Friday, March 03, 2006


I have been thinking a lot lately about demo reels since this post on Spline Doctors. I have been viewing a bunch of reels lately and it got me thinking, what is the best length for a reel? Short and sweet is the best way to go in my opinion, too many student reels are just too long. I think another problem some students have is repeating the same idea again and again on a reel. If you have done many shots for a project that are the same characters in different situations, then I would just choose 1 or 2 of the shots to show, if you show 10+ shots of a similar tone it begins to get pretty boring and monotone.

Mix it up, show as many different kinds of characters and acting as you can. You can still show different kinds of character when using the same rig, for example in Animation Mentor most of our assignments were done using Bishop, but Bishop had a million different personalities, all shown by different acting, dialogue, posture, costumes etc. As far as how many pieces you have, I am guessing around 5 pieces would be a good number. Does anyone have any tips on the best way to edit your demo reel?


At 7:32 PM, Blogger Shahbaaz said...

Hey Anthea! I'll just tell you from my horrible experience what NOT to do. When I graduated from the Art Institute my reel was terrible! Some of the things I've learned since then: no fancy titles or awkward edits to tell a story right of the bat, limit the reel to only a few solid pieces (which you mentioned) and above all else keep the viewer entertained and have the pieces be original and relevant. The best reels I've seen have a "hook" at the beginning. Something really solid that makes you laugh or just gets you interested. Then followed up with other strong pieces and finally another amazing piece to seal the deal. I've also noticed the reels that entertain me keep me from losing track of what animator did what when I look at a whole bunch of them, they stand out. Again all these things were mentioned on Spline Doctors, I just fully support them due to my previous bombs! Oh and leaving out the fancy chrome lettering would probably be a great idea :) I also wouldn't submit any until I had a few professional critiques to support it.


At 4:40 PM, Blogger anthea said...

Hi Shahbaaz!! Definetely no fany titles or flying logos! I fogot how important simplicity is. You want to show you are spening your time in the places that count, not in fancy flying logos or weird packaging. Good call! Yeah, to keep the reel entertaining throughout should be a goal for everyone, and a great way to find out for sure if your reel is solid is to pass it by your mentor first.


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