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Building a reel, start to finish

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Specificity in visual communication is something I'd rather relegate to its own episode, if I get that far. Totally could have done a better job on that intro, but it sucked up a lot of unpaid time as it was.

I think it was because I've read and admired your analysis of many other reels on here in the past that my expectations were so high! I probably didn't really need to say what I did... anyway, can't wait to see the visual communication episode. Santa was a nice touch.

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Oh dear lord this video series is GOLD.

 

"This isn't a slideshow. It's not meant to show how much work you've done, it's meant to show how well you do it. But it should also be entertaining and interesting to watch, and not just be a catalogue or historical record of what you've done."

 

So accurate. Well done!

 

joey

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Are you happy for anyone and everyone to post links to the YouTube videos around the Net?

 

Yeah, for sure. I made it for anyone it might benefit. The more people who know about it, the more it helps (or annoys). This is an experimental test run, so I want to see what comes of it when it's out in the wild anyway.

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Binky, do you think one would cut a reel differently if you were targetting clients in production companies and networks instead of design studios? In the past I've kept the pacing a little slower and hung on to shots for a bit longer than you do here, because I figured these people would be looking at a reel as evidence of work 'working' as opposed to just work, but maybe thats a false interpretation. I think it's a bit like the difference between having your showreel being your homepage, and your project gallery (with a prominent showreel) being your homepage.

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To get more view you could put it on Vimeo, if you haven't already. It's more tailored to your audience. Hunt out the appropriate groups to add it too as well.

 

Maybe send it to people doing the educational mography stuff as well eg. HelloLuxx, Greyscale Gorilla.

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Hi Blinky, I think your tutorial is nicely done and I think the text at the opening of each video is a neat idea. BUT am I alone in finding it incredible that there's now a tutorial on 'how to build a reel'?! Judging by this thread, people obviously do find it helpful so I don't want to come across as an old grumpy b**tard (too late!) but it does seem to plunge us ever deeper towards total online hand-holding.

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...it does seem to plunge us ever deeper towards total online hand-holding.

 

"online hand holding" could be used to describe any tutorial. The reality is that people who copy paste what they get out of tutorials like this aren't actually learning anything. and the people that get valuable information from them bend it to their will and in a sense are doing the work themselves.

 

yes, you'll see a lot of people who might use the same track or a similar opening treatment but it's same sort of thing as when you see GSG and Video Copilot tutorials in people's reel.

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Binky, do you think one would cut a reel differently if you were targetting clients in production companies and networks instead of design studios? In the past I've kept the pacing a little slower and hung on to shots for a bit longer than you do here, because I figured these people would be looking at a reel as evidence of work 'working' as opposed to just work, but maybe thats a false interpretation. I think it's a bit like the difference between having your showreel being your homepage, and your project gallery (with a prominent showreel) being your homepage.

 

I'd never suggest that how I did it is how it's done. What I did is create an example, for the sake of talking about some strategies. I maybe didn't do a very good job of making that clear. I think the strategies are valid, but they're not the only strategies. You could absolutely build a reel a million different ways, but most of the concerns remain the same, namely: is it compelling all the way through, and does it convey what you need it to convey about you and your work? How it's compelling and what it conveys is completely at your discretion. If you are selling your skills to production companies with specific needs, then you need to figure out how to best cater to those needs.

 

Hi Blinky, I think your tutorial is nicely done and I think the text at the opening of each video is a neat idea. BUT am I alone in finding it incredible that there's now a tutorial on 'how to build a reel'?! Judging by this thread, people obviously do find it helpful so I don't want to come across as an old grumpy b**tard (too late!) but it does seem to plunge us ever deeper towards total online hand-holding.

 

I still don't know what to call it, but it's not meant to be a tutorial. If it seems like the point of this is that you're getting some kind of step by step recipe, then I've royally fucked it up. I honestly never considered the possibility that someone would use this as a template for their own reel. How dumb would that be? I mean... ugh, you're probably right, someone will do it. And that's kind of fine for beginners, when emulation is a decent form of education, but a reel is something that beginners inherently can't pull off, so we'll see.

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First of all great work on congrats on the final product , it's more fair to Axel's work than the original reel , the things he left out of the reel are some of his best work so congratilations for him too on being the badass he is in mograph .

 

I have a few questions though I hope you or someone else can help me answer. The first is about cultural reference xan you clarify it more . Should it be relevant to us or the general public or the market we arr trying to address (geographically speaking)

The sexond question about audio , you might have answred this but the second video was blocked for me , sonething about the track you used being blocked in my region . What are the legal issues of using a track by an artist , can you use any track you want ? Will I get sued if I use it without the artist's approval specially whenits for a famous artist who' s hard to get to .

About the intro and this probably something that I have always struggled with all together with creating a branding for myawlf . The thing is I'm never satisfied with what I end up creating as an intro for my reel. I don't know why . I even sometimes consider commisioning to someone else ... I always say I should be doing it my own because if I can't make an intro to myself then what does thay say about me for a client but then I think that we are creatives and somwtimes a creative comes up with a vision and its up to someone else to execute it . I'm torn on this one since I feel I'm really starting to need a branding for myself , I will be working on my website next year and I will be working on a new reel soon too so I need it ... any advice ?

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I have a few questions though I hope you or someone else can help me answer. The first is about cultural reference xan you clarify it more . Should it be relevant to us or the general public or the market we arr trying to address (geographically speaking)

 

The approach I took to the intro is just one approach. Go out and look at 50 different reels. You'll see all kinds of different things, some that work better than others. But the overarching reason why the good ones work is because somehow they've conveyed something about the person who made them, or they've suggested something, anything, compelling. A reel is necessarily a statement about what you do, and/or who you are, and/or what you're into, so as soon as you show something compelling, it says something about YOU. There's no reason you have to be literal about it like I kind of was for Axel's intro.

 

For Axel's intro, I had to speak for him. I don't know him well, so I made a fake persona for him and imagined what sorts of things he'd think were awesome. That fake persona was kind of part rocker, part hooligan, part guy who's into some punk subculture stuff. And I decided that I would make an intro by flashing up some stuff that the fake Axel thinks are rad. When I was talking about cultural references, I was talking about what each of those individual illustrated images might mean, and why. Your mom probably isn't into chop tops. Your local veterinarian probably doesn't fetishize switchblades, or have a thing for fucking shit up. Your banker likely doesn't love skulls. But there's a guy out there who's into a culture that DOES appreciate those things. Misfits tshirts with the sleeves torn off and homemade tattoos and cliche post-goth punk bullshit. Like, look at these two tumblrs and tell me you don't get a feel for who's behind them... http://otakugangsta.com and http://meandmybentley.tumblr.com. One guy is an anime and military robots nerd while the other is an effete upper class fashion fetishist. Now that's most likely not all they are, but they're projecting those personas through their tumblrs by making lots of specific cultural references. Gundam fan crap is a vastly different thing to reference than Lamborghini interiors, Prada clutches and spotlessly tailored white people.

 

Again, I used these references (hand-me-down bats, lone wolves, thugs, classic car culture, etc) in a really literal "this is what I think is awesome" way and put that right in Axel's mouth, to pretend that's who he was. But YOU don't need to be literal. You know what you like, and you'll inherently make things that are representative of you just by doing what you like. Maybe that's a 5 sec scene where two dolphins are making out against a coral reef in the shape of your name. Or maybe it's some boring Modernist helvetica layout with an 80s VHS affectation to it. Whatever it is, if you want it to differentiate yourself from the hordes of mograph zombies out there all capable of doing the same hexagonal chromed-out C4D garbage that no one ever connects with, then you have to do something from the heart. Something you enjoy. Something that's you. If you just want to be a worker bee, then fuck it; whip out the clones, throw some plexus in there, do your name in extruded bank gothic, add a lens flare and some realFlow sims with ambient occlusion and all the goodies turned on and disappear into the crowd.

 

What are the legal issues of using a track by an artist , can you use any track you want ? Will I get sued if I use it without the artist's approval specially whenits for a famous artist who' s hard to get to .

 

My take on it is that this is essentially a "fair use" situation. Reels aren't made to be sold, and they're typically promotional for whatever track is being used. Even if a record company were to take issue with a track's usage, it's kind of on such a small scale, it likely doesn't even behoove them to spend the energy to shut it down.

 

 

 

About the intro and this probably something that I have always struggled with all together with creating a branding for myawlf . The thing is I'm never satisfied with what I end up creating as an intro for my reel. I don't know why . I even sometimes consider commisioning to someone else ... I always say I should be doing it my own because if I can't make an intro to myself then what does thay say about me for a client but then I think that we are creatives and somwtimes a creative comes up with a vision and its up to someone else to execute it . I'm torn on this one since I feel I'm really starting to need a branding for myself , I will be working on my website next year and I will be working on a new reel soon too so I need it ... any advice ?

 

 

 

Make what you enjoy, not what you think someone else will enjoy. Make it well, so that others CAN watch it, but just try to please yourself. And in doing so, cut yourself some slack. It's never going to be 100% perfect, but you have to be done at some point. Give yourself credit when it's good, and let it go.

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@Binky ... thanks for the answer , just wanted to get you to talk some more about this because I really enjoy these work process talks and why people end up choosing to do what they did the way yhey did it ... thanks for the reply

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These videos are amazing. These are not tutorials, I think they should have their own name by now!

Really to the point, and funny as hell.

 

Maybe do one about trends and styles like someone suggested on Youtube?

I will be looking forward to the next one, whatever it is!

 

Thanks Binky!

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