Long known as “Hollywood North,” the Vancouver region of BC has been intimately involved the movies and television industry for decades now.
The current boom is in animation work. Giants like Walt Disney and Double Negative are currently establishing firm footholds in the city. Others such as Sony Picture Imageworks and WildBrain are already here, deploying hundreds of workers to complete projects like 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feature film. Even Netflix has a notable presence.
“The industry has a high need for artists because of pure demand for content,” Kylie Ellis, vice-president of production at WildBrain, told Business in Vancouver. “Right now is the busiest I’ve ever seen it.”
DigiBC estimated in a recent report that the creative technology sector—including animation and gaming—was hiring upward of 2,000 new workers per year during the pandemic. There is little suggestion of slowdown.
You Are Missing Out is a new local startup hoping to lead the charge for the growing animation job market in Canada.
Their feature product, YAMOoJ (You Are Missing Out on Jobs) is a SaaS platform “purpose-built for the animation industry to cut hiring costs by an order of magnitude,” according to the company. The product is currently in a beta program.
“It’s been challenging for the Canadian Animation industry to find staff—there is an abundance of work,” YAMO cofounder Neil Saini said. “YAMOoJ makes hiring faster and more fair through radical information symmetry.”
Animators and production staff can fill out a profile with details like software experience and existing contracts. Recruiters then go into the platform and enter job requirements. A proprietary algorithm is used to find suitable candidates.
According to Saini, because recruiters get access to “an unparalleled level of relevant details,” there’s no need to go back and forth with candidates, saving time and money for both parties.
“The data collected is really what drives value for us,” said Saini. “We’re working closely with the top Canadian animation studios to really get to know the kind of information they need to make hiring decisions.”
YAMO was founded by four University of British Columbia graduates with a mission of designing digital products that empower the masses.
Saini is known for 6Degrees, a dating app that leverages machine learning to pair compatible people for Zoom dates.