I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard anything from me. I’ve been absolutely swamped with work at school, and it’s been preventing me from getting the latest VisFX Blender project done! I’ve also been getting ready to apply for Project Mango, so lately, I’ve been working on my website and demo reel. You can find my website here:
Since I recently had to put my demo reel together, I figured I’d talk a bit about what goes into a good demo reel. First of all, this is the final reel that I put together for my submission:
So, a bit on demo reels that I’ve gathered from my professors and workshops this year:
- Keep it short. If it’s over 3 minutes, something is wrong. Companies don’t want to waste a bunch of time going through all of your work. They just want to see your best work.
- Put your best two pieces first and last, and hope that the rest of the stuff in the middle does something for them. The first piece is what keeps them watching, and the last piece will be the freshest thing in their minds.
- Break down your work. The companies you’re applying for want to know that you know what you’re doing. Show the different passes or steps involved in creating your shot. Unlike Animation, visual effects shots are all about creative problem solving. The companies want to know that you know how to solve problems.
- Keep the music tasteful, or keep it out. The last thing you want to do is annoy the portfolio reviewers with your music. Think about it for a second. They generally have to go through hundreds (if not thousands) of these things in a short period of time. By the time they get to yours, they probably won’t be in the best mood. You don’t want to make it worse.
- Make sure they know what you want to do. I’ve seen several demo reels that aren’t organized and don’t make it very obvious that the applicants are looking for a specific job. If you must, make separate reels for different skill sets. You may even want to create different reels for different companies. Regardless, keep your reel FOCUSED.
- Keep the title slide simple and to the point. Also make sure they know how to get in contact with you, and make sure they know your name. It doesn’t hurt to throw your focus on the title slide either.
- Make sure they know what you did in each shot on the demo reel. If you did everything, make sure they know that. If you only did a small part of it, make sure they know. You don’t want to get called in for an interview only to find out they don’t need someone with your skill set.