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Eman

Reel me in

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Hello all, and welcom to my first attempt at creating a demo reel. Its a work in progress. Please give me feedback, and for those very experienced ones out there (you know who you are) let me know if you think I could get a job with this - or if I have to lock myself back in the studio and keep slaving away.

 

http://www.handymanmedia.com/Html1/SelfAdBig.htm

 

Thankyou for your time.

 

Evan (Eman)

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Well, if you've been lurking for a while, then you likely know what to expect from a crit. So here it is!

It's probably gonna be a while before you're ready for paid work. But don't take that as a blow. It really takes a while to get enough education and experience under your belt to be valuable to potential clients. I taught myself for a couple of years by looking at stuff and trying it out and learning software and going that whole route, and then decided that i needed a real design education, so I went through an intense 4-year art schooling, finished that and slowly entered the world of professional work, and now it's 3 years later, and I'm still only marginally confident that I can make anything of value (although that may be more of a personal outlook than a question of ability). So that's 9 years so far, which can look daunting, but when you're doing it cuz you love it, then you're gonna like spending your time that way.

 

We all have instant access to the tools of creation, but in the first few years of using them, we're not really sure how or why we should, and what makes professional work look and feel confident and beautiful while using those same tools. So what you really need to do is make a decision about how willing you are to invest a very significant portion of your life to pursuing this, and then decide what to do from there. You can't learn design from a manual, and there are no shortcuts. And I guess I say all of this because it seems like you're jumping the gun a bit by compiling a reel.

 

To back all of this up, here's what's goin on in your reel: Formally, the reel displays a lack of color sensitivity, composition, and a fundamental grasp of contrasts. The animation of your formal elements is stilted and disjointed and relatively lacking in purpose. Which is a result of the underlying problem of a lack of communicative clarity, itself resulting from a relatively shallow understanding of the function of design.

 

So basically what it boils down to is, you can keep learning software tips and tricks and at some point you could fill a production assistant position which is the equivalent of a computer operator who specializes in graphics software. Or you could go the longer route and develop a deeper understanding of visual communication which will allow you to generate your own ideas, which I personally find infinitely more fulfilling.

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Thankyou for your input. I will definitely take all of this into consideration while I am still in my studies. I am currently attending the Art Institute of Colorado and majoring in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. Anyone have any thoughts on this school and what comes out of it?

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Guest Sao_bento

Thankyou for your input. I will definitely take all of this into consideration while I am still in my studies. I am currently attending the Art Institute of Colorado and majoring in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. Anyone have any thoughts on this school and what comes out of it?

If you search, you'll find tons of threads about schools on Mograph. I don't remember hearing your specific school mentioned though - you still might find them informative. The bottom line is that schools are usually good for having access to hardware and learning how to work software. Teaching the creative part is a whole other level. As with any field, the school doesn't make you, you have to make you. Go to school, make sure you do an internship or two at real places, and spend your every waking hour learning as much as you can about the creative side.

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It's interesting how we all have a different reaction.

I'm usually hard on early attempts, obnoxious, in fact,

but I find sophistication and intelligence in your motion graphics pieces.

The Nike and Vitalic were quite cool. My favorite was "Handyman Media." The thunder showers were quite sensuous, you showed humor, and I love your taste in music.

Your URL needs work for sure, but your motion graphics generally left me with a positive feeling. I think you're there. It's a matter of getting a gig at this point, or developing a long personal animation.

Like Binky suggests, you've picked a hell of a hard field. Once you finally do break in, you're frequently little more than an overworked donkey for idiots and hustlers.

As far as arts schools, I'm keen on School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

I don't know much about their digital department, but fine arts has an

unusually high concentration of student talent. It's not about imitating what's already out there.

Edited by tomcat

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take all the spec work out, nike visa, etc... it looks fake and doesnt work. for instance, i can tell the nike piece is fake, cause you broke brand guidelines. so it wont fly. no one should ever do spec work to stuff their reel for large clients, it never works.

 

if youre worried that you wanna get paying clients and want to fake them out that youve done comedy central, they can usually tell. just work on more experimental ideas, they will probably appreciate that more.

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What's wrong with showing a little student work in my reel even if I haven't really produced some of those pieces for actual clients?

Tomcat - thanks for the input, the look I am going for and the path I am headed down is to not start looking too much like all of the other work out there. My idea is that if I keep focused, improve my design skills, I can eventually create a whole style of my own and separate myself from the rat race. Only time will tell.

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Guest Sao_bento

What's wrong with showing a little student work in my reel even if I haven't really produced some of those pieces for actual clients?

Tomcat - thanks for the input, the look I am going for and the path I am headed down is to not start looking too much like all of the other work out there. My idea is that if I keep focused, improve my design skills, I can eventually create a whole style of my own and separate myself from the rat race. Only time will tell.

In the end, the off-brand stuff only hurts you, wether you did it as a student or not it's clearly off brand, and not something that will impress anyone in the know.

 

As far as creating your own style goes, remember that you have to know the rules before you can break the rules. I know that's a phrase that gets over-used and it definitely takes a while to fully understand, but it's very true. New things are built on an understanding of what has happened up until this point. You'll never get to be great without being good first.

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In the end, the off-brand stuff only hurts you, wether you did it as a student or not it's clearly off brand, and not something that will impress anyone in the know.

 

As far as creating your own style goes, remember that you have to know the rules before you can break the rules. I know that's a phrase that gets over-used and it definitely takes a while to fully understand, but it's very true. New things are built on an understanding of what has happened up until this point. You'll never get to be great without being good first.

 

I definitely agree with your point on knowing the rules before I can break them.

When you say 'off brand' do you mean pieces which are not directly related to product or company spots? Is work that is done without commercial intent generally viewed as not helpful in a demo reel?

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I definitely agree with your point on knowing the rules before I can break them.

When you say 'off brand' do you mean pieces which are not directly related to product or company spots? Is work that is done without commercial intent generally viewed as not helpful in a demo reel?

 

 

off brand, means you didnt follow brand guidelines. each corporation has rules for how you can use their logo. in this instance nike would throw a shitfit for turning their swoosh upside down and having it duplicated and too close to each other.

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off brand, means you didnt follow brand guidelines. each corporation has rules for how you can use their logo. in this instance nike would throw a shitfit for turning their swoosh upside down and having it duplicated and too close to each other.

 

Where can I find guidelines for company spots? Or is this just information that only comes with a contract job?

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Where can I find guidelines for company spots? Or is this just information that only comes with a contract job?

 

 

you get that kinda info when you work with that client. they usually give you a brand guide and a look book. maybe you can contact those companies and ask for it.

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As with any field, the school doesn't make you, you have to make you.

 

Oh how I wish someone would have told me that when I was in college...

 

Eman, to expound on what Sao and Blinky said, make sure your time at school is DEVOTED!! If you really REALLY want in to an industry, you'll get there, it's just a matter of how hard you work.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but as a 17-year-old getting into college, I pretty much squandered my first 2 and a bit years. By the time I realized what a great opportunity school really was, I was working full-time outside the industry I wanted to be in with a huge student loan debt.

 

Now I'm stuck having to try and teach myself and make up for all that wasted time I called college. When you work full-time to support your family, learning is a slow process.

 

I'm not saying this to scare you... Scratch that, I am. Don't squander your time. LEARN. STUDY!! Get kick-ass work examples and re-create them to learn the process and the function behind the design. Take every assignment given to you and pretend like your life depends on it. Try to really impress your teachers. Go to every class. Take your vitamins and wear a jacket, it's cold! Did you look both ways before crossing the street!!??

 

Sorry for the rambling :)

Edited by lompoc42

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Guest Sao_bento

you get that kinda info when you work with that client. they usually give you a brand guide and a look book. maybe you can contact those companies and ask for it.

More than just guidelines, it's a certain level of work. Your work compared to the work they've done commercially will almost never stand up on concept, creative, or polish. Basically you're trying to compete with a very good ad agency's best people. Not many students are up to that (nor are many professionals).

The results, especially when you pick a brand as strong and distinct as Nike, MTV, etc., are almost always obviously off brand. Anyone who's worked in this business for more than a couple of years will instantly sense that something is wrong. It's not necessarily that it's unethical or anything, just that it distracts the viewer from your skills. By the time you explain "I was a student, . . . " it's too late, because you've already lost the viewer.

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More than just guidelines, it's a certain level of work. Your work compared to the work they've done commercially will almost never stand up on concept, creative, or polish. Basically you're trying to compete with a very good ad agency's best people. Not many students are up to that (nor are many professionals).

The results, especially when you pick a brand as strong and distinct as Nike, MTV, etc., are almost always obviously off brand. Anyone who's worked in this business for more than a couple of years will instantly sense that something is wrong. It's not necessarily that it's unethical or anything, just that it distracts the viewer from your skills. By the time you explain "I was a student, . . . " it's too late, because you've already lost the viewer.

 

 

 

Thats a good point. I think I also need to advise my instructors on this issue because it seems to be a common theme in my classes to use big names like Nike, MTV, and Comedy Central. This has been a great thread and a very good experience for me. I thank you all for directing me towards a clearer path.

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"ya gotta be scared, man. its a huge motivator."

 

Might be OT, but just an observation:

 

You know, this quote is something I've been looking for to describe how I've been feeling for a while. Even after doing this kind of work for a while, you still feel unconfident at time to time, and it helps to "get scared" and cut free, doing a lot of experimental jobs for fun, and to grow.

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Thats a good point. I think I also need to advise my instructors on this issue because it seems to be a common theme in my classes to use big names like Nike, MTV, and Comedy Central. This has been a great thread and a very good experience for me. I thank you all for directing me towards a clearer path.

I don't think the concept of doing those exercises is a bad thing, because they ask you to create something that matches the tone of a brand everyone is familiar with. That's not unlike what clients ask you to do in the real world. Being able to identify the key attributes of work like that is a good thing to learn. Those kinds of exercises should be compared and contrasted to the real commercial work that the company has done in order to help you fine tune your ability to recognize those key attributes. It's just not a great idea to put that stuff on your reel. It might be safer to choose something like a poem or short story, then create a piece interpreting the emotional tone of the original work. That way you'll still be able to show your technical and creative skill without taking the chance of turning off the audience before they get to see it. Another, slightly less advisable approach is doing something like the VCAMs at Current TV. The VCAM is a viewer created commercial based on parameters set by a big company.

More info at the link below.

 

http://mograph.net/board/index.php?showtop...037&hl=VCAM

 

I say "slightly less advisable" because doing a VCAM doesn't mean you will be on brand, and the companies are looking for completely amateur raw looking spots. The upside is that sometimes you get decent source material, and you can potentially get paid while simultaneously getting your work on a cable tv network.

 

Anyhow, the idea that you are still hanging around here after all the comments says a lot about your commitment to this field. Good luck.

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great posts from binky and sao bento.

 

if you want to do design, just keep at it- try hard enough for long enough, and it will happen... it's not an easy path, but you seem to have a good attitude. don't ever get defensive when you're criiticized (you haven't so far).

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<---Despite my suggested Newb tag, (I guess I was kicked off for inactivity, I had to re-register.) I have been watching mograph for years now.

 

And this has to be the most realistic, down to earth & informative track I've ever seen on here regarding getting into the field.

 

I have to say I really relate to eman when he says he wants to develop his own style.

 

I have felt that way so much and also found the software available to be so cumbersome that I've actually stopped being a motionographer, for now…

 

And started being a developer. Yes, I'm creating my own software to take motion graphics to places it has never been. And with an interface that doesn't step on your creative buzz.

 

And I have learned many of the "rules" over the years, BUT...

 

When I'm done with this project, I will make the rules.

 

And when you make the rules, you CAN break the rules. Which ever ones you want.

 

So, keep in mind, there are many routes to take in life. Go your own route, either learn everything you can and develop your own motion style or open new doors and show us how it's done.

 

For instance, you could get really good at producing what is ultimately a 2D image. Or you could focus on putting a holographic projector in the living room of every couch potato across the world and completely change the industry into something new. (Which, imho, it could use.)

 

Now, I'm not going that far with my technology (yet), but I will not spend my precious time playing catch-up.

 

But that is my path.

Edited by DaddyOmega

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Guest Sao_bento

And I have learned many of the "rules" over the years, BUT...

When I'm done with this project, I will make the rules.

And when you make the rules, you CAN break the rules. Which ever ones you want.

Most of "the rules" have nothing to do with software or technique. I was referring to the "rules" that design and art, in a broader sense, are based on. These rules remain pretty much constant, regardless of how anything gets created. The rules weren't arbitrarily invented, they're based on how the human brain works - how people see things. Until people change significantly, the rules remain valid. The lessor rules, like the use of a grid,etc. are not so rigid. It's still a good idea to understand why the grid was invented and why some people are so religious about it, but it's your choice to use such a convention or not.

Good luck in your endeavors.

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Nope, all different people see things differently. Different people get different feelings from different colors. Some people find comfort in order, others like more freedom. Plenty of motion makes some sick while not enough bores others to death.

 

The human population is so diverse in these areas that the definition of art has always been debated.

 

And Yes, the "rules" were just arbitrarily invented over the years by people who think they know what other people think.

 

No offense Sao, you are a wise man, but there are many factors to consider when developing artwork. One of the big ones being a “target audience” if applicable.

 

And it's all too often that big shots at ad agencies and professionals of the visual/audio communication industry (Like you and I) forget that what looks good to us is very different from what looks good to the end recipient.

 

The fact is, most normal folks don't have any idea the detail and precision we put into this stuff. I mean if you're doing it for you then that’s one thing. But if you are attempting to produce something with mass appeal then that changes everything and you need to be dynamic, not held in place by "rules".

 

Take for instance some basic practices for adjusting the colors of your finished work. Most would say, well, you have to look at your waveform monitor and adjust your white and black levels. But the fact is if you made some whacky car that did 3 flips, turned into a turtle and started breathing fire, average Joe is probably going to lose his stuff and be like "dude that is SWEET" even if your whites were all zebra and your colors never left your SMPTE bars.

 

Look at South Park. Now that is some crappy work, totally lacking any form and/or composition. And the colors remind me of when some of my childhood female friends first discovered lipstick. But what makes that work? Aside from the humor and content, it's the style. Those guys just wanted to get across there ideas and kept it cut, dry & crappy. But the style is what makes it. Of course, for those who like it.

 

Further more the "rules" for typography are always changing. Some brilliant master mind artist is always putting two whacky type faces together and changing how we perceive typography. And it just keeps evolving until, and my guess would be, that everything is acceptable.

So, what are motion graphics? Do they have to be 3D, 2D, polished or gritty? Do they have to be anti-aliased, consistent, well contrasted or can they just be mere vessels to relay our thoughts and messages?

 

Another good example is Pizza. What do we consider pizza. Well, there has to be some bread involved. Does it have to be round? No, we put "pizza" on French bread all the time. It doesn't even require tomato sauce, hence white pizza. And does it even have to taste good? Nah, anchovies are nasty, but some people like that garbage. And today we accept all types of stuff as "pizza" because brilliant people who had no "regard" for the "rules" kept pushing it in all different directions.

 

Now, lets say that you wanted to look like a motion graphics artist from the 21st century, well then you're going to have to "imitate" some techniques and practices. But if imitation is not your goal then forget about what other people think has to be done.

 

So, do I think Eman’s work is ready for the big time? No. But, I do believe that perhaps, in some ways the big time may not yet be ready for Eman.

 

My main point is this:

 

When it comes to creating, the ONLY "rule" is that there are NONE.

Being open minded is pretty much the definition of creativity.

 

And sometimes it either works out or it doesn't. Either you captivate many eyes and ears or you don't.

 

So forget the rules that you didn't make up and make your own. Just keep in mind, that other people will always get pissed off that you still call it “Pizza”.

Edited by DaddyOmega

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