Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

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Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby NS » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:08 pm

Hey guys, I just put together my first demo reel finally a few days ago, I'm lookin for some feedback on it and any of my work on my site, so lemme have it so I can make my schtuff better (Also post any reels or work you've done, I'd love to see it)

https://vimeo.com/46106172

www.btmotion.com

:bzz:
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby Otohiko » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:29 pm

The Sound :bzz:
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby Brad » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:22 pm

Alright. Let's do this.

First off, LOVE the duration. For your first reel, always keep it short and tidy. And while I don't love the song choice (purely based on my own personal music preferences), I certainly respect it given that it's probably what you're into. A reel should reflect the designers tastes as much as their talents.

My major gripe with the reel is the kinetic type stuff. My main problem is that, kinetic type in general is just sooooo overdone that if you're going to showcase it, it's gotta be spectacular. In this case, it's fairly run of the mill. I'd say axe it all together and replace it with some cooler stuff.

The strongest bit in the reel thus far is the live-action segments, and that's mostly to do with the editing and less to do with the graphics treatment.

Some editing decisions were kind of lackluster as well. Primarily the bit where we finally get into the rocking portion of the song, and we stay on the same piece throughout it until the end tag. You did manage to edit it to the audio quite well, but it's still up for way too long.

Overall, I think you need way more projects to showcase, and ONLY show the best portions of those pieces. I mean, if you make a 30 second spot, you're really best off only showing like 5 seconds of that at most, and even then, preferably broken up into smaller chunks. So I'd say worry more about making more cool shit for now, and re-evaluate your reel later on. I'd recommend just giving yourself a goal of making as many short short pieces as possible. Rather than a 30 second with 5 seconds of showable footage, just make something that's 5 seconds that you spend a lot of time on. Like an end tag for example. At my job, one of the MAIN things we work on is 3-5 second end tags. It's a very common job for a motion graphics designer, and it really forces you to think about design and brand. Recently I've been giving some guidance to Jon (Metro) on improving his work/portfolio/reel, and I've given him some short assignments. I picked a brand I knew he liked (in this case, Guinness) and said "make a really nice, tight 3-second end tag that shows an understanding of the brand and audience." And not only that, but start the process by coming up with 3 distinct style frames before you do any amount of animation. So far it seems like it's gotten him to think about the process differently and with a more critical eye towards what's truly necessary to accomplish a project like that.

On the whole I think what's missing from the reel is just good design (hate to put it like that). And that's the hard part to get right most of the time. I still struggle with it constantly. But if you're looking to transition into this field of work, it's easily the most important thing you can concentrate on. I wish you the best of luck good sir!
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby NS » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:12 pm

Yeah the reel was kind of rushed because I knew I didn't have quite as much complete polished work as I might want to have. I made it for a deadline for appliance to the internship. It's funny because the typography is the stuff I've been praised on but I always had a voice in the back of my mind telling me I probably need to take it to a next level to actually be good, it's good to hear a reinforcement of that voice.

I agree in the order and song choice, The song isn't...."smooth" (for lack of a better word) enough to appeal to a lot of people, and I've definitely thought about re-evaluating.

I'm going to re-evaluate the edit quite a bit.

Thanks for the feedback :)
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby Pwolf » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:35 pm

I think the biggest thing to me was the song. It was fine until it got all rocky and then just ended abruptly. I almost had to turn down my volume. I've heard in some cases, employers looking at demo-reels will just mute the sound, it's not important to what's being showcased. That said, if you're going to have sound, make it somewhat enjoyable and easy to listen to so the person who is watching the reel doesn't feel too distracted by it, which I honestly felt at the end.

Also, everything that Brad said. I will add though, my 3D instructor, whom I have much respect for, advised me to structure my reel so that my best work is the first thing that comes up. You have only a few seconds to impress someone before they either stop the video and move on or decided to continue watching. Put your best work at the beginning. Your second best piece (or something that's equally good) should be at the end. End it on a good note so they remember something good. Everything else goes in the middle. That said though, its always good to have good work all around.

You can see the reel I did for class here: http://scottgrasso.org/ . It's nothing spectacular as I spent most of my time working on the car and lost a lot of better modeling work during a hard drive crash. Much like your reel, if I had better content overall, the reel would be much stronger.
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby ZephyrStar » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:23 am

Would echo what's been said already. I think the best advice I was ever given about stuff on my reel was "if you're not 100% sure about it, you should either work on it until you are, or drop it altogether."
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby McDirty » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:50 am

Good start NS. Definitely like seeing other people's works compiled into reels. Here's some notes that I think might help you along the way in making a reel:

1) From the moment I begin watching the reel, I'm not sure what you're trying to sell to me. Some things you should consider when putting together a reel is ask "who's going to be employing me?" "What is it that I do specifically?" and "Why should employers/people consider me?" Try to view it from the eyes of the employer. Right off the bat, I would have the title card of your name and your role title at the very beginning, while still retaining a card with your name, role, and definitely contact info at the tail end of the piece.

2) So I understand that you do motion graphics, however what specific things do you do with motion graphics? Do you specialize in advertising? Have you worked on professional pieces in the past for clients? Have you done dramatic work that involved motion graphics? I understand that there might not be a lot of material at the moment for you to work with, but go ahead and begin dividing your reel into sections. Showcase your best work at the head of the piece and have the reel showcase your work according to what type of work you are capable of doing. For example,
Title Card: Advertising
-We see a line of work that you've made that promotes the consumer to consider the product.

Title Card: Dramatic
-We see scenes of short films/movies that you've worked on that involve special fx and motion graphics of some kind.

And so on.

3) I'm not sure what the the live-action sequence at 00:06 has to do with your skills as a motion graphics artist. Unless you can elaborate a little more on it, I would say go ahead and lose this clip. Please don't take offense, but you may need to think twice about showcasing material that looks a little amateur-ish. It's very normal for people first starting out to show material that's not 'on-par' with professional media and it's good to show your abilities to the best you can. At the same time, be critical about what you show and ask yourself, 'Am I comfortable having this clip in if a potential employer is watching?'

4) Lastly would be the music. Purpose of music in reels is to help give YOU (the person who you're trying to sell) a big kick or WOW factor. This is very tricky to do because most potential employers, in the first 10 secs, if they don't like what they're hearing, they'll mute the rest of the piece. And usually that's not a good thing. Instead of thinking of music that you like, think of music that has an edge, something that other people would find unique and cool, at the same time listenable and relevant to what's being shown on screen. Definitely would choose a different line of music from your current cut. You may want to consider looking at the Vimeo music store actually, they have a lot of surprisingly good material to work with.

Anyways, keep up the good work NS. Good luck with all your ventures and thank you for showing us your work. We're looking forward to see more.
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby McDirty » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:05 pm

There's also a lot of good reels that editors here on the org have made. Pwolf has one. Also you should check out Brad's reel.

I guess I should probably throw in my two cents and show you my reel as well.
https://vimeo.com/42678607

Take care NS.
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Re: Opinions on muh first go at my demo reel?

Postby NS » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:12 pm

I agree there should be an intro, I'm actually working on my reel intro right now, but like I said this one was kind of rushed so I haven't gotten to it yet.

I also have heard from many people to start and end on the strongest foot which I have actually done (in my opinion) because if you watch the full pieces I think that the ones at the front and back are my best ones, but that's all opinion.

Thanks a lot for the feedback guys
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