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View Full Version : Demo Reel - which idea is better.


RiKToR
02-18-2005, 07:51 PM
Okay, I am animation student in Phoenix, AZ and currently I have a year of school left. Right now I am taking my first upper division BA class which is a story boarding class. My teacher has explained that for our final in this class we are to create a short story, storyboard, character models sheets, enviorment stills, (everything for pre production) in two weeks with something new due everyday. He has also explained that over the final year of school we will be creating this story for a demo reel piece.

So I seek advice of people that know the industry more than I. It's said that a funny reel is usually the best, but the idea I am currently leaning toward is a fantasy meets sci-fi style realistic piece. The requirements are that we have two creatures at least one a biped and the other a quadraped or something of that more advanced rigging. So here is the the basics of my two story ideas.

First the Sci-Fi/Fantasy

In a tower on a stormy night a female character enters the top of the tower to large hall that holds gem encrusted bracelet at the other end. As proceeds to journey to the end of that hall she is confronted by two black wolves that attack her. These wolves she could easily handle except that when she hits them with sword they turn to black dust that reforms where the would had landed when the began the lunge. Eventually she finds a way to destroy the creatures with a rod she carries that causes the dust to become flame. But as she continues down the hall a series large number of wolves come out of the shadows form all sides. (any way I have to hurry) The short of it she defeats the wolves that are in here way and reaches the bracelet she puts it on and destroys the wolves with a wall of flames that is created from the bracelet.

This will have a large number of particle effects, such as fire, dust, rain as well as smoke. Particles I know well and have no problem using. Also some fancy martial arts style animation (though I intend on making it less cliche) There will be no voice.

Second The Farm Animals

My second idea is a comedy and is not as vivid in my head but it entails a pair of farm creatures. A realistic cow, and a cartoony chicken holding up a fast food resturaunt to prevent the further selling of chicken and beef products. The chicken is defined as a intelligent easily angered creature who is resigned at his sidekick the normal everday farm bovine that only moos his agreements.

This idea well show less on the side of special effects and more on the expressions and lip syncing abilites as well as animation.


I would like to do both, but I need to have one idea ironed out by monday. I like the first it's more my style, but I can do the second and it is not as though I dislike it but it's not as vivid. Either way I will do either and enjoy it, that is why I want to be in this field.

So which one will get me in the door. I probably should make both for different jobs. But which one will be the best for my first. Thanks for your help in advance.

ncritten
02-20-2005, 08:51 PM
I like the sound of the cartoon one. But comedy isn't the easiest topic to tackle.

fwtep
02-20-2005, 09:28 PM
Note: It should go without saying, but just in case: What follows are my opinions. I'm not saying I am the Lord of All Knowledge and that what I say is a fact and a rule.
In a tower on a stormy night a female character enters the top of the tower to large hall that holds gem encrusted bracelet at the other end. Yawn. I feel like I've seen this a million times, and seen people start on projects like this a million more times. Every anime fan seems to want to do their own version of what they see, but it always (quality aside) is exactly the same as what came before. Also, it sounds pretty ambitious as far as the FX go, so unless you can do it so well that it knocks everyone's socks off, I wouldn't bother.

My second idea is a comedy and is not as vivid in my head but it entails a pair of farm creatures. A realistic cow, and a cartoony chicken holding up a fast food resturaunt to prevent the further selling of chicken and beef products. Eh, OK, why not. It doesn't really "wow" me but it doesn't instantly turn me off either. HOWEVER, if it's not funny it could really be painful to sit through.

I would like to do both, but I need to have one idea ironed out by monday. I like the first it's more my style, but I can do the second and it is not as though I dislike it but it's not as vivid. Either way I will do either and enjoy it, that is why I want to be in this field.

So which one will get me in the door. I probably should make both for different jobs. But which one will be the best for my first. Thanks for your help in advance.Think of what kind of work is out there and which one will help you the most in that direction.

Fred

RiKToR
02-21-2005, 06:45 AM
I have decided that although I can do some very decent FX for the first one, I'm going to go with the second. I have been considering it all weekend and the stories, as well as acting out some parts at three in the morning in my kitchen. As far as funny, the few people I have discussed it with have thought it especially funny if after the chicked gets frustrated and leaves because the cow just stands there and does what every does, then the cow suddenly asks for chicken sandwhich.

In the end it's going to be very animated (no pun intended) and will show of my ability add character to something not so realistic.

VM
02-22-2005, 01:10 AM
ok, so what do you actually want to say with your animation? nothing? in that case, everything works just as well.

violence for the sake of violence... that's really cheap, sorry, but it is.

particles? well... why not? but what do particles and/or fight sequences have to do with story-writing.

start with an idea ("wouldn't it be really cool to have lots of fire in this scene" is not an idea).

I'll give you an example. in Spielberg's AI, you have the idea of:

1. making a robot that can love, OK? that's absolutely not enough to make a good movie! so the writer adds to that:

2. but if you can make such robots, can you have a human to love them back? now that's an idea! that's a great "hook" to start a movie. but guess what? that's not all! you have more - because it's immoral to build a robot to love you, and you not love him/her/it back... here comes the third level:

3. but didn't God made Adam to love Him (so if He did it, why wouldn't we do it too - if he made Adam and abandoned him, how can God teach us about Moral)? so, you see, it's about the Morality in making such robots (and about humans playing God), not only about making robots.

OK, so with no fighting sequences, no explosions, no violence, no particles, etc. Spielberg starts his AI with the most astonishing "hook".

(unfortunately Spielberg doesn't follow these during the movie, and the movie turns out to be about "loss and reunification", in part, and about "transcendence", which are still great subject to work on, but anyway, that's another part of the story.)

Now, there are many kinds of "hooks" and in "Save private Ryan" for ex. he's got one of the most violent scenes in the history of cinematography as "hook". But still: it's the Idea (!) that matters, and brings everything together, and lots of sub-ideas flow out of it, and without this flow, without such a thread, or guiding line, there can be no interest in watching a movie. You need to gravitate around a center. And then you can bring thousands of elements and millions of smaller details - everything goes on one path, towards a common goal.

VM
02-22-2005, 02:08 AM
ok, I saw this in "Making a Good Script Great", by Linda Seger - she sais: "rarely do ideas appear full-blown. Most scripts begin with a spark. A snippet of images. Perhaps it begins with a situation you want to explore. Maybe it starts with a character you've known or imagined. It could be parts of a story that pull at you, demanding to be told. It might be as small as a one-line idea - "Something about a circus"."

well, "Something about a circus" is... an idea, just like pretty much anything can be an idea. right? like... "I've got an idea" - "what?" - "let's go to wallmart".

but I was talking about a "real idea" - that is developed out of lots-of-thinking!

so "Something about a circus" is idea that could work as a starter, as a lollypop that you suck on for a while: while you develop a real idea.

"Something about a circus" is an idea that needs to be turned into an Idea!

jbo
03-13-2005, 01:21 AM
ok, so what do you actually want to say with your animation? nothing? in that case, everything works just as well.


i'm guessing he wants to say "hire me" that's usually the message that a demo reel tries to send no?

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