revised reel 2.0 again thanks for advice/insights
first off thank you to everyone for your advice/opions on my original post
I do appreciate it
I quickly made a revised reel and here are the fruits of my efforts thus far
I realize everyone on this forum is extremely busy so I do appriciate that you have time to view and critique the reel
thanks in advance and take care
Instructional Media Services
John Carroll University
University Heights, OH 44118
Now I cant say how it compares to your original one, I looked at your original thread, but the link was broken.
As for was you posted with this new link, I liked it, but only after the first two video spots were over. The first with the crazy doctor, the audio was horrible, and was really distracting. And this is the FIRST thing that you are showing people. The second part about the XGames, the video quality just didn't seem all that good.
Overall your segment on video was so so, the part I REALLY liked was your animating and compositing. Like some of the others said this really seems to be your strong point.
One thought I had was maybe make two separate demo reels. One for video, and one for animating and compositing.
I would really pursue something with animating and compositing, it REALLY seems to be where you shine. You could even freelance with it. Many production companies, just stick to the video part, and hire freelancers for animating and compositing.
Best of luck.
Yeah, that stuff at the top - you should absolutely lose that. That will cost you work. The audio hits and over-modulates.
Your reel has potential, but you need to either shoot/edit some new stuff to put in it or lose the video production section altogether. If you can, make more 3D stuff, and then edit that together creatively. Camera moves on the 3D elements might be nice...
Think about the entire presentation of your work self as a cohesive unit and not just a reel or a resume. With the release of iWeb 2.0, mac users have no excuse for not having their own web page that looks decent. If you make a nice webpage, cover letter, business card, and demo reel (embedded in the web page) with a consistent font/color theme/logo, anyone you interview with will be impressed with the packaging of your presentation. These elements are cheap to create ($300 if you have to buy ilife 08, a dot-mac account, and 100 cards at kinkos).
I am gonna be brutally frank here but, this reel is not gonna get you a job. Let me explain why:
-The first "editing" section did not demonstrate to me editorial strengths. Producers want to see a demonstration of your ability to pace, reveal information, and give structure to a program. I didn't see evidence of this in the editing selection of the reel.
-I recommend ensuring you are using good source. Some of this is poorly shot and kinda boring. While this is an editor's reel, it is difficult to separate the two.
-The animation section does have stronger material in it for sure but, it felt very slow for an animation reel. The pace needs to be quickened substantially.
-This is a personal pref but, I don't like to see pieces that were done by the same company back to back unless they are related (same project). I noticed two IMS clips back to back and it felt a little awkward.
Now, my advice is you should pick either editorial or mograph both in terms of this reel and your career. It is essential that you really become good at your chosen area and I have not seen anyone that is fantastic at both (always exceptions but very few). Even within each of those areas there is a great amount of specialization - they are that broad. So, I would do some soul searching there.
Again, my intent is not to put you down PERSONALLY but, to address the work from the standard criteria for evaluating quality storytelling. I have no idea what you have in terms of resources to add or take away from your reel but, I would plan to remove the first section almost completely and tighten the last half by more than 50% and add some more goodies. If you don't have anything else to add it's better to be short and sweet then long and tired.
Again, I think that it really needs to come down to about ONE MINUTE long, max.
It became even longer and even less interesting in the second iteration.
If you only had one minute (as a hard fixed maximum limit) to prove all you could do, you would tighten it up, grab quick clips, edit sound that slammed, jabbed and stabbed at all the right moments. As it is, it just sits there giving so much information that by the time it ends, I know more than I want to.
The goal is to get them to want to talk to you and this simply works quite counter to that goal. In fact, not to be cruel, but this accomplishes the opposite.
Sorry to be so blunt but I really do want the best for you, Todd, and you really must think of this as a ONE MINUTE chance to wow someone.
My apologies if this seems like a put-down, it isn't.
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[Ron Lindeboom] "I think that it really needs to come down to about ONE MINUTE long, max."
I'm going to veer a bit off-topic re: a specific reel, where bunches of other folks are adding value. Here's a general observation about reels....
We ran an article about many of these issues in the Cow magazine a while back that I need to get around to reprinting online, and this was the overwhelming consensus: one minute, tops. I saw one effective reel that was 90 seconds, but that was it.
In another article from the magazine, one producer noted that her reel was an excuse to get people into the rest of her website....where she had at least a portion of every single project she'd done.
Her reasoning was she had the work. Web storage and bandwidth are cheap. People will watch what they want to, and not watch the rest.
She also found that most people watch up to a couple of dozen, and some people said they watched all of them (over 100 at that point, I think). In any case, the typical stay at her site is over 10 minutes.
Surprise, surprise: 85% of her new work comes through her website.
Her reel? One minute long.
These stories are two more reasons why you should be subscribing to the COW Magazine, btw.
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As a Creative Director/Partner I review probably 5-10 demo reels a week, so I see a lot of work and, like most people here, have developed triggers for what I look for in a reel and what I consider warning signs. That said, this is my completely unvarnished take on your reel and what would be going through my head as a decision maker. Don't take any of it to heart, I'm just laying out everything I see that could be improved and trying to give you an honest, no-holds-barred take.
1. The intro/outro isn't as exciting as it could be, mostly because the frames fly-in effect has been done a lot. If you did this in After Effects, you could spice it up by just adding motion blur to those frames so they feel a little more dynamic. Consider using a background besides plain black, or even just adding something over the black that gives it a slight amount of texture. Right now it just feels blank and would never fly in a studio environment. I would also find a font that is a little more interesting for all of your titles.
2. The first piece on your reel is probably the least appealing. It is flatly lit, doesn't go anywhere very quick and has little to no color correction or set dressing that gives it "life." That said, you do NOT want to start things off with your least exciting or polished piece because most decision makers will shut off the DVD right there.
3. The X-Games footage is more interesting, but you could really spice it up with some good color correction. To give it that Gen-X look, try crushing the blacks more, give the colors a little more life (bump the saturation or something). Really, all of the footage in your reel could be greatly improved with some basic color correction, and could really look 200-300% better with some more in-depth color work. I'm not talking about tinting the footage or anything wacky, just some cleanup to keep the footage from looking so milky and to give it some life.
4. The piece with the woman in front of the yellow house should probably be your first clip on your video production/editing segment, because it looks the most professional in terms of camera use and clean look. Again, it lacks good color correction, which would increase the production value probably 150%.
5. On the greenscreen shot, consider doing a straight linear wipe instead of the circle wipe. The circle wipe makes it harder to focus on how good your composite was and compare it to the source material.
6. The shot with the boy and girl comped into text etc. is well done, but with some problems that I would really tend to. For starters, mixing strong colors is a bad idea and is almost never done in modern graphics, so most shops might pass you over based on this alone. Blue, yellow and red don't mix well at all, since all three are very strong and compete for visual attention. Choose one of them, and then change the other colors to complement your main color. You can do this easily by using this web site: http://www.easyrgb.com/harmonies.php. By plugging in the RGB values of the main color you use, it will suggest complementary colors that you can plug in to your other elements. I would also do something to make your blue background more interesting than just flat blue. Try overlaying some animated "stuff" that is set to a very low opacity, or ANYTHING to break it up a little. It would look ten times better if the background even looked like it had a very soft spotlight on it, with the edges falling into a dark blue. I would also consider giving the little sliding panels subtle drop shadows or something to make them pop a bit more, especially the ones that pass in front of your talent.
7. The IMS Video 3d-looking piece is the strongest portion of your graphics reel, and again should probably be first to hook people in.
8. The same color issues noted above apply to the "An IMS Production" closer element. Blue and yellow are just too strong to live in harmony, especially when the yellow is used as an outline on blue text.