character Artist designs several concepts that can either be presented to the customer or directly to the Creative Team. These concepts are important in creating the final version of the character, situations may arise where a single character may separate into two or vice versa. The key to success in this role is not only creativity, but versatility – the ability to take whatever comes your way and make the most of it for the benefit of the entire project.

Beyond simply designing characters, the Character Artist works closely with several members of the Creative Team to bring a character concept to life. This means assisting the Talent Scout in finding the right person to play or voice a character and helping the Wardrobe Designer. Above all, the Character Artist works with the entire creative team, outside talent, and even production staff to ensure the character is portrayed within guidelines.

Responsibilities & Duties

Typically working on multiple projects at once, the Character Artist is assigned to a job by the Creative Director or Account Manager. Once you are assigned to a project, you begin doing your research and building several character sketches. Though not always the case, you present the sketches to the Creative Director and the customer – all the while gauging their reactions and stepping in to further explain or adjust as necessary. Though not a largely customer facing role, you must keep the customers’ needs and intentions in mind when creating characters. Characters play an important role in every production, though they are abstract figures. While customers come to us with concepts for their videos in mind, they have not worked out every detail – especially when it comes to a character like a mascot or a spokesperson.

Even when a character receives approval from a Creative Director and customer, changes can be made along the way – this is especially common when working on a creative product. The Character Artist plays an important role in ensuring the characters are not lost in editing, special effects, and plot. You are responsible for building a style guide specific to each character you create. This ensures that the staff truly understands the character they are working with, and prevents any unnecessary and harmful changes.

While designing and character sketching is your primary role, you are also responsible for working with various members of the Creative Planning Team as well as Production Staff. In the script writing and story blocking stage of creative planning, you assist writers – you help them get to know the character and understand how they speak and move. You may be the one that comes up with catch phrases and slogans. Ultimately you understand how people accept characters, and the important role they play in cinematography and advertising.

Additionally, you help the Talent and Location Scouts – you ensure that the right person is found to play the character, even if it only involves their voice. When it comes to Location Scouting, you help decide if a character will fit into the scenery. This assists in narrowing down a location when necessary. You also help the wardrobe designer to determine what the character should wear. Though you are not highly involved in these roles and responsibilities, you write the recipe these team members must follow. You guide them throughout the process and step in to answer questions along the way. You are the expert on the characters you create, you know them better than anyone else.

Whenever possible, you are present on location during production shoots. You are not there to ensure the shot-list is being followed, rather you are there to police the character. You coach the actor in case they are missing a nuance, and help the Creative Director decide if multiple takes are necessary. Though the day is meticulously planned prior to the production shoot, it is possible everything could change. You are present to make sure the character is not lost in the noise of the day. Characters are major pieces in any Video Production, the Character Artist takes care of them and ensures they make it from concept to big screen.

Other tasks of a Charcater Artist may involve working with composers to develop a score for a production. Though musical knowledge is not required, it is important you have some desire to work with others and are able to communicate your vision to someone completely unrelated to Vanilla Video. This is one of the fun and exciting parts of the job – any experience in music would be a plus.

In post-production, you may work with editors and the Post Production Supervisor to ensure edits are made properly and adhere to the character guidelines you have written. A larger part of your role in post-production involves working with the social media team. Though they are mainly responsible for managing the social media presence of Vanilla Video, they occasionally work with clients to help integrate videos across their social media platforms. When they are present, characters have a large impact on social media. The social media team must also follow the guidelines you create in the character profile, you work with them to achieve the maximum effect of every character on social media.

A dynamic and rewarding role at Vanilla Video, the Character Artist is someone who truly loves everything there is about video production – inside and out. The characters they create are born alongside the production, every minute you put in to a character increases the value of the video being created. This position is for anyone who loves using their creativity at work and is highly imaginative. Invisible friends totally welcome.

Additional Requirements

  • Familiar with adhering to or creating style guides and enforcing the ramifications of a style guide on the overall work of the creative team and production staff

  • Knowledgeable in global pop-culture, past and present

  • Imaginative and excited of the opportunity to create concepts, worlds, and people that make an impact in our culture

  • Passionate about maintaining Vanilla Video morale and team culture

  • Enjoy experimenting in and out of work, we encourage every member of our team to invest time in their own passion projects and share them with staff

  • Empathetic and caring – you are passionate about what you create, you aim to achieve customer satisfaction with everything you do

  • Well-versed in teaching and explaining to others, rather than arguing – you instruct others about your decisions and justify your creative choices

  • Bilingualism in any other language a plus

  • Previous experience in traveling both within and outside of the United States also a plus


Interested in applying for this position?

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