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EricAuzenne

Eric Auzenne 2011 Reel

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You've got some variety in there, which is good. But smothered all over that variety is a huge mess of shots that are nothing more than camera pans and lens flares. And whether those shots are footage, 3d, or something else, they're each pretty uninformative and uninspired. Taken together, they kind of end up feeling like incompetent filler. That's not to say that you're incompetent, but that the selection is weak. You don't really want that. What you DO want to do is take your best material and feature it, while trying to gloss over the weaker stuff (there's always weaker stuff, but don't let us dwell on it). If this means slowing down the edit to let us look at something beautiful or smart and then speeding up to skip through the crap, do that. Even if it means your reel ends up shorter than it is currently. And while you're going that route, don't be afraid to cut some stuff from the bottom of the barrel (i'm looking at you, blue vampire guy, full throttle pro stock, and... well, take your pick).

 

I'm not really sure what kind of schooling you may have just come out of, but going forward you'll want to keep focusing on fundamentals. Study traditional animation concepts, study composition, study typography, study design and communication principles. Every time you think "I need to learn how this plugin/application works" or "This tutorial looks cool", turn your eyes toward some more fundamental discussion of design, photography, animation, film narrative, etc. The deeper your mastery of all of these things, the less time you'll sit around fiddling with particular 2.0, trying to make some completely arbitrary wipe-on. You won't worry about trying to add "wow" to your shit by smearing lens flares all over it, because your shit won't be boring and meaningless in the first place. Sparkle only goes so far. This game is about connecting with people.

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You've got some variety in there, which is good. But smothered all over that variety is a huge mess of shots that are nothing more than camera pans and lens flares. And whether those shots are footage, 3d, or something else, they're each pretty uninformative and uninspired. Taken together, they kind of end up feeling like incompetent filler. That's not to say that you're incompetent, but that the selection is weak. You don't really want that. What you DO want to do is take your best material and feature it, while trying to gloss over the weaker stuff (there's always weaker stuff, but don't let us dwell on it). If this means slowing down the edit to let us look at something beautiful or smart and then speeding up to skip through the crap, do that. Even if it means your reel ends up shorter than it is currently. And while you're going that route, don't be afraid to cut some stuff from the bottom of the barrel (i'm looking at you, blue vampire guy, full throttle pro stock, and... well, take your pick).

 

I'm not really sure what kind of schooling you may have just come out of, but going forward you'll want to keep focusing on fundamentals. Study traditional animation concepts, study composition, study typography, study design and communication principles. Every time you think "I need to learn how this plugin/application works" or "This tutorial looks cool", turn your eyes toward some more fundamental discussion of design, photography, animation, film narrative, etc. The deeper your mastery of all of these things, the less time you'll sit around fiddling with particular 2.0, trying to make some completely arbitrary wipe-on. You won't worry about trying to add "wow" to your shit by smearing lens flares all over it, because your shit won't be boring and meaningless in the first place. Sparkle only goes so far. This game is about connecting with people.

 

Appreciate the honesty. I have been looking closely to other designers reels and notice they show pieces longer so you get understand what they have made and can actually do. I take it when you say "nothing more than camera pans", you mean there is no actually animation (especially the 3D), but its more just constructed objects. If that's so, I completely agree with you and need to spend more time making personal projects because the place I work at isn't cutting it right now. With unrealistic deadlines and me being the only mograph designer, I add the sparkle to at least make it appealing some what. But I agree with you 100% on learning the fundamentals because you can never fail with them.

 

My question to you is, which pieces do you personally think I should take out and which ones do you think should stay?

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You've got some variety in there, which is good. But smothered all over that variety is a huge mess of shots that are nothing more than camera pans and lens flares. And whether those shots are footage, 3d, or something else, they're each pretty uninformative and uninspired. Taken together, they kind of end up feeling like incompetent filler. That's not to say that you're incompetent, but that the selection is weak. You don't really want that. What you DO want to do is take your best material and feature it, while trying to gloss over the weaker stuff (there's always weaker stuff, but don't let us dwell on it). If this means slowing down the edit to let us look at something beautiful or smart and then speeding up to skip through the crap, do that. Even if it means your reel ends up shorter than it is currently. And while you're going that route, don't be afraid to cut some stuff from the bottom of the barrel (i'm looking at you, blue vampire guy, full throttle pro stock, and... well, take your pick).

 

I'm not really sure what kind of schooling you may have just come out of, but going forward you'll want to keep focusing on fundamentals. Study traditional animation concepts, study composition, study typography, study design and communication principles. Every time you think "I need to learn how this plugin/application works" or "This tutorial looks cool", turn your eyes toward some more fundamental discussion of design, photography, animation, film narrative, etc. The deeper your mastery of all of these things, the less time you'll sit around fiddling with particular 2.0, trying to make some completely arbitrary wipe-on. You won't worry about trying to add "wow" to your shit by smearing lens flares all over it, because your shit won't be boring and meaningless in the first place. Sparkle only goes so far. This game is about connecting with people.

 

Appreciate the honesty. I have been looking closely to other designers reels and notice they show pieces longer so you get understand what they have made and can actually do. I take it when you say "nothing more than camera pans", you mean there is no actually animation (especially the 3D), but its more just constructed objects. If that's so, I completely agree with you and need to spend more time making personal projects because the place I work at isn't cutting it right now. With unrealistic deadlines and me being the only mograph designer, I add the sparkle to at least make it appealing some what. But I agree with you 100% on learning the fundamentals because you can never fail with them.

 

My question to you is, which pieces do you personally think I should take out and which ones do you think should stay?

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Most people who want to have a decent reel coming out of their first few jobs have to do self-initiated projects to compensate. It's true that you can make any commercial project into something amazing if you're talented and determined, but employers don't typically give juniors the kind of leeway that allows for that. So the effect is that your reel is kind of full of really mundane shit. And you try to replace that stuff with stuff that you like as fast as possible. Eventually, you'll work ALL of that stuff out of your portfolio, and you'll only look at it in painfully nostalgic moments. :D

 

Work on new stuff. If you're paying attention then you'll be making things that you like more and more, and pretty soon you'll have a more satisfying collection of work.

 

With regard to unrealistic deadlines: part of that is your own efficiency. You'll get faster with experience. But you'll also begin to understand the difference between a project with a short deadline and one with a seemingly luxurious deadline. When a deadline seems short, it may be because someone doesn't understand how long it should take, but more likely it'll be because they're not asking for the full meal deal. When you go to the car wash, they offer the cheapo wash for $10, the wash w/ wax for $20 and the full detail for $90. Are you always gonna go for the detail? They'd love to pull out all the stops, but no, you don't really need that. Likewise, you kind of have to understand what someone is asking for when they tell you how much time you have for project x. Don't just assume that they're hitting you with an unrealistic deadline. Always try to come to an understanding of what they're expecting to get in the end. Sometimes they know exactly what they need and it's just gonna be a boring job for you. And sometimes you're gonna have some insight for them indicating that a different dedication of time/energy is going to benefit them much more. I've been in plenty of situations where a client has said "we need someone to make X" and I've said "well, let's look at the problem because from here it seems like Y might help you more."

 

Remember, you're doing this because you like it, but they're paying you to do it for them. Keeping their best interests in mind is how you really turn your expertise into value.

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