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sbmotiondesign

demo reel in progress

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I haven't updated my reel in almost five years, yikes!

 

I have an in progress version that I would love to have ripped apart in old school mograph.net fashion. The placeholder intro and outro cards can be ignored for now, just looking for feedback on my edit, shot selection, and music.

 

Thanks!

 

Edited by sbmotiondesign

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Right on! Five years is a lot of new raw material to work with. And I like your logo. It's well done and has character, and I doubt that you need to do anything that would take a full 8 seconds to kick this off. When you get to that stage, continue thinking "sophisticated" and "authentic" as opposed to something wizzy and AfterEffects-y and you'll be golden.

 

The audio is always a pretty subjective thing, and hopefully you've chosen it to represent you for some reason. But I don't know that the character of your work and the character of this track have any chemistry, and your edit isn't indicating that that's intentional, so I'm guessing it's not. Out of the gate, you've got this like high tech video game thingamabob appearing at the same time the vocal "dung dadung dung" kicks in, and it just seems all uncoordinated. The imagery you're showing is, for the most part, very saturated, clean, digital. You might even characterize it as sterile. And while the audio feels kind of constructed and produced, the quality of the sounds is strangely organic. Usually, for a disconnect between audio and visual, I'd make suggestions about rethinking editing, but I think maybe it's too hard a sell for this particular combo and maybe the audio needs to go. If anything, I'll argue that the outro is off-putting. It just seems to fart on itself as it exits. :D

 

Where editing IS concerned, I see you're trying to follow the whole "cut on the action, not on the pause" strategy, but you're riding that line pretty tight and being real precious with work you could be treating like raw material. "Cut on the action" isn't some mandate that makes things work as long as you're technically following it. The point is that you want interesting things happening on screen all the time. If it's not interesting anymore, it shouldn't be on screen. Even for a few frames. Not even close. I don't need to read the Killzone whatever logo. I don't need to watch all of the MLB 13 pieces drift into place. I don't need to read "refresh". I don't need to see the second shot of the UI Update ball shattering because it's redundant. I don't need to see the whole Adobe software tree diagram come together. It's just not interesting enough, either as something to watch, or in terms of understanding your skillset. Showing me that you faded some text on while it slid into place tells me, what exactly? As an employer, it tells me you can do very basic AE moves, which isn't compelling. But what's worse is that showing me that in your reel implies that you think it's something compelling, when it most clearly is not, and that now brings into question a whole host of concerns like: does this guy have any taste? Does he have any voice of his own? Does he go above and beyond, and is he capable of creative visual problem solving? Will he bring something to the table? You're suggesting, in this very simple decision that you've made, that the answer to all of these questions is "no". Obviously, that's not what you're trying to convey in a reel, and you and I both know it's not true. But you're doing yourself a real disservice with the lazy editing, both in shot choice and in cutting. (FYI, the two subsequent shots suffer from the same disease and you're shooting yourself in the face there)

 

So how do you fix that? First, you've got some nice moments happening already, where you're not being overly precious with the work, and you're taking us on a fun journey through it. I think the car stuff near the front is doing that fairly well. But your very first shot explodes on screen for a few frames and then just sits there, before moving and sitting again. So there may either be a different way to cut that to highlight the interesting parts of that piece, or you may want to find something else to take that top spot altogether. And I think if you find an audio track that has better pacing, it'll guide you to cutting with better pacing to suit it. And by pacing, I don't mean a steady rhythm. I'll make an analogy to writing: Gary Provost gives a short lesson on simply varying sentence length to create rhythm and flow...

 

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

 

Right? You can do this as much in your work as he does in this paragraph. Use the right shot at the right moment for the right amount of time, and your reel can be a roller coaster of emotion, or a lake boat ride of calm relaxation. Whatever, just let us feel something. Shit I haven't even eaten dinner! Gotta go! :D

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Hey Binky,

Thanks for your feedback and input! Picking a track is always the most difficult part of the process for me and it's something I've been struggling with on this go round. I reached a point where I needed to pick something, anything, to get the process started. It feels good just to have a timeline with some clips in it at this point.

 

I do like the track, but I agree that the pacing isn't working well for my material and the ending of the track is just sad and unrewarding... I think in this first pass I let the track dictate the edit too much and that made me want to stretch some scenes out longer than needed which is never a good thing.

 

I think I might try to cut something together without the audio at all as a little experiment to get my edit tight, and then revisit picking out a track and making things work with the music.

 

Thanks again!

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Wow! That first pass was terrible... but I gots me a V2!

 

Finding the right track has made such a huge difference, I feel so much better about this second cut. I'm going to polish it up a bit more, still pushing and swapping a few things, but I wanted to post this one to show my progress. Any additional feedback from anyone is much appreciated. I ended up using the track "Aftergold" by Big Wild. Thanks Spotify Viral 50 USA!

 

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Hey man!

Looking awesome so far!

I thought I'd try be helpful since you've really helped me in that other thread.

Take a look at this reel, always a personal favorite of mine :

 



I know it's really old, mostly live action, and maybe a little boring, but I've always enjoyed it when people take time to let images play out instead of rushing through a bunch of fireworks and explosion-like visuals at a breathtaking pace. You can create tension. Be a little mysterious. I felt a little rushed in your second cut, mostly just because of the opening selection of shots. I didn't have any time to enjoy the work. On a second viewing I realized the cuts were synched to the hand-claps, but on first view I was visually overwhelmed and I wanted more time to appreciate the shiny stuff!

Awesome collection of work though, nice job!
Edited by Cobra_Orphan.jpg

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You can create tension. Be a little mysterious. I felt a little rushed in your second cut, mostly just because of the opening selection of shots. I didn't have any time to enjoy the work. On a second viewing I realized the cuts were synched to the hand-claps, but on first view I was visually overwhelmed and I wanted more time to appreciate the shiny stuff!

I agree here. This cut works a little better in terms of showing us interesting bits, but remember the pacing. There are going to be moments of explosiveness and moments of calm. This is neither a sprint nor a marathon. It's a movie. Where is the action and where is the calm? Where are the emotional swells? You could have a swell right at the beginning, but the music isn't really playing along with that idea, so maybe you start out a little different.

 

The Labour reel reference takes a different tack because its content is much different, and therefore the way it tells its story is much different. Your content probably wouldn't work very well as a long string of even cuts like that, but it's still a good reference for some perspective.

 

And I can never be sure with vimeo whether the sound is synced correctly or not, but with a track like this it's going to be really important that your cuts are frame accurate to the different aspects of the beat. The audio and video are going to dance together, and it'll be a lot more compelling to watch if their moves are really on it.

 

This is definitely an improvement. If you have the energy to play with this some more, make another version and try some bigger moves.

Edited by Binky

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Thanks Guys, I really appreciate it!

 

I've been cutting all kinds of stuff together, trying different songs, and really just trying to have fun with it. It's the kind of thing where I'll cut something together in the evening and then in the morning I see it with fresh eyes and want to try something new.

 

I'll be sure to share the final when it's done.

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