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CyanSeaHorse

Advice on reel

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Hey all, EDIT : Dam this post is almost a year old now!

I've been in a motion graphic/video environment but working in the online gaming industry for nearly 3 years now. I work in-house and have had amazing opportunities to learn and grow.

I've started piecing together a reel that I'll work on over time, obviously throwing away the garbage and tightening up the good stuff.


***REMOVED****

Thanks for your time and looking forward to any replies.
Regards
Kyle

Edited by CyanSeaHorse

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Hey Kyle,

Good job at keeping the pace of the edit moving along- a slow moving reel is usually the first sign of inexperience. So nice work there :)

Here's some quick feedback that I hope is helpful.

 

- Your reel could be 30 - 45 seconds shorter. Only include your BEST stuff. If that means you have a 30 second reel, no sweat. Try and be as critical of your work as possible. If it's not up to snuff- kill it.

 

- Cut back on the repeated projects. There's no reason to cut back to a project that we've already seen in your reel unless it's demonstrating a new technique or visual style. When you keep cutting back to the same project, showing the same thing, it tells us your lacking content and just padding out your reel.

 

- Lose the live-action music video footage. It's the only thing in your reel of this nature and stands out. If you're marketing yourself as a mograph artist, why is there random DSLR shots of some band we don't know in it? Without a breakdown or explanation, I would have no idea how those shots apply to your design/animation skill set.

 

- Spend some time on your intro and outro titles. This is a great place to show off your skills and personal style right off the bat and grab some attention. To be honest, you can almost always tell the quality of the reel by the intro and people really judge your reel based on that. Spend some time on it and blow us away right off the bat.

 

Best of luck with the transition into a new environment! Hope this is helpful,

 

Adam

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First of all, Gibraltar! Who knew that Gibraltar had a mograph scene :) Loved it there when I visited in 1997...

 

I'm old.

 

Okay, your reel -

 

1) Intro: this is your chance to show off a bit, especially when you're just starting out. Make it a personal 5-second project, not just a mask wipe.

 

2) Adam is correct: your reel could probably be about 45 seconds, total.

 

3) Dont' be afraid to go back to previous projects and spice them up. For instance, the military guys about 10 seconds in - you could go back to that and make it something a bit more special, especially since it's so early on in the reel. Have them lift their guns, have the tanks moving, smoke coming out of the turrets, make the missile fall in more of an arc and add more to the "explosion" that happens.

 

4) Try watching out for too much stuff with simple glows and light-rays.

 

5) Challenge yourself more with type (as we all should): Go here for inspiration: http://www.typographyserved.com/

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Thank's so much for your tips adam!

 

Your reel could be 30 - 45 seconds shorter. Only include your BEST stuff. If that means you have a 30 second reel, no sweat. Try and be as critical of your work as possible. If it's not up to snuff- kill it.

 

Got it! I did repeat a few things as you saw, and obviously quality over rules quantity by far, I'll bin the stuff that I have any doubts about.

 

 

- Lose the live-action music video footage. It's the only thing in your reel of this nature and stands out. If you're marketing yourself as a mograph artist, why is there random DSLR shots of some band we don't know in it? Without a breakdown or explanation, I would have no idea how those shots apply to your design/animation skill set.

 

Since there's other DSLR live-action stuff in there, should I scrap it all too? I guess it makes sense to make a separate reel showing the event coverage/music videos that I've done, I've never been sure about this and so that's why included a bit of everything. Your advice is taken, I'll chuck the music vid but maybe keep the higher quality event coverage stuff.

 

Spend some time on your intro and outro titles. This is a great place to show off your skills and personal style right off the bat and grab some attention. To be honest, you can almost always tell the quality of the reel by the intro and people really judge your reel based on that. Spend some time on it and blow us away right off the bat.

 

That makes a lot of sense, for this so far I just got the skeleton down of the video and then just used some placeholder's temporarily for the intro & outro. I'd like to make these really special & now I realize the importance of this. I guess I'll concentrate on these at the end once I understand the overall "feeling" of my reel.

 

@daveglanz Thanks for your time! Gibraltar doesn't have any mograph scene and so this is part of my frustration! The local tv company is slowly getting up to scratch, partnering with a big UK company to hopefully come here and help out. I think most of the "skilled" labourers exist in the online gaming industry, since it's one of Gibraltar's largest earning industries.

 

 

3) Dont' be afraid to go back to previous projects and spice them up. For instance, the military guys about 10 seconds in - you could go back to that and make it something a bit more special, especially since it's so early on in the reel. Have them lift their guns, have the tanks moving, smoke coming out of the turrets, make the missile fall in more of an arc and add more to the "explosion" that happens.

Thank's for these ideas! I never seriously considered re-doing work for your reel but it totally makes sense, that project specifically was made for an educational series which was heavily rushed, having no real creative direction and just a very impatient community, forced me to rush most of this. But I do see some value in it only if I fix it up, as you say.

 

 

4) Try watching out for too much stuff with simple glows and light-rays.

 

It's always an easy escape for me I guess that I never noticed, when I get to a point and ask "how can I improve this?" maybe I answer it way too often by saying "hmm, lets make that glow and a light shine through it"... obviously not the right solution. Also, if theres a lot of things using these effects in my reel then I'll try space them out or chuck some away to avoid the reel getting boring or repetitive.

 

 

5) Challenge yourself more with type (as we all should): Go here for inspiration: http://www.typographyserved.com/

 

It's definitely another area of mine that needs work, I'll make a note to have a slice of "typographyserved.com", with my breakfast everyday.

 

Thanks again everybody! I'm super grateful for all this feedback already!

 

Regards

Kyle

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Hey guys,

 

I have a bit of an update, it's much shorter and I tried my best to be as critical as I can.

 

What do you think?

 

https://vimeo.com/51681966

Pass : 1234

 

Thanks!

 

p.s I just noticed it's not in HD because of my previous upload, regardless I still think it's a big improvement!

Edited by CyanSeaHorse

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It is an improvement in terms of duration and pacing, and it's good that you took a stab at the intro. What Adam said about the quality of the intro often dictating the quality of the reel is definitely true. Another thing to think about is who is looking at this reel, and what sort of time they have on their hands. Producers and CD/ADs have a lot of other stuff to do, and talent scouts are looking at a jillion reels at a time, so it's imperative to wow them as much as possible in the beginning.

 

In order to keep their attention, you should put your best work up front, and the more ho hum stuff towards the end. Right now your beginning shot has a lot of dead time. I would consider starting it with something that has more energy and demonstrates your proficiencies with more bravado.

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I agree with Cosmo on this. A lot of improvement already

 

I'd spend some more time on the intro still. Jazz it up some more and wow us, lose the dead-space, and reconsider the bottom-heavy placement. Feels uncomfortably low (and the vimeo player bar covers its up too).

 

In terms of edit. I agree: best stuff up front. But also feel like almost every edit could be trimmed just a little to be shorter still. Each edit seems to hang on just slightly too long.

Keep in mind it's ok to time-remap or jump-cut the shit out your animations. You just want to lose any deadspace in there. Example: the first clip with the soldiers and tanks.... instead of just cutting out of it sooner, trim some time in the middle so you keep the animation-in of all the elements (which is nice) and keep explosion at the end (which is nice), but lose the slow-moving part in the middle with the fly by.

Stuff like that.

 

You still have some repeating projects in there too, which I'd lose. Feels like your TRT should be around 40 seconds...

 

Post your next update when you got it!

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It is an improvement in terms of duration and pacing, and it's good that you took a stab at the intro. What Adam said about the quality of the intro often dictating the quality of the reel is definitely true. Another thing to think about is who is looking at this reel, and what sort of time they have on their hands. Producers and CD/ADs have a lot of other stuff to do, and talent scouts are looking at a jillion reels at a time, so it's imperative to wow them as much as possible in the beginning.

 

In order to keep their attention, you should put your best work up front, and the more ho hum stuff towards the end. Right now your beginning shot has a lot of dead time. I would consider starting it with something that has more energy and demonstrates your proficiencies with more bravado.

 

Thank's a lot for your advice Cosmo! I'll juggle the edit a bit and bump the better stuff forward, it's hard to find a balance between flow & consistency but with a bit of playing around I think I can definitely improve it.

 

 

 

I'd spend some more time on the intro still. Jazz it up some more and wow us, lose the dead-space, and reconsider the bottom-heavy placement. Feels uncomfortably low (and the vimeo player bar covers its up too).

In terms of edit. I agree: best stuff up front. But also feel like almost every edit could be trimmed just a little to be shorter still. Each edit seems to hang on just slightly too long.

Keep in mind it's ok to time-remap or jump-cut the shit out your animations. You just want to lose any deadspace in there. Example: the first clip with the soldiers and tanks.... instead of just cutting out of it sooner, trim some time in the middle so you keep the animation-in of all the elements (which is nice) and keep explosion at the end (which is nice), but lose the slow-moving part in the middle with the fly by.

Stuff like that.

 

You still have some repeating projects in there too, which I'd lose. Feels like your TRT should be around 40 seconds...

 

 

Post your next update when you got it!

Thank's again Adam for following the progress, and for your advice. Regarding the intro text I'll play with the space and the composition, I definitely think I could throw in some more animation there as well which might bind it together a bit better.

 

Regarding the edit pace, I did notice some of the clips feel even half a second too long, I'll consider putting frame markers on the beat in the timeline to help me with the rhythm, and then do the time re-map and see how it pans out.

 

Thanks again guys!

 

update to come soon

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Over all I really like it. Just some pieces that really kinda catch my eye in a bad way.

 

- brought to you by poker heaven, with the fireworks. That just looks really cheap to me.

 

-the motorbikes in a tunnel scene. Looks more like a flash banner than mograph.

 

But otherwise really like your stuff.

 

Also, nice idea about putting more effort into titles. Never really thought of it. I always just kept em as plain text...

 

I need to make a new reel...

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Thanks Vozzz,

 

In the last week I was made redundant, quite good news for me I think since I wasn't enjoying the work at all any more.

 

Plus I have quite a lot of freelance stuff lined up and waiting to finish already so I'll roll into the new routine quite easily I think.

 

I've added some stuff to my reel and so I think I'll be releasing or sending it out this week, would love for some final thoughts

 

https://vimeo.com/53673976

 

Thanks!

 

Any advice for me is greatly appreciated. I'll be freelancing for a bit to see how it goes (mograph and videography here in southern spain), probably will launch a web site soon & start some marketing.

Edited by CyanSeaHorse

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Hey guys,

 

I found this thread again and thought I'd give an update.

 

Been freelancing for 7 months now, going really well. I just really need some advice on my website, if you have the time have a quick look over at

www.motionrockstar.com

 

Still got my reel from last year up, have had a lot of camera work and editing clients when the mograph things are quiet.

Cheers all!

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Site's looking like a good start. I think there's no doubt that the one thing you need to change is for the background video to stop playing when your reel is playing. Also - and this is just a personal preference - I'd put volume control back into the video player :)

 

Also - not a huge fan of the centered type in the "about" section. But- overall, looking pretty good!

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Agree about the video background. And I'd go a step farther and say that if you have your showreel playing playing in the background, it's questionable whether most people will really feel like they're getting much more out of clicking on "showreel" and watching it. You should present your showreel as a focal piece of work, that's not in question. But don't steal your own thunder with a muted, cropped off jumbotron version of it right off the bat. That background copy should be dimmed, slowed down, or otherwise treated as background material.

 

The info on the about page is probably altogether unnecessary. You're talkilng to strangers here, so you can save the talk about what you were like as a teenager until you're actually working with someone and they actually care. And the second paragraph is mostly a lame sales pitch, which is useless in the context of a portfolio, where your skills and value are laid bare. If you want to suggest that you're available for motion graphics as well as shooting, just say so.

 

Also... motion rockstar? Really? Shouldn't you kinda leave that up to the audience to decide? It's your call, for sure, but I see that and I immediately assume you're a mid-talent douchebag. Maybe that's a bonus, I don't know.

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Thanks a lot for the advice guys, some great tips! I'll make the background video quite a bit different to my showreel. In any case - I need to make a new showreel asap.

 

As for a rebrand, I can't afford to change all of my branding only 7 months into operation. I should have maybe noted that for local clients it applies to "The Rock of Gibraltar" which is where I live - hence "Motion ROCKstar" The play on words has a nice and memorable effect when I pass out biz cards to local businesses.

 

Also, I was in a rock band for a few years - played many shows and had quite a nice fan base. As a result many of my friends know me as "the rockstar", and considering the first people you advertise too is generally your mates - I considered it to be more aimed at them rather than designers, at least in the beginning to get my feet off the ground.

 

In my previous company where I worked for 4 years and gained well over 200 connections - I had the nickname "video rockstar" (most colleagues were non-native english speakers).

 

It's also setting myself a goal - I may not be a "Rockstar" just yet , but it's something I aim to achieve.

 

"mid-talent douchebag" and "prick" - strange but I really like that it makes you angry, at least it stirs an emotion.

 

Whereas if it was "Kyle Reynolds", you'd have forgotten it before I finished writing this sentence.

 

Binky, I like how on your site you use only screenshots for your work - plus your branding is not bad either.

 

Thank's again guys, extremely useful advice!

Edited by CyanSeaHorse

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Thanks a lot for the advice guys, some great tips! I'll make the background video quite a bit different to my showreel. In any case - I need to make a new showreel asap.

 

As for a rebrand, I can't afford to change all of my branding only 7 months into operation. I should have maybe noted that for local clients it applies to "The Rock of Gibraltar" which is where I live - hence "Motion ROCKstar" The play on words has a nice and memorable effect when I pass out biz cards to local businesses.

 

Also, I was in a rock band for a few years - played many shows and had quite a nice fan base. As a result many of my friends know me as "the rockstar", and considering the first people you advertise too is generally your mates - I considered it to be more aimed at them rather than designers, at least in the beginning to get my feet off the ground.

 

In my previous company where I worked for 4 years and gained well over 200 connections - I had the nickname "video rockstar" (most colleagues were non-native english speakers).

 

It's also setting myself a goal - I may not be a "Rockstar" just yet , but it's something I aim to achieve.

 

"mid-talent douchebag" and "prick" - strange but I really like that it makes you angry, at least it stirs an emotion.

 

Whereas if it was "Kyle Reynolds", you'd have forgotten it before I finished writing this sentence.

 

Binky, I like how on your site you use only screenshots for your work - plus your branding is not bad either.

 

Thank's again guys, extremely useful advice!

 

I know what you mean, but I've desperately tried to change my username (thinking I could), and now I feel stuck with songalongadingdong.

 

There is no story behind it, and all I feel is remorse.

 

Personally, I think a rebrand would be fine, so long as you launch it appropriately (like, if you have an email newsletter, that would be fine).

 

I think people who have worked with you know you by name, and associate your name with the consistency and level of quality you have shown them.

 

To new people who come across your work through word of mouth or other channels, whatever name you present to them will be the one that sticks sooner or later. Even if they don't remember your name at first, if they see your quality and continue to hear good things about you, your name will stick.

Motion Rockstar has its associations.

For you to explain your story to people about why Motion Rockstar should have other associations than the ones already attached to it is a bit messy and inefficient. Even if your name has no associations at first with solid video + motion work, if you continue to make good + solid work over time, your name will eventually gain this association.

Motion Rockstar, on the other hand, is already loaded, and from the backstory you give, it sounds as if you are trying to give it new associations that don't immediately come to mind when people come across that phrase.

 

But, if you really love the name, stick with it.

 

I don't personally associate it with "douchebag" and "prick," but to me, the name is more generic than I would personally want it to be. The same goes for ninja or wizard or guru or whatever. There are many motion designers out there who have skill and sense, but only one you. Motion rockstar is very broad.

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Great advice, thank you very much!

 

Makes a lot of sense, I'll see how it goes since it'll expire in a few months and i'll reconsider then.

 

Your work is incredible by the way, very inspirational with such a refreshing style.

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"mid-talent douchebag" and "prick" - strange but I really like that it makes you angry, at least it stirs an emotion.

 

Whereas if it was "Kyle Reynolds", you'd have forgotten it before I finished writing this sentence.

 

Binky, I like how on your site you use only screenshots for your work - plus your branding is not bad either.

 

 

Yeah, if you're stirring it up intentionally, that's great. You could play with that and craft a definitive statement around it. I think, as has been said, right now it has no other specific ideas attached to it so it's pretty generic. You'll find a charismatic angle on it if you put in the time.

 

(And, fuck, I had to figure out how you found my site. I'm a dumbass. That work is like 6+ years old. Erase it from your mind! Although, to be certain, those weren't screenshots, they were storyboards, which is what I mainly do. Shit I hope no one else found that. Ugh, unlikely.)

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