A demo reel is your ticket to fame. These allow you to showcase your best work to your potential employers. It also shows that you can entertain, make something engaging, and have a lot to offer.
Now for a recruiter, a demo reel is a window to your professionalism and capabilities but for the animator it is the golden ticket to enter the creative industry.
Here are some tips to create a demo reel that will convince the recruiters to hire you:
Keep it short
No one has time for anything that’s too lengthy, especially studio executives who are reviewing the demo reels of applicants. The time limit thus could be anywhere from a minute to two minutes. That being said you don’t have to imperatively make it as short as possible, rather keep it concise and make sure only your quality work has been showcased. As a rule of thumb remember that your aim should be to ‘hook up’ the recruiters within the first 20 seconds of your reel.
A good presentation always counts. Add an introduction, a small discreet title of the shot like the project name or if you’ve worked as team member, mention your part in making of that shot but not in a showy manner. Be unique in your approach as most just add details on the black bars of the shot. Keep the titles short and avoid any disturbing sound effects. Each of your shots should be well timed. Follow the mantra- ‘Impactful start, graceful ending’!
Avoid being over ambitious
Simplicity over sophistication! Although the reel may mimic professionalism even with less experience, avoid mentioning what you’re not capable of.
Mention any collaborations and credit people who have helped you with the animation. It shows the honesty in your work. Don’t take the entire credit for something where your contribution was partial.
Keep up with the trends
Understand that a demo reel is a fantastic marketing tool. So it’s important to be up to date and aware of trends. Your reel is also a chance for you to showcase any unique skills that you possess, such as drawing or sculpting.
Where to post?
Choosing the right platform is necessary to make sure your work doesn’t get overlooked. YouTube is the obvious choice for most. But there are exclusive online portfolio management and social networking platforms that allow you showcase your works. For instance, all Arena Animation students get access to one such platform called Creosouls where they can upload their creative portfolios, share with the world, enhance their industry network, and get hired.
One of the key things to do to improve your demo reel, or your skills, is to gain unbiased feedback from industry experts and faculty.
PS: The opinions of family and friends may be biased and hence not counted as feedbacks to act upon.
Don’t forget to mention the means to contact you. At least the first and the last four seconds should mention who you are, in a way that makes a great first impression.
All the above are just guidelines and not rules. You can always bend them if you have something exciting up your sleeves.
Now, start working on your demo reel from today!