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Chrusion
03-25-2009, 03:25 PM
I didn't want to hijack meaty's thread, but I would like some honest crits on my latest reel, too.

There's basically not a lot of new material, but it is all LW. Tear it apart, please. I call myself a pro, but I'm ever learning and want to know what isn't working for you. Well, you can say what you like as well... not against that... hehe.

Thanks fellow Wavers.

chrusion | FX Demo Reel - 3 flavors to choose from (http://chrusion.com/portfolio_demo.php)

Oh... and let me know if there's any coding issues for any particular platform/browser. Tested on windows IE and Seamonkey (firefox), but not others or on macs.

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biliousfrog
03-25-2009, 03:57 PM
My initial thoughts are that the reel is far too long. 1.30 - 2 minutes is the average length and I can't see a problem with cutting you reel to under 2 minutes.

It seemed that all of the footage was repeated at least twice. I admit that I have used very short teasers at the beginning of my new reel but I got the impression that I was watching many of the clips more than once...I actually wondered whether it had started again half-way through.

Some of the footage looks a little dated by todays standards...the sci-fi stuff, football heads, clapperboard character...You say that there's not a lot of new material but from a potential client/employer's point of view it might look like you either can't create work to today's standards or you haven't had any work recently...why not?

The truck animations are very strong as are the logo's, idents and the medical animation. Using just those elements, perhaps with the Space 1999 ship landing and Egyptian room to break things up, I think that you could have a much stronger reel. Weed out the fluff and just have impressive, solid visuals.

Chrusion
03-25-2009, 04:31 PM
Great observations! Yeah, as you can see I'm NOT a character animator, so you're right, the rudimentary stuff should go, but it was fun doing them, sheesh... embarrassing to say... 11 yrs ago when I worked at the station. Nowadays my strengths have narrowed down to industrial/mechanical/product illustration, with the machine assembly pieces being done last year, which is the first time I've used GI and HD720 rendering on commercial stuff because of the render time affordability of such today. I agree in the dated look... cuz it IS dated.

Re. run length... 2 minutes max? Wow... it was 3 min the last I knew. Does that apply to show reels for clients now as well? I understand the reason why for employment recruiters.

Re. "duplicity" of shots... I was hoping that wasn't the case due to the montage style at the start. Is there a better way to use this section of music more effectively in presenting visual material?

As for why there's not more new stuff... my business isn't even part time, because my full-time job for the last 8 yrs is Professor of Graphic Design and Interactive Media at a private university, so I'm not really actively seeking/advertising for new clients. My last reel was 2006, so I felt the time had come to repackage it and add the couple of new pieces. The two clients I have now keep me busy enough for my liking. I also don't have time to pursue personal pieces... the Eagle landing and Vorlon were all I could muster and then just for fun, experimentation. I had a lot more drive to do more when I was younger and blazing the trails as a Babylon 5 model cloner 15 yrs ago... my how time flies! My oldest daughter (24) of three is getting married this weekend.

Thanks for the crits... keep 'em coming!

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adamredwoods
03-25-2009, 06:42 PM
The truck animations are very strong as are the logo's, idents and the medical animation. Using just those elements, perhaps with the Space 1999 ship landing and Egyptian room to break things up, I think that you could have a much stronger reel. Weed out the fluff and just have impressive, solid visuals.

Agreed. ALWAYS put your strongest work FIRST.

Also, you may want to use music without lyrics, as sometimes it can be distracting.

As for your individual pieces and quality of work, I'd say (for a quick crit) try to use softer shadows. You have a lot of hard contrast and softer shadows (area lights, sphere lights, GI) will help smooth some of that out.

adamredwoods
03-25-2009, 06:46 PM
Its funny, I too am thinking about reworking my demo reel. :D

biliousfrog
03-26-2009, 03:46 AM
Great observations! Yeah, as you can see I'm NOT a character animator, so you're right, the rudimentary stuff should go, but it was fun doing them, sheesh... embarrassing to say... 11 yrs ago when I worked at the station. Nowadays my strengths have narrowed down to industrial/mechanical/product illustration, with the machine assembly pieces being done last year, which is the first time I've used GI and HD720 rendering on commercial stuff because of the render time affordability of such today. I agree in the dated look... cuz it IS dated.

Re. run length... 2 minutes max? Wow... it was 3 min the last I knew. Does that apply to show reels for clients now as well? I understand the reason why for employment recruiters.

Re. "duplicity" of shots... I was hoping that wasn't the case due to the montage style at the start. Is there a better way to use this section of music more effectively in presenting visual material?

As for why there's not more new stuff... my business isn't even part time, because my full-time job for the last 8 yrs is Professor of Graphic Design and Interactive Media at a private university, so I'm not really actively seeking/advertising for new clients. My last reel was 2006, so I felt the time had come to repackage it and add the couple of new pieces. The two clients I have now keep me busy enough for my liking. I also don't have time to pursue personal pieces... the Eagle landing and Vorlon were all I could muster and then just for fun, experimentation. I had a lot more drive to do more when I was younger and blazing the trails as a Babylon 5 model cloner 15 yrs ago... my how time flies! My oldest daughter (24) of three is getting married this weekend.

Thanks for the crits... keep 'em coming!

.

The 1-2 minutes thing isn't a solid rule but it certainly makes you think about quality over quantity. I've had a couple come through that are near 3 minutes and have had me gripped and wanting more, I've also had some very short ones that I got bored of quickly.

The CG/Live action stuff would probably work better in the right place. I might have been a bit quick to say that it's 'bad' but perhaps it isn't being shown in the best way...If you get the idents, logos and other TV stuff together in the right way it would probably show that you've got a lot of experience in that field where as it currently brings down some of the newer work...it's all in the edit!

I like the idea of a montage to start but I think that you might be giving too much away by keeping the clips quite long. It makes the reel unneccessarily long, gives the impression that clips are being repeated and reduces the impact of the full length clips. For my new reel I have split it into 4 sections and used the strongest clip from each section as a teaser at the start of the reel. The teaser is only a brief glimpse, 1/2 sec max. but it gives the viewer an idea of what to expect and then offers a sense of familiarity to the full clips without losing the 'punch'.

I'm certainly no expert though so feel free to disregard everything I've said :D

Personally, I'd go through YouTube and look at other reels and film trailers. I watched a lot of trailers for inspiration as they're a great example of showing only the best bits, in a short time with maximum impact.