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Demo Reels

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Demo Reels

Well, I'm taking the holidays to do a reel, and I'm going to post it on You Tube in early January. It'll evolve from there, but I'm just going to work on some short segments right now, and a deadline always helps.

The best advice I've gotten is to use fairly short clips-- preferably set to music. Assume that the first time someone looks at it, they'll have the sound turned down so they can talk on the phone. And if they don't see something that impresses them in the first twenty seconds, they'll turn it off.

But do you still need hand-drawn? Flash? What about design work? I'm thinking of just using some After Effects multiplaning to put some movement into some backgrounds, so it'll go with the animated segments.

Anyone know of any particularly good examples on line? It could be your own or someone else's. Are DVDs better than sending someone a link? When should one follow up? Generally, are there any dos and don'ts?

It's funny that you mention this. I'm also updating my demo reel and I'm putting together a Do's and Don'ts list on my blog. I'll post a link when it's up.

In the meantime...
You want short clips to keep your reel between 1-3 minutes long, but not so short that you can't follow what's happening. Focus on editing your reel without sound first. It should be visually interesting without audio. You should include work that best represents the position that you're seeking. If it's a character animator position, then focus on character animation clips. If it's a modeler and texture artist, then focus on models and textures. This can include traditional and Flash work if they demonstrate your skills. Keep in mind that you're only as good as your lowest quality work, so use only your best work and put it first.

Sharvonique Studios

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Yup, pretty much what Sharvonique wrote.

The main thing to do it put your BEST work first. Don't put it in chronological order. If you put your best work last, you risk it not being seen.

Also, only put your BEST work on your demo reel. If it's only "OK," leave it on the cutting room floor. Mentally, studios will see your worst work and think thats what they will get from you. So even if your demo reel is short, like 30 seconds, leave it that way if that is your best work. Don't pad it with a minute of average work.

Most studios don't like visiting websites to view demo reels, unless of course they ask. DVD's are still the best.

Traditional, 3D or Flash shouldn't matter, but what ever the studio does most, put the best of that type of work at the head of your reel. For instance, don't put your Flash work first if you are sending your reel to PIXAR.

Oh, and put your name and phone number on EVERYTHING!

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."