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Peiter

New Reel

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The intro type is great. You've added appropriate and simple/subtle characteristics to bring it in line, which works well in an understated way. It's not breaking new ground, but it's definitely well done. I also like that you're treating your own footage with a bit of irreverence to create coherence with the audio track. I think the stuttered editing works better in some instances than others, but overall it functions appropriately, as expected. For instance, it's kind of nice, in a commentative kind of way, to chop up footage of a television interface superimposed over david letterman, but kind of boring to see it done in the digital camera spot where you'd expect that sort of thing in the first place. It also doesn't do anything for the Just For Kids shot.

 

Which brings me to this: the only thing I'm really puzzled by is your shot selection at the front end of the montage. You're setting up a mood and a series of expectations in your intro, and it'd be great to try to break those expectations somewhere in the montage, but you're breaking them here at the start in a way that doesn't benefit you. I tend to think most of these first shots need to be buried further into the montage, and some like the Just for Kids spot need to go entirely. The first shot, with the face icons and music notes and whatnot, just has the wrong overall character to be your lead-in. And the others, like the cellphone spot and Kerr just don't have any intrigue or points of interest, so you're kind of losing my attention real quick. Again, the Letterman thing works in a certain sense, but you'll need to have established some things before I'll really take that treatment in the right way, and right now you're not doing that cuz the front end is a bit of a mess.

 

Everything looks pretty good aside from that. Some of the website shots drag on a bit long, but the tactic of occasionally zooming in on some of them works really well. If you're willing, do an easy once-over to shift some footage around and you're probably golden.

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The stuttering looks completely weird and bad with audio off. Just a heads up. I guessed after a few clips that it was intentional and probably synced to the audio, but I can see how many people wouldn't.

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Hey leahzero,

 

I wasnt even thinking about those without audio. Ill have to take a look with the audio off to see what you are bringing up. This brings up a good question though, how many viewers would come across a reel without the audio? Is this something that could become a serious issue?

 

Thanks again,

 

P

 

The stuttering looks completely weird and bad with audio off. Just a heads up. I guessed after a few clips that it was intentional and probably synced to the audio, but I can see how many people wouldn't.

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Is this something that could become a serious issue?

I think if you start raising issues like that, you get slippery slope syndrome and pretty soon you've got a reel that offends few and appeals to no one. This isn't a consideration when making a film or a commercial ("well, what if the viewer isn't listening to the dialogue? should we have the characters speak but also do sign language and have subtitles in eleven different languages?"), and there's no reason it should be here. I might be wrong, but I don't think you can buy a computer that doesn't come with some kind of speaker, so you don't have to worry about that. And then there are people who fancy themselves purists who intentionally watch reels without the audio, but this isn't a strictly visual medium, it's an audio/visual medium, so I give that marginal ideology a big FAIL. For anyone else who maybe just has their sound turned off, you kind of have to let them go, because the compromise on your part to cater to their [whatever] would be pretty huge. There are some clever solutions out there, I'm sure, but in the end you're really restricting yourself from a world of possibilities if you decide not to take advantage of the audio half of the medium.

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A lot of producers watch with the sound off.

You can pour your energy into crafting hot rods for car lovers, or you can pour it into building production sedans for the average consumer.

 

There's no right answer, but I think we're all here because we love the art form.

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You can pour your energy into crafting hot rods for car lovers, or you can pour it into building production sedans for the average consumer.

 

There's no right answer, but I think we're all here because we love the art form.

 

So true.

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but this isn't a strictly visual medium, it's an audio/visual medium

 

You bring up good points, Binky...but if the job he's seeking is a motion graphics designer, then the audio doesn't really matter. It would be a different case if he were seeking to be hired as a hybrid audio/visual designer, or even an editor. Audio is so (relatively) peripheral to this field that I don't think it's practical to incorporate it so integrally into a reel.

 

I thought this particular editing choice was a good example of letting the audio dominate to the point that the reel doesn't work with the audio off. IMO, audio should complement a reel and enhance the editing, but ultimately be disposable. The stuttering editing style used here is completely reliant on the audio and doesn't work when the audio is off. I don't see how that's starting down a slippery slope to politically correct la-la land.

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The stuttering editing style used here is completely reliant on the audio and doesn't work when the audio is off.

Absolutely true. The audio choice has driven the editing choices, for better or worse.

But I think i disagree with the idea that the audio should be complementary yet disposable and that a reel needs to work with the sound on or off. You really wouldn't force that qualification on a film or commercial, so why here? Is audio somehow less integral or less important in this medium? There are reels that survive well without their audio, as are there commercials etc., but should they generally HAVE to? It's true also that reels are sometimes going to be seen with the audio channel shut off, but does that mean we have to make the concession? Should films? Should television?

 

Again, there's no one right answer, it comes down to what you place importance on. From my perspective, if your audio doesn't matter that much then you've failed to be thoughtful about the experience you've created as a whole.

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Guest Sao_Bento
Absolutely true. The audio choice has driven the editing choices, for better or worse.

But I think i disagree with the idea that the audio should be complementary yet disposable and that a reel needs to work with the sound on or off. You really wouldn't force that qualification on a film or commercial, so why here? Is audio somehow less integral or less important in this medium? There are reels that survive well without their audio, as are there commercials etc., but should they generally HAVE to? It's true also that reels are sometimes going to be seen with the audio channel shut off, but does that mean we have to make the concession? Should films? Should television?

 

Again, there's no one right answer, it comes down to what you place importance on. From my perspective, if your audio doesn't matter that much then you've failed to be thoughtful about the experience you've created as a whole.

Agreed. Unless there is some reason to believe that the majority of people who view it will do so with the sound off, it is a dumb position to take.

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I'm new here but I felt compelled to register and reply just because this is a pet peeve of mine.

 

Movies and commercials should in fact work pretty well with the sound off. I've heard it said that you should understand something like 60% of a movie even if you don't speak the language. Show, don't tell. And how many people see commercials with the sound off on a TV playing in a bar, restaurant or airport? That's why you have things like text on screen, logos, etc. Or what about the people who only see commercials now while fast forwarding through them on their Tivo?

 

If audio is so integral to the motion graphics then wouldn't you would have to use the original audio for each clip on your reel? The fact that people put a new piece of music on top of their reel is proof enough that the music is an afterthought.

 

The big point here is that this is motion graphics and Peiter has completely screwed with the motion of his work, making his own work secondary to the music, which he did not create. Watching it with the sound off, it just looks like there's an issue with dropped frames or the video was encoded incorrectly.

 

And I always watch reels with the sound off. Sound is a very important element and it definitely helps set a mood, which is why I don't want it interfering when I'm trying to judge someone's visual work. So many times I see a link online where people say "wow, amazing short film. so full of emotion, etc." and then I watch the short and it's really poorly edited, nothing is happening, etc. Then I turn the sound on and realize that everyone is responding to the music while the short itself is pretty weak and has nothing to say. Besides most reels just have some really annoying techno in the background anyway. If I had to sift through hundreds of reels all day, that would drive me crazy.

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Guest Sao_Bento
I'm new here but I felt compelled to register and reply just because this is a pet peeve of mine.

 

Movies and commercials should in fact work pretty well with the sound off. I've heard it said that you should understand something like 60% of a movie even if you don't speak the language. Show, don't tell. And how many people see commercials with the sound off on a TV playing in a bar, restaurant or airport? That's why you have things like text on screen, logos, etc. Or what about the people who only see commercials now while fast forwarding through them on their Tivo?

 

If audio is so integral to the motion graphics then wouldn't you would have to use the original audio for each clip on your reel? The fact that people put a new piece of music on top of their reel is proof enough that the music is an afterthought.

 

The big point here is that this is motion graphics and Peiter has completely screwed with the motion of his work, making his own work secondary to the music, which he did not create. Watching it with the sound off, it just looks like there's an issue with dropped frames or the video was encoded incorrectly.

 

And I always watch reels with the sound off. Sound is a very important element and it definitely helps set a mood, which is why I don't want it interfering when I'm trying to judge someone's visual work. So many times I see a link online where people say "wow, amazing short film. so full of emotion, etc." and then I watch the short and it's really poorly edited, nothing is happening, etc. Then I turn the sound on and realize that everyone is responding to the music while the short itself is pretty weak and has nothing to say. Besides most reels just have some really annoying techno in the background anyway. If I had to sift through hundreds of reels all day, that would drive me crazy.

You're ignoring the purpose. The purpose of a montage is to show a quick sampling of many projects to demonstrate range and visual quality, etc. Not to examine each piece in it's original context to determine if the piece was successful in communicating a message. Most people have each full piece available with the original audio so that it can be judged in context.

 

IMHO, you don't leave anything to chance when showing your work. The medium includes both audio and video, so you should use both to their fullest extent. When editing a montage, you're making a collection of things which are all completely out of context. In that case, one thing that can unify them a bit to make a nice experience is the audio. Even if you turn the sound off, you have to admit that if someone sent you a reel with no audio, you'd be wondering if they made a mistake.

 

Again, the majority of people don't go to crowded bars and airports to watch TV, nor do they consume their media in a montage format, so that's a completely moot point. Since most people don't have narration on their reel, I think your position that people with a montage edited to a track are "not showing it", but expecting the audio to carry the video is also spurious. "A picture is worth a thousand words" / Video Killed the Radio Star and all that.

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(sorry, this might repeat a bit of what Sao said. Bastard slipped it in before me. :D )

 

Show, don't tell.
Agreed.

 

(he has made) his own work secondary to the music, which he did not create.
Agreed, sort of. His work isn't secondary, but he HAS chosen to edit it to complement the music. You could say it conforms to the music, but it's the same difference, and no different than editing to match the pace of dialogue.

 

you should understand something like 60% of a movie even if you don't speak the language.
Agreed. But that doesn't mean you should disregard the other 40%. Personally, I'm in the business of eking out the last .05% if it's there to be had. We have five senses for a reason, and this medium limits us to appealing to two of them. There's no reason to sacrifice half of the remaining experience. If we had Smell-O-Vision, i'd be integrating that too. We don't, unfortunately.

 

If audio is so integral to the motion graphics then wouldn't you would have to use the original audio for each clip on your reel? The fact that people put a new piece of music on top of their reel is proof enough that the music is an afterthought.
Disagree. When you make a montage of your work, you're creating something new entirely. When you make a smoothie in a blender, you're not making pieces of fruit and ice. When you make a collage out of newspaper clippings, you're not re-making the newspaper. When you write a story, you're not making a bunch of words from the dictionary, or a bigger bunch of letters of the alphabet. In a certain sense, you ARE, but not in the sense that matters. What matters is the new thing you're creating out of those constituents. An oxygen and two hydrogens can become H2O. A thing can be more than the sum of its parts.

 

A standard reel in other industries is a series of full pieces in their original state. A standard reel in our industry is a montage created using completed work. It's a collage and, done well, a piece unto itself. Part of what makes the format successful for us, and so oft-replicated, is that it has such potential to be both a standalone piece AND a record of past projects, simultaneously. That makes it both interesting and informative.

 

To craft this new thing with new audio in mind is only natural, and again, done well, is absolutely not an afterthought. If audio is 40% of the experience, then disregarding it is diminishing that experience. Just because there's a lot of unthoughtful work out there that doesn't take this into account doesn't mean it's not important. On that same note, when you see people online praising a short film with bad editing or weak narrative because they've been taken by the music, don't blame the music. The baby needn't be thrown out with the bathwater. Better editing/narrative with that music would likely make for an astounding experience.

 

Lastly, Peiter's reel is what it is. It uses an editing trick that some people are tired of, but that's what he wanted to do, and I don't think the point here (showreels) is to tabulate who likes it and who doesn't as much as to help him make the thing he wants as well as he can. If you don't like techno, then be assured that this isn't for you and be done with it. No one's forcing you to eat candy all day long.

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If audio is 40% of the experience, then disregarding it is diminishing that experience.

 

40% of the meaning and content of a narrative feature length film! I would say it should be way less than that for a commercial spot or a motion graphics piece, but that's just me.

 

But to be clear, I like the work and it's a good reel. I watched it again with the music, and I like the music and it's all edited together well. I just feel like the glitch effects are a little over the top and detract from the work, rather than adding anything. And I also wanted to pipe up as one of those minority of idiots who always watch reels with the sound off. ;)

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40% of the meaning and content of a narrative feature length film! I would say it should be way less than that for a commercial spot or a motion graphics piece, but that's just me.

I hear you. But where's the critical split between a feature length film and a :30 commercial or a 1:30 montage that differentiates how much or how little the audio should contribute?

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I hear you. But where's the critical split between a feature length film and a :30 commercial or a 1:30 montage that differentiates how much or how little the audio should contribute?

 

OK, I concede that it's a dumb thing to try to quantify. You could have a brilliant spot that relies completely on an ironic combination of music and image or something like that. I guess in the post Tivo landscape, it could even be beneficial to do a spot that makes you say WTF when you see it with no sound, so that you actually have to stop and listen for it to make sense. Not to mention the other way around, where you hear a commercial when you're in the other room and say to yourself, wtf is that, I have to go watch it. So yeah, I'll revise that to say that for a commercial, image is 100% of it and sound is 100% too. :P

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Thank you all for the comments. I appreciate the thoughts and time it took to look over and critique my reel.

 

The number one issue I ran into making this reel is my work. I work in the interactive industry and rarely get the opportunity to work in after effects outside of site prototypes. Therefore, the work I have in my port is not comparable by any means to the talent I am up against in today's market for broadcast animators. After staring at my animations for a year I concluded the only way to present an updated presence would be taking what I have and reinventing it. Strip it from its original context and shape it into something unrecognizable and foreign. It seems I mistakenly placed my target audience second to myself. The final piece became more a convoluted art piece than a true broadcast montage.

 

:H

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Strip it from its original context and shape it into something unrecognizable and foreign.

I think that was a good strategy to adopt. You're abstracting it so we pay attention to the form and the animation more than the actual content, and that kinda solves your problem. And the way you've abstracted it, by chopping it up, accomplishes that goal. If there's any fault in your tactics, it's that you're relying almost exclusively on that one gimmick to get the job done, so if you can introduce some other abstracting methods you might benefit the montage. Nothing drastic, just something that compliments what you're already doing, but mixes up the methodology a little.

 

The final piece became more a convoluted art piece than a true broadcast montage.

Personally, I'm all for making a montage that is an art piece in its own right. There's no reason you can't take your own work and make a brilliant collage or a short film out of it. And I don't think there's any sense in defining "broadcast montage" so tightly that it excludes convoluted art pieces. Whatever gets the job done. There's definitely value in following certain conventions, but there's also value in straying from them. "Know the rules so that you can break them with purpose."

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Given the content you have to work with (a lot of menus and navigation elements), I dig the approach. I should disclaimer that I only watch montage reels with the audio ON... because it tells me a lot about the person I'd be looking to hire for the job. This isn't a cd I would run out and buy 10times over, but you made the track work very well for what you wanted to accomplish. That said, I think the ending where it all wraps back to your end card is a bit abrupt. I would only credit your audio source at the beginning or end, not both. Replacing one with a piece of contact info might be nice.

 

As for the edit, it actually lets me know that you can do so much more that animate this type of work. In fact, you not only have eyes, but you have ears and a brains too... which is a lot more than many in this field. I understand the issues of the fast glitchy jump cut combined with this type of music, but it does bring new life to your projects. It represents your work well enough for me to make a decision.

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Given the content you have to work with (a lot of menus and navigation elements), I dig the approach. I should disclaimer that I only watch montage reels with the audio ON... because it tells me a lot about the person I'd be looking to hire for the job. This isn't a cd I would run out and buy 10times over, but you made the track work very well for what you wanted to accomplish. That said, I think the ending where it all wraps back to your end card is a bit abrupt. I would only credit your audio source at the beginning or end, not both. Replacing one with a piece of contact info might be nice.

 

As for the edit, it actually lets me know that you can do so much more that animate this type of work. In fact, you not only have eyes, but you have ears and a brains too... which is a lot more than many in this field. I understand the issues of the fast glitchy jump cut combined with this type of music, but it does bring new life to your projects. It represents your work well enough for me to make a decision.

 

Thank you for your time Douglas. Contact info on the ending title card would be a nice touch.

 

P

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Not to knock the OPs work because some of the stuff in there is great, but I'm curious what/who started this trend we see so much of.

 

It seems like more and more reels and even just work in general are using this industrial/twitch music or some sort of variation. Will this be the new kinetic typography (or any other played out trend) soon? The farthest I remember back was seeing this sort of style in a creepy short film called Rubber Johny. I'm sure many are familiar:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9TbdheS3Sg

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Not to knock the OPs work because some of the stuff in there is great, but I'm curious what/who started this trend we see so much of.

 

It seems like more and more reels and even just work in general are using this industrial/twitch music or some sort of variation. Will this be the new kinetic typography (or any other played out trend) soon? The farthest I remember back was seeing this sort of style in a creepy short film called Rubber Johny. I'm sure many are familiar:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9TbdheS3Sg

 

Hahahahaha, Good Lord Holy shnikes! My reel just got compared in style to Rubber freakin Johnny.

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