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Young video guy seeks sage advice

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Ben_in_Minneapolis
Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 11, 2006 at 6:21:48 pm

Hey all!

I'm a young video guy with a wide range of skills, but not a ton of depth. I'm trying to land my first "real" job in post, so I created a reel and webpage to try to sell myself. I'd love your opinions on the reel, and if you have time, the rest of the page.

http://www.benwatne.com

Am I doing a good job of marketing myself, or am I missing the boat?

Thanks a ton in advance!

Ben Watne
benwatne@hotmail.com


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Howe20
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 12, 2006 at 6:16:26 pm

I'd say your stuff is pretty sick for not having any "real" work. Nice work-those backgrounds look familiar though-are they from a creative cow tutorial? Thats cool if it is but you should put your own touch on it.


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Ben_in_Minneapolis
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 12, 2006 at 7:54:20 pm

I owe very, very much to Creative Cow, especially the video tutorials from Rabinowitz and Kramer. I don't remember seeing a tutorial on that particular background, but that doesn't mean there wasn't one. I DID learn how to use Fractal Noise from an article on the Cow, and all the backgrounds are is Fractal Noise + CC Tritone.

A technique I learned from Aaron Rabinowitz on how to making TV screens also makes a couple of appearances on my reel, but I hope I've used them tactfully and for a reason.

Thanks for taking the time to look at the site! I appreciate it very much!

Ben



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Mike_S
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 13, 2006 at 10:19:30 am

Reels didn't run here in Firefox. but did when I tried with IE.

The video work looks promising and polished - neat graphics and an ability to tell a story, if very graphics-led. The piece on the home page went on too long, given that it didn't go anywhere - for me, the live action added nothing, with the exception of the low wide angle train shot.

On the video lemonade section, the park idea was neat, though for me clean edges rather than blur oni the keyed greenery would have been better, and the motion on the pullback doesn't look as smooth as it might. But interesting.

The watermill piece is interesting and well-executed.

At a website level, I don't know that I go for the dated, cutesy look, but that's a taste thing. Is that designed to appeal to your target market of (TV producers? Clients? Colleagues? Moms?).

And I'm not sure about going Windows Media: with Apple so prominent in the creative community, maybe you could offer a choice of wmv or Quicktime, or maybe even use Flash video?

At an overall marketing level, it feels geared to the interests of clients at an agency / end user level, rather than pitched directly at production companies or post houses looking for a contributor rather than a competitor. Is that your intention.

But all that said, the work looks good - promising graphics and editing. No need to apologise about the "proper 3D" - you handle the 3D capabiliteis of AE just fine.


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Ben_in_Minneapolis
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 13, 2006 at 6:50:47 pm

Mike S,

Thank you very much for taking the time to really look through the page! I appreciate it very much!

Do you think the park pullback thing on the "Video Lemonade" section is a net gain or a net loss? I did it a couple of years ago and I don't have access to the raw AE files to fix things anymore, so I either need to keep it as is, or lose it. What do you think?

Also, in your opinion, how big a turn-off is the whole theme of the site? Is it just a personal taste thing, or am I committing suicide by leaving it with all the campy bright colors and stars? What I was going for is just something upbeat and energetic. I had made a kind of "rocker" reel earlier, but it felt too dark and growly for potential corporate clients.

Also, I'm not sure who all will see this site and what systems they're on, but I'd like the reel on the homepage to autoplay. My thought is that the more people have to make choices and click things, the sooner they'll lose interest. With that in mind, would I keep the greatest potential audience with Quicktime or Windows Media?

What can I do to make the site (and by proxy, me) more appealing to production companies that I might want to get a job with?

If you have time, I would love some more input on this. Thanks again for helping me out!!

Ben Watne
benwatne@hotmail.com





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Ben_in_Minneapolis
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 13, 2006 at 8:03:32 pm

One other thing...

If I want to create flash video, can I do it within Flaxh MX, or do I need another piece of software?

Thanks again!

Ben



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Mike_S
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 14, 2006 at 9:31:20 am

Hi Ben

Don't take me views too seriously - " to thine own self be true", and all that. It's a taste thing.

I think the park is a net gain.

Flash video is probably best done with Flash 8 Pro, which if you don't already own and know is probably not a good choice. I can't really advise on wmv vs Quicktime - in the business arena, windows is still dominant, but in your target creative community it's much more of an even split.

I can just report that for me on Windows Firefox didn't autoplay (or even show the existence of) the windows media files. As a visitor to a website, I usually prefer a fast-loading site which doesn't start up music or video without my permission, or my active involvement in clicking a link. How about you?

Oh, and did you see the Cow jobs board today, where there's vacancies in Minneapolis for senior and junior motion graphics artists?


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Ben_in_Minneapolis
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 14, 2006 at 6:32:39 pm

Thanks again for the feedback, Mike!

I've converted the site to Quicktime, and so far my minions (friends and family with internet) are reporting that it behaves much better on IE, Firefox, and Netscape. That's a good thing! Is it working on your Firefox now?

Again, thank you for being so helpful, and for letting me know about the job posting, too!

Ben



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Trevor Ward
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 16, 2006 at 9:11:30 pm

Good demo reel. Short and to the point. You even mention what type of work you do. You should have no problem impressing potential clients/employers enough to talk to them about what you can do for them. That's all a demo reel is supposed to do, in my opinion. I use this analogy: if you ring the doorbell to someone's home and are trying to sell something, you have a very short time before they say: "tell me more," or "get out of my face." That's what your demo reel does. It shows some competency in video media.



-trevor ward
orlando, fl


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John Cuevas
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 18, 2006 at 5:23:25 pm

Hey Ben,

Myself and another editor just watched the reel, both of liked almost everything we saw save for one section. Right after the train shot, the shots of the highway, soapbox racers, then the interview stuff, yawn.... Particularily, the interview shots, the people themselves look bored. I understand you are showing off the shooting, lighting, ect...but I think you need to find some different people shots there.

Other then that, we were both very impressed.



Johnny Cuevas, Editor
http://www.ckandco.net


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Ben_in_Minneapolis
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 18, 2006 at 5:37:02 pm

Trevor and Johnny,

Thanks very much for the feedback! It has been very helpful to post my reel on the Cow, because of the thoughtful responses from people like you.

As far as the interview shots go, I'll see what I can come up with to replace them. Part of my problem is that I haven't been in this game very long, so I don't have a lot of stuff to choose from. But I can suck it up and try! :)

Thanks again,

Ben



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tony salgado
Re: Young video guy seeks sage advice
on Aug 19, 2006 at 3:49:07 pm



Ben,


Well done with such little material. However given that the majority of the work is motion graphics the interview pieces showing off your shooting and lighting skills are out of place. The shots slowed down the pace of the demo.

Rather than include them I would add more graphic work to make the demo strictly a graphics demo reel.

When you have more shooting examples create a separate demo reel for that.

I enjoyed the look of your website.


In the future you may have to choose which job you want to concentrate on because in larger market it is best to specialize in one rather than being a jack of all trades. In smaller markets a jack of all trades is acceptable because you have to do alittle of everything to stay employed but in larger markets clients might feel they are not get a A list freelancer if he does not specialize in one core skill.



Good luck,


Tony Salgado


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