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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