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dka

dka reel 2012

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Hola!

It's been a long time since my first reel post, but I'm still around, and looking for criticism on my second reel. Bash me into the ground, if you wish, it'll only help me want to kick ass on my next reel.

http://www.vimeo.com/dka/reelvol1

http://www.dannyadelman.com - *Updated website also (via Cargo)


It's only half-finished in my eyes, but I had to sorta finalize it to send for some job apps/interviews. I plan on revising the intro and replacing "filler" stuff I'm not necessarily proud of with higher quality C4D personal projects later in the year for a "Vol. II".

Gracias

Edited by dka

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Hey Danny,

 

Could be about 37 seconds shorter. Still feels like a lot of filler stuff in there. I'd say focus on the stuff you really love and try to work within the 1 minute or less constraint, putting all your best work towards the beginning. The intro could be about 5-10 seconds shorter,you probably don't need an outro at all. I would also avoid the fading to grey thing as much as possible; it clashes with the color and composition of your pieces and it took me a second viewing to realize it was not actually a part of them. Lastly, watch your reel a few times without sound. Show it to someone who's creative opinion you trust, first without sound, then with it. It will illuminate some of the shortcomings of the edit, and it also shows you how prospective producers and ADs might be looking at it.

 

edit: just had a couple other thoughts: Local cable broadcast design stuff is a tricky place to come from in the mograph world. I haven't done a lot of it myself but I imagine your turn around times are even crazier than the rest of ours and that the quality of design is not always held to the same level of scrutiny as say, title sequences or commercials. If you want to keep working within that network, I think you're probably doing just fine. If you want to expand beyond it, I would recommend spending some time refining your type skills and introducing a little more easing/drift into your animations.

Edited by Cosmo Ray

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I'm not sure why you've done this. Why would you show an old reel, and add a new reel at the end of it. Just show your best collection of work. We don't need to know when you did what, and we certainly don't need to see old stuff first. If you have new work that you're proud of, use it to replace some other work that you're not as proud of. You should be working toward a reel crammed full of stuff that makes people excited to work with you. The point is not to make a historical record of your work. It's to make something to inspire your peers and potential employers. It's not a resumé, it's a short film.

 

Also, I don't think anyone wants you to highlight that this is a work in progress, or that at some point it was an incomplete work. Would it be a good idea for Peter Jackson to release a version of The Hobbit that was all old cuts that weren't working, and be like "we'll have a better version later"? No, it wouldn't. First impressions are everything, and you only get one chance to make them. So do it right.

 

As for specifics, your intro is something less than compelling. There's no need to be showing four different versions of a lower third that no one's going to pay attention to. Anything with shitty footage has to hit the curb because it doesn't represent you well, ie. mpgautoservices, 4 locations, well basically all of the shitty local commercial footage. No one really needs to see ALL of that news graphic stuff, because we get the point pretty quick. That may be the bulk of what you've been doing lately, but unless that's what you want to KEEP doing, make sure you give that stuff less importance. And given the context of the rest of your reel, I find that Coke spinning logo bottle highly suspicious, and imagine that others might too. I just don't know what you're trying to suggest there. That you did the original animation? Because if you didn't, as I would guess, then what you're showcasing there is that you copied someone else. Probably not a good move.

 

I think you need to rethink some of your strategies here. Take a look at what you're trying to do by making a reel, and measure your decisions against that goal. If you don't find yourself making a shit ton of changes, then you probably don't understand the goal very well. Just because you're in a small town market, that doesn't mean you're relegated to small town success.

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@Cosmo - I battled with just fading to black as tradition would have it vs the gray to keep in line with my personal branding. Watching without sound is something I haven't tried, awesome suggestion which I'm going to start doing. And yeah, turnaround is shorter, budget and teams are smaller in smaller markets (Tucson is in the mid 50's), but I agree I need to improve type skills and F-curve tweaking. Thank you for your feedback!

 

@Binky - My whole idea of the "expansion pack" to the reel and making two parts, I felt, was experimental from the get-go, something I hoped would show some originality in my approach. Didn't intend for it to feel like a work in progress though. The shitty commercial footage is, well, as good as it gets here in Tucson. I know it pales in comparison to anything from LA or NYC but I'm hoping to be working more with someone I met in LA and use better footage in my next reel. I work in News as it's one of the only places to work in town with motion graphics that's stable, so I like to sprinkle it in there for future job ops, but I probably shouldn't because I want out soon. The Coke spot is a spec project which the director wanted the same exact spin, however, I added my own animation after that initial spin which was completely my own, so in retrospect I should have cut that copy animation out. I did make a bunch of changes believe it or not, but perhaps my overall idea is just shit... and that's fine. Do you think my "original" reel, http://www.vimeo.com/dka/reelvol1 , overall, is better? If so, I'll just keep sending that out there and label Vol 2 as an experimental failure. Your last sentence is inspiring, I'm trying my best to make it out of the smaller markets and get to LA, even as an intern I'd be happy working at a highly skilled studio. I really appreciate your feedback, thank you!

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No, the original reel isn't any better. Yes, the coke animation definitely feels disingenuous in the context of your reel. No, animation isn't about f-curve tweaking, it's about communicating through movement. I tend to disagree that a reel should be made to be seen without audio because someone who watches it without audio isn't paying enough attention for a full experience anyway, so why cater to that? And what you have is an arbitrary logotype, not a personal branding scheme, so I wouldn't worry about evolving that into something... maybe even something meaningful.

 

 

 

And a thought, if I may...

 

Even rockstar artists, when taking on projects, are generally given garbage to work with. What makes them rockstars is that they take that shit and they turn it into gold, by passion and force of will. As an example, there's this commercial that was made about plain yogurt maybe a couple of years ago. It's yogurt. It's fucking plain. BORING. Worst project ever. Ordinary 'creatives' picture middle-aged white women in khakis smiling in their kitchens, spooning this crap into their mouths. Maybe there's a shoot that's lit with morning light, blah blah, who fucking cares? Nobody, ever, is the answer.

 

So what happens? Someone at an agency in Boston writes the equivalent of a Dr. Seuss sonnet. That inspires some people at Psyop to create a visual story of achingly beautiful liquid landscapes, and a composer to gently lay it down in a bed of music. And what rises out of all of that is a love poem. A love poem... to yogurt! And people have strong feelings about this yogurt commercial. A commercial that, by most accounts, would have just been another fiber bran spot, or a douche ad, or a promotion for who-gives-a-fuck-but-ask-your-doctor.

 

At some point, the clients opened their mouths and said "we needa advertise our vanilla line cuz sales figures are flagging," and you know how that sounds, because that's how every uninspired business-driven decision sounds, coated with buzzwords and spraying like so much spit. What you don't know, however, is how to listen to the actual need that's there, and the potential for something valuable to come of it. As artists/designers, we may not always have enough control and oversight to fulfill a grand vision, but we make damn sure that we make the most of whatever we have. You got garbage footage? Work that shit into something where no one notices. Can't touch the footage? Bury it. Can't bury it? Well, you don't have to feature it on your own reel. Got a crap brief? Bring some fucking magic to it. Treat your audience to something they'll actually enjoy. Make them laugh, compel them to action, bring them to tears. Just inspire them. Your career will be a series of projects that are shit on paper, and if you can't translate them to gold in reality, then they're just gonna stay shit.

 

The point is to say, you may be bequeathed a lovely garden, or a frozen waste, but it's yours either way, and your choice what to do with it. This is as true in LA as in Tuscon.

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I appreciate your words and time, Binky. I obviously have a lot of work ahead of me. I suffer from lack of critiquing among everything else you said. There's one person's judgement I trust here in town and I gotta get away from that. For the projects I really care about and intend to put on my reel, I should start bringing them here more often.

 

I'd love to hear more from everyone, specifics on things I'm actually doing right (if anything) as well the wrong stuff.

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