Notes on creating a Demo Reel

I haven’t considered creating a demo reel until our teacher, Kate (Portfolio Curation) has shown some good and bad examples of what makes a great demo reel, and what makes it a bad demo reel.

Notes on making a Demo Reel

  • Should be 1 to 4 minutes long. Never more than 5 minutes. Its better if the demo reel is short, but sweet and interesting, than 5 minute long reel and its long and dragging.
  • Only show the strongest work. If you show anything that looks week, blunt, unbrushed, unfinished, unpolished: Its a gap of opportunity for the industry people to judge and tear your work apart. Any signs of weaknesses and people will put you down in a spotlight and rip you apart (and then laugh at you)
  • Show clearly what you are doing: Animation? Modelling? Environment? Character? Show it! There is no rounders in the industry. Your demo reel should be about your specialisation, and should show clearly within the first 10 seconds of your show reel.
  • Your Demo Reel should be able to stand it self with no music or sound. It should clearly show the message and be entertaining and/or interesting with out it. Must make sense without audio.
  • Show Variation: Showing the same thing over and over, or things that have already been done or seen shows a lack of creativity and imagination. If you have an ogre character, what is it going to have that stands out from every other ogre? or a dragon? or a fairy? do something that is fresh and different.
  • Make different Demo Show Reel’s if you have different fields you want to show. For example, if you are both good in Modeling and Animation, make two separate Reels so if employees are targeting anything in specific, they can aim your Demo Reel.
  • Clicked and being Clicked. What does it take to be notice? Look at the thumbnail, how does it read? Learn from you tube links why Videos look interesting and what other videos look uninteresting. What makes you want to click their video? Design your Demo Show Reel to a thumbnail point of view.
  • Wireframe and textures. You need to show your work. If you are going to have a Demo Show Reel that shows beautiful talented work, some people may want to know the grids and lines underneath of you work. How did you make it? sometimes showing how you made the work, while showing the work, gives more meaning to your future employee to hire  you.
  • Tittle, Proffesion and Contact Details in the beginning and end of the Reel to show who you are.
  • Last, but most important:  WOW Factor. It has to be so good that people just want to look at it, all the way thru it. It has to be so good that everyone wants to hire you. When someone looks at your Demo Reel and they say “wow” from both the professional and the regular casual person. You have done something right! Of course, it takes more than just making people say wow… What would it take for your work to say wow?

I am going to collect some good examples and bad examples of Video Reels (as part of my exercise) and also, to show you guys.

Demo Reel Examples
Good examples:
James Englehardt – 3D Environment

Animation Demo Reel – Art of Dae

James Benson – Animation Reel

 Ray Chase – Animation Reel

Erica Pinto – Character Animation

 

Published on: 25 July 2012
Posted by: Paco Casares