When looking for employment, a decent CV or cover letter is the most significant aspect of your first steps toward securing a job in most professions.
But when you’re an animator or visual effects artist, the showreel/demo reel is the best tool to showcase your talent, style, and experience.
Alixe and the Flying Duck team have created hundreds of show/demo reels over the years, and as a creative studio looking for talent, we have seen many more. It is vital that you get it right to capture the attention of your potential employer.
Here’s a little Flying Duck guide on what to consider when creating your showreel.
People never complain about how short a show/demo reel is, but they do about how long it can be. Those in charge of searching for talent are usually really busy, so they appreciate a short video that they can assess quickly.
The length of your showreel should not exceed two minutes. Ideally, it should be under a minute, unless you are a seasoned animator, in which case you don’t need this instruction in the first place. A newbie is unlikely to have more than two minutes of outstanding material, and that’s exactly what employers are looking for.
Check our studio reel
Your showreel or demo reel should only feature your greatest work. A 30-second reel with fantastic animation is far superior to a 2-minute reel with poor work. Don’t use less than your best work to fill out the reel. If you’re not persuaded that a piece is worth placing on your reel, either polish it or don’t use it.
Remember that speeding up your clips (time remapping) on the edit could help to reduce the time, so adjust your work accordingly to the showreel and the pace you want.
For the content, be as creative as possible. Instead of doing what everyone else does (walking or bouncing a ball), try injecting your individuality into the images to make yourself stand out. This is your opportunity to wow!
Showcasing your work in progress and how you do things is always captivating and shows potential employers what you are capable of.
Put your finest work first. People just have a few seconds to decide whether or not to continue viewing your clip. Make sure you have something that will catch their interest from the very start.
To create a positive impression on people, always end your reel on a strong note.
Don’t forget to explain what role you have had in the production of the content, so you can manage expectations. For example, did you do the animation or just the design? Are the pieces in your showreel from personal jobs or for a specific client? You can add that information to the description.
If you are genuinely interested in the particular job, tailoring your reel to the demands of the individual customer is always a smart practice, but you should also have a generic one in your portfolio.
Include the original sound for conversation portions. A little background music is OK, but it should not distract or bother the viewer and should simply serve as a connection between the pictures. If in doubt, simply turn off the music.
A showreel should work without sound, and if sound is used, it should be complementary. Be sure that you have the rights to use the music and research something that fits with your personality or the pace you want to give to your showreel. Avoid using the same track over and over; it tends to sound repetitive and boring.
Well, it’s totally up to you, as there are so many great platforms out there, however, you need to always have an updated version of your showreel on your webpage.
When looking at other platforms, you will get more exposure on YouTube than Vimeo, but it is regarded as a less professional medium for showing off your work. The purpose of Vimeo is to enable creators to publish their creative works, while YouTube has evolved into a much more popular platform.
Although Vimeo has fewer users, it has an excellent feature: you can replace the video under the same URL, so when you update your reel, you can update the video and the URL will always contain the most recent version.
There are other platforms, like Art Station and Behance, that are becoming increasingly popular for showcasing creative talent.
Flying Duck has posted our showreels on all platforms to increase visibility and brand awareness, and we find that this is a great way to get your work out there.
Post natively (upload the video to the platform instead of linking to the original) to all your social media platforms, as this helps to increase the chance of the algorithms picking them up.
Don’t forget to schedule your time and set yourself a deadline; perfection is the enemy of good, so don’t get stuck on it! Provide the best work that you have. Treat your reel as if it was for a client, and once completed, ask for feedback from your friends.
Wherever you choose to showcase your talent, ALWAYS present your very best work, and hopefully you will have employers in the palm of your hands.
And if you need more help, check this link from School of Motion
GOOD LUCK FELLOW CREATIVES!!