My previous reel was getting a bit old, so I've just finished putting a new one together:
Let me know what you think!
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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:14 AM
Hey man! I really love the format, eg) cutting back to the girl singing the song in her bedroom. It's super fun and your camera work and edits around her are pretty awesome. On the downside, character design and character animation have to be REALLY fucking good in a motion design reel or they tend to become a liability. And, for me personally, I think that's the case here. The problem is, it's a taaaaaaall fuckin order to pull off every specialty in the 3d pipeline by yourself, triply so for character design and animation. That's a ballsy move, and I double salute you. I just don't think it's working to your advantage, in all honesty. Maybe, maaaaaaybe if you took out the thing with the family sharing gifts... because when you show me that, you've made my doubts stronger. I do love the idea of this format, but aspects of the execution could potentially send the wrong message. If you nail that animation, this could be really great!
Posted 07 April 2017 - 12:34 AM
Hi Carey! Thanks so much for taking the time to look it over and for the great feedback. You opinion means a lot.
I'm a bit bummed, because you've more or less confirmed my thoughts on it as well. I think it shows some of strengths, but it also is providing a showcase for my weaknesses, which, call me crazy, isn't really the best approach to a showreel. I had the idea and thought it might help me stand out a bit, so I decided to just go for it; worst case scenario it's a growing experience and I learn a bunch, which I certainly did. I agree about removing holiday 3d stuff as well, as well as a few other bits.
Looking at the reel, what would you say are some of my strengths? Because I'm not super sure.
I tend to be overly critical of myself, and, while it's starting to get better, I spent most of the past few years in survival mode, taking on whatever work I can find, which means food on the table, but I'm constantly being pulled from one style/medium/etc to another, and while I've been competent in a lot of facets of the job, I haven't really been able to hone and polish any aspect in particular. I worked as an editor before stumbling into motion design, and I think that's a big strength of mine, as you noticed. But good cutting of mediocre content does not a good showreel make.
I'm still just trying to figure out where I fit in in this industry, ya know? Again, thank you so much for your feedback, and anything more you can say will be extremely appreciated.
Posted 07 April 2017 - 02:34 AM
Hey no problem, I hope it helps.
You definitely have a variety of work, and I think it's a little inconsistent from piece to piece, but it's clearly stronger on the 2D side. There's some 3d work in there that's maybe confidence-building, like the spinning tv and diamond ring, but the other 3d-centric pieces are dragging that down. By contrast, your 2d work is largely much better executed, and I think with the exception of the Intelligent Life cut, it's lookin pretty good. And I think it goes without saying that the editing is great.
And with regard to that opener, it feels like it's 90% there in most aspects. It's just that we're all competing in that last 10%, so you might be a WAY faster runner than the average dude, but the dudes you're actually racing are still a few feet ahead, and that's all that matters. If you can give your girl some expressive facial characteristics, get that mouth movin like it's making words, and get her hand feelin like it's not robotic, you can take this from a negative to a positive. The question is: what kind of jobs are you goin after? Do you want character-based jobs? Because you're gonna want to cater more to that interest throughout the reel. And that's doable, but again, it's a tall order to take on the full 3d pipeline so you've really set yourself a task, but you're 90% of the way there, and if you're intent on sending the message that you're all about character animation you may have to stretch to pull off the bits that really matter in making it work.
Remember that when people go looking for someone to hire, they typically go for the person who mostly does exactly what they need done. Like, you don't want your general practition doctor doing your open heart surgery, you want a heart surgeon. It's a little different if we're talkin about staff jobs at studios, where there will be generalist positions to fill. But if you're trying to get freelance work from studios or clients, they're likely lookin for the guy who demonstrates an ability to solve their exact problem. So ideally you curate your reel to appeal in a particular way. Your current reel is a little of this and a little of that, so if you can find the thread that makes the reel cohesive and identifiable, you'll be sending a clearer message about who should hire you.
Posted 07 April 2017 - 04:02 PM
Again Carey, thanks! Your insights are indeed quite helpful. I'm going to go back and swap a few of those aforementioned shots out, and then step away from it for a bit. While I didn't quite pull off that intro, it was still a tonnnn of work, and I need a breather before I revisit it, or even decide to revisit it. I'm not entirely sure how much of that 10% gap I'd be able to close; I've just been a generalist who wanted to try pushing my boundaries, but I don't think character animation will ever be my strongest attribute.
On a side note, your Snapdragon series (and the rest of your YouTube series') are fantastic, and I'm really looking forward to see what you have cooking next. I think I saw on Slack or somewhere that you're working on a new one... Can't wait :-)
Posted 07 April 2017 - 06:36 PM
Yeah, I think almost everyone who does this understands the intensity of working on something like that, and the need to step away for a while. It's seriously no small feat.
I really do hope the videos are helping so far. I'm working on the next one pretty much every day, but like your reel opener, i'm making every aspect of it so it takes forever. Conception, recording a project, writing writing writing editing writing editing writing, recording audio, editing audio, ideating and creating examples, editing video... it's a laundry list. I'll most likely step away for a while when it's done. It's just all around good to take a breather when you've put that much into a thing.
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