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paul.gardener

Paul Gardener Showcase

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So, I've known about mograph.net for some time now, and I've lurked around and viewed a lot of other people's work here. I just have to say that the talent shown here from around the world is astronomically incredible. So for a long time I've avoided posting my own work since showing it in the presence of true professionals in the mograph industry is somewhat unnerving. However, I've come to the realization after working with Jump Studios here in Calgary, AB, that I've made it out to be something it isn't. I'm doing what I can to excel and be apart of an industry I'm passionate about and make a living out of. So in part, when sharing your opinions and critiques of my work, it will only strengthen my abilities. So I would love to hear from you guys what you think, what I should improve on... what would set me off in the right direction. I'm essentially self-taught even though I took a 2 year diploma course called "New Media Production and Design," however, it was of little help when it came to doing the things I enjoy doing.

 

Anyways, Thanks in advance for taking the time to take a look at my stuff and I look forward to building toward being more professional and ultimately becoming better at what I do.

 

http://www.simplexik.com

 

Be as brutal or honest as you'd like, if you think I need to hear it, then give 'er. I'm a pretty tough guy :)

Edited by paul.gardener

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hey what's up man.

 

THE BAD:

 

 

first thing, if you're not running your own studio, then you're not a studio. it looks very amateurish to publicize yourself as such and even the incorporated veterans who "can" basically claim themselves as a studio (because they do everything a studio can) don't. so take that part out it reads as very pretentious.

 

your intro is 10 second of your name and "showreel 2010". ok even a semi-educated monkey can register what you're trying to say here in less than 2 seconds so cut it. i know you probably spent a good amount of time polishing that intro and "designing" it but nobody cares. unless you want to make a profession of creating pointlessly long intros for showreels, don't bring more attention to it. part of being a motion graphics designer is designing. and a big chunk of designing is communicating. if it takes you 10 seconds to communicate your name and "showreel 2010" people will think you're retarded or your target audience is the mentally handicapped. so do yourself a favor.

 

you need to work on your camera moves. a big red flag that you're a noob is that you're afraid to play the angles because you got your zdepth perfect in front view, and don't want to ruin it by moving your camera around. NO! BAD DOG! right now you need to get into the habit of creating the most insane camera moves, and then building your comp around that. pick up a good storyboarding book as it will teach you what you need to know about angles and a few things about composing shots.

 

simplexik. w. t. f. people aren't going to give you a call and say "hello i'd like to speak to the simplexik". they want to know your legal name and that's it. no monickers or superhero names. leave that for your dungeons and dragons club. maybe later down the line when you've earned your stars, will your work command more respect and people won't scoff at the fact that you want them to not only remember your name, but to remember the name that you or some other douche gave you. nothing wrong with that, but for your own sake, whatever.

 

keep experimenting. nothing you're doing shows any creativity or imagination. discover what's already been done, learn from it, but never reproduce it unless you can add your little special thing to it to make it your own. or if you're like me, reproduce nothing unless your work can bury what's already been done. and if you can't, then don't publish it for the world to see and for your own sake don't attach your real name and contact to it. producers are paid to be organized and to remember names.

 

 

THE GOOD:

 

your work looked clean. your website wasn't a total disaster to navigate. your reel was less than a minute but, with the amount of work you had, should be cut down to 15 seconds.

 

 

PARTING WORDS:

 

you need way more work to be a force in this industry. you are not ready to work professionally. if you need the cash, get a job to pay the bills, but spend all of your free time learning the software, discovering what the major players have already done, and read read read. read the adobe help files, read books on photography, just keep reading.

 

 

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haha killakilla makes some really good points but i think he may be being a little harsh. After all youre already working at a studio doing motion graphics for a living; could be a LOT worse ;) your reel/site could use some work though imo. You should definitely abandon the 'simplexik' deal and just go by your name...or at least something less 1337-sp34ky :P (please offer your perspective on highfive as a nickname if you have one! ive used it for years and still just feel weird using my real name as an amatuer) Also, make your showreel your home page on the site also, not just another video. As for the reel itself:

 

-snappier editing. things drag on for a long time and often take too long to even get into the action. this has a lot to do with camera work also like killa mentioned so thats definitely something it seems like you could improve on.

 

-the intro needs to be revamped. youll hear a lot of people on the site giving the advice to either make your intro really flashy/awesome OR to make it really simple but with a great design. The point being that it should it either appear obvious that you A)Actually tried to make it cool and succeeded / B)Didnt try too hard for times sake, but still have a clue about design/branding. Anything in between that typically doesnt work out.

 

-some of the stuff in your reel is kind of flat looking, at least for my taste. Particularly the 'power' logo and 'inkd' logo just seemed kinda plain. I couldn't really capture a "tone" or a "feeling" when watching those and was very aware that I was watching amateur animation. I dont know EXACTLY what it is, im still an amateur myself, but its just not hittin that spot, ya know? There wasn't enough contrast, enough motion, enough atmosphere, or enough drama for me to really give a fuck about the logo itself. Saying that, I do wanna mention that your stuff is really close to being good stuff. I actually really like the 'simplexic' animation in there (clean up the edges on the text though!). Although since I did say not to use 'simplexik' anymore maybe you could swap out that text with something else :D You could really improve that 'imagination is power' piece by adding a slick camera move, some curves, and more interesting animation on the stars/flags/etc. Just a little extra flavor and attention to detail here and there and a piece can go from bad-to-good, good-to-great, and great-to-incredible.

 

ok maybe i wasnt any less harsh than killa haha, but i did manage to kill 10 minutes before i have to go to work. keep working hard and studying the craft and youll get there, good luck.

Edited by highfive

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I agree that you need to rework your intro and outro. I also agree that they need to be shortened...and your reel as a whole needs to be shortened.

 

I think you could improve your "imagination is power" piece by adding a camera move and making the motion happen more simultaneously and faster.

 

As High Five and Killa have said you really need to work on your camera movement as a whole. All of your work on this reel seems like it could all be cut down much shorter. It seems this way because not a lot is going on in each piece and it doesn't take long to understand what's going on(generally you only want to show the most exciting parts of your work or stuff that shows a new technique).

 

It also looks like you have two live footage pieces. I would cut those from your reel. Generally...you shouldn't put that sort of stuff on your motion graphics/vfx reel unless you've done something cool or technical to the footage.

 

The footage with "Form" and the "X" is probably the best thing on the reel. However, your camera movement takes away from this piece. It looks like you just added a basic wiggle to the camera. The Simplexik piece is pretty good too.

 

Keep it up, man.

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First let me start off by saying, thanks for all of the input. It helps immensely to finally hear from people who know what they're talking about when it comes to this stuff. I've been hearing, "WOW! That's amazing!" From too many people when I know I really do have a very long way to go. I would like to again stress that basically everything I've done up until this point is essentially self taught so also getting VERY clear and concise advice regardless of how "harsh" you guys may feel you are being, is a breath of fresh air. It sounds like I still have a lot of work ahead of me and will definitely keep coming back to get more advice and opinions.

 

I guess I've always kind of thought the same as what you guys have pointed out, I just needed reaffirmation. :)

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