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My first impression: three minutes?

 

Don't cut it in half, cut it by 2/3. The point of a reel isn't to show everything you've ever done, it's to cherry-pick the absolute best stuff you've worked on. Focus on that and nothing else. If the result is 30 seconds, so be it -- it'll still put you in a much better light than three minutes of mediocrity. You might be a decent motion designer, but it's so hard to tell when the reel is so padded.

 

(as an aside, I'd highly recommend ditching the "lynda.com training certificates" from your site, as well as "Proficient in both Mac and PC Environments" -- to me, these both just read "I'm a beginner")

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When it comes to the mediocrity, I totally get what you're saying. Unfortunately, the company I work for now has such insanely fast deadlines (one day, 6 hours, 3 hours) I feel like so much of my work comes out just OK. I'm in the process of trying to weed out this "padding," but sometimes I cut stuff out that other people like and I leave stuff in that other people hate.

 

Thanks for the advice on "Lynda" and "Mac and PC Environments." This one is an easy fix and I totally agree with you.

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When it comes to the mediocrity, I totally get what you're saying. Unfortunately, the company I work for now has such insanely fast deadlines (one day, 6 hours, 3 hours) I feel like so much of my work comes out just OK. I'm in the process of trying to weed out this "padding," but sometimes I cut stuff out that other people like and I leave stuff in that other people hate.

 

Thanks for the advice on "Lynda" and "Mac and PC Environments." This one is an easy fix and I totally agree with you.

Hi Joel,

Looks like you've done lots of stuff, which is a good sign that you're really interested in it and want to stay in the game. That's good, cuz if you want to get better, you're gonna have to take some hard blows sometimes. Everyone does. I sure did. And still do. And you're going to have to be exceptionally honest with yourself about your work, and highly critical of its qualities.

 

So let's be honest here: Aaron is right, and you're making excuses. You want your reel to be a slim, sexy, athletic, hot piece of ass, but right now it's a lethargic, apathetic, obese couch caddy. It doesn't have the energy to fish the molded cheetos out from under its own sweaty breastflaps. Somewhere in that reel is a hot piece of ass, waiting to be carved out, but you have to find it, and you're gonna have to fight like hell against your own bad habits to do so. You're gonna need a plan!

 

Joel, here's the plan!! You're gonna start thinking like you're in charge of this reel. You're the fucking BOSS here. You don't give a shit where these clips came from, or how much time they were allowed to be born. None of that crap matters. What matters is you're gonna make a face-melting reel out of that shit, regardless. You're gonna go out and watch the best reels in the universe, repeatedly, until you start figuring out why they're the best. You're gonna look at how they kick ass and eat babies from start to finish with sweet editing, dead-on pacing, and tight audio integration. You're gonna pay attention to why their self-branding is cool, and why seemingly unconnected projects flow into each other naturally when edited together well. You're gonna figure out why some moments are visceral, and others create anticipation. You can start with these...

http://vimeo.com/15304547

http://www.tlfs.tv/#home/Montage

 

These are by no means the best. They're pretty good, but they have flaws. If you can figure out where they succeed and fail, and why, then you can make a reel as good or better. And why wouldn't you? You're the fucking boss!

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Good job cutting it half -- that's a really, really great start. My biggest complaint at this point is that there are a lot of dead zones in the edit. It seems like a lot of clips overstay their welcome. One example is at :17, when you cut to black then fade up the next piece. The picture is almost totally static for two seconds before there's a bit of action again (the various layers sliding into place). You need to work to eliminate pauses like this -- if you cut straight from the first piece to the second, with no dip to black and the layers already sliding into place, you'll keep the energy moving from shot to shot. Keep the ball rolling -- cut on the action, not on the pauses. It's not just about grabbing your best pieces, it's about grabbing the best moments from your best pieces. Keep panning that edit until all that's left are the little gold bits.

Edited by Aaron Scott

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Just before you sent that comment, I did cut down the duration of that clip. It still fades to black though. Since the next clip starts from black, I thought using a dip may have been a good idea. I'll work on this section.

 

Thanks for your detailed advice by the way, it's been really hard for me to find someone that actually knows what they're doing. I was looking over your stuff and it's bad ass! I really want to get my AE stuff to that next level someday...

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I only watched the 1 min (something) spot and in my opinion feel that considering its still too long for what you have in there , The intro is a bit too long and most of the pieces are too long or in some cases blended in a way that makes one feel the whole show reel is just one big animation . Try and make your edits more distant and obvious so that the person seeing the showreel see what when a piece starts and when a piece ends . Also would be helpful to have a small line explaining wand don't care much about showreels at the moment , Just give yourself time to create outstanding work

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For the shots with wipes: are you trying to communicate that someone else did the "before" work, and the "after" state was the work you did? If so, I would omit sections where all you added was a slight color correction or particle glow.

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