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secretninja

Student reel, please critique

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for a recent graduate i think its pretty good. A lot of the work though looks like school work and I think you should try and take that out if possible. Doing some personal projects in your free time would be a much better route to take since it at least shows you're capable of conceptualizing a project from start to finish on your own. It also shows youre passionate enough to do this stuff for fun in your free time, AND your work wont be compared to the actual UFC/speed branding thats already out there (and very, very good). Also, the reel ends a little abruptly so I'd work on cleaning that up.

 

Other than that, I like the reel. It's short and sweet and has pretty good pacing imo. I think you could land a solid internship with this but dont know about landing big gigs as long as there's student work there. Maybe its just my opinion but to me student work is sort of a red flag saying "Im new to this, go easy on me!" Not saying the talent isnt there but you just gotta take some time and build up some other work to showcase. hope that helped!

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Hey Dan, y'know making the transition from print design to motion design is a hard one. It's a good path to take, but it's a long process because there's deceptively little overlap between the two disciplines. I started in print, and it's been a long, and still ongoing, journey to get up to speed in what is essentially a filmmaking medium. But that's sort of how you have to start treating it. Motion design isn't typically that successful when it's treated like animated print design on top of footage (although there's plenty of that out there).

 

Your reel consists of two things: 1) pieces of footage, over which you're simplistically moving some otherwise static graphics, and 2) presentations of illustrated/collaged environments with very little happening in them. In other words, you're making still graphics and presenting them in an animated medium, as opposed to making films using animation. The struggle for you right now is to figure out how to start thinking like a filmmaker and storyteller while using your print design knowledge in an animation and editorial medium. That's kind of a mouth-full. But what it means is that over the next few years, you're really going to have to look at how print design communicates things, and come to understand that animation, editing, pacing, camera angles, sound design, lighting, and a slew of other things all communicate in their own ways, and you have to wield them all to move from the print dimension to the video/flim dimension. A timeline doesn't just add one complication, it multiplies the complications by ten.

 

As an example, let's ask the critical question about your short intro shot, which is, "what extra value does this logo have now that it's an animated 2 second thing?" And the answer so far is: none. There's nothing that your animated intro tells me that a still image of your logo doesn't already. The logo itself is a little roughed up, but beyond that it's not communicating anything terribly significant. Does the way you animated it tell us anything else? No. So what's the point in animating it? Why would I want to watch your logo do something arbitrary? I wouldn't. I wouldn't want to watch it do something arbitrary for 2 seconds or 2 hours. I might, however, if the animation conveyed something to me, however abstractly, and therefore brought some value to the table.

 

Okay, so let's assume that you're insistent on the idea that your intro must prominently feature your logo. Seems reasonable, but then we might ask "Why is the logo there?" or "How did it come to be there?" or "What is it doing?" In print design, you don't really ask those questions, but they're more pertinent when you're in the business of telling little stories. Like, first there was A, then B happened, which resulted in C. It's the beginning - middle - end scenario that necessitates that context is given in the beginning (even if just ever so slightly, like "In the beginning, all was dark until a spot of light appeared in the distance"), then something happens in that context or TO that context ("the light twinkled there in the darkness"), and that leads to a resolution or ending of some kind ("and finally it burned out"). There are more formal ways of describing this, but they're usually in terms of writing or something long-form, and the stuff we do is pretty abstract and pretty quick.

 

Anyway, the point is that you're stuck with this static thing, but you're bringing it into the filmic dimension, and what are you going to do to make use of it? It's the same problem that designers have when they're asked to take a production company's logo and make an intro for a show or film out of it. Like

. Or
. Or
. Or
. Each of these communicates something relevant about the logo and/or the company that the logo in itself did not. And that's when there's a point to doing it, and a point in watching it. You don't have to overdo it, and it doesn't have to be gigantic. Could be
. As long as it's relevant and interesting.

 

So maybe take a crack at re-thinking that intro, but overall, start thinking about what you're doing in the fourth dimension and whether there's a point to it.

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Thanks for the feed back High Five. I plan on doing some personal mograph projects here soon. I'm also doing some tutorials for C4D in my spare time. Sometimes I don't think I have enough time in a day to do all that I want...lol. Since out of school, I'm not looking for my dream job, but looking to get my foot in the door somewhere. I know I'll have to start at the bottom and work my way up, which is no problem for me. I have the passion and drive to do well in anything I do, and I plan on pushing myself as hard as I can to get to where I want to be. Thanks again for the feedback. I appreciate it!

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Binky,

Yea the transition from print to motion is sometimes a hard think to grasp. Thanks for the great advice. It gives me something to think about when starting my projects. I'll have to see what I can come up with to change the intro. Thanks again, I appreciate the advice and feedback!

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