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Prototype_Angel
03-27-2006, 01:35 AM
Hi Everyone,


hmm I think, I better ask in here rather in the other forum.
anyway...! :)
I am just wondering how long is the standard demo reel to get jon in a motion graphic industry? and what they are looking for from a newly graduate like me?

The reason I am asking is because I will graduate in the next six months and I decided to set my career in motion.


thanks!

beenyweenies
03-27-2006, 09:27 PM
Hi Everyone,


hmm I think, I better ask in here rather in the other forum.
anyway...! :)
I am just wondering how long is the standard demo reel to get jon in a motion graphic industry? and what they are looking for from a newly graduate like me?

The reason I am asking is because I will graduate in the next six months and I decided to set my career in motion.


thanks!

I hire freelancers now and then for my company, and have hired many more as a Creative Director for other companies, so I can at least tell you what MY preference is.

Typical demo reels are not longer than 3 minutes or so - much longer than this and it gets a bit old, you kind of "get the idea" after about 2-3 minutes and stop the video anyway. The norm is not longer than 3 1/2 minutes tops. That said, my current reel is closer to 4 minutes.

Contrary to conventional wisdom on this issue, it is by FAR more important that you only show your best work than it is to show volume. I would rather get a 20-second demo reel with a few good clips than 3 minutes of mediocre to poor clips. There is no hard and fast rule on length, the only rule is don't drag it out to try and meet some "standard" length that does not exist. People are very busy and will not be disappointed just because you have a shorter reel. They might notice you have less stuff, but at least they didn't see anything embarrassingly bad, right? Only show your best stuff!

It is also a good idea to use text to ID what the clips are in your reel, including what you did on the clip (3d? mograph?). People like to know what they are looking at, what the use was (student project? international commercial spot?). Also, taking credit for other people's work on group projects is a big-time no-no, one that will get you shunned very quickly if people find out. There is no shame in clearly stating John Smith did the 3d elements while you did the motion graphics. People will actually respect that you were honest. Don't DARE put work on your reel that you did not do, unless it was a group effort and you explicitly give credit to the other people for their role.

One other thing is to clearly label both the DVD AND the case with your name and contact info. I would strongly suggest you put your name in large type on the spine of the DVD/VHS case. A lot of people put reels in a box or shelf with only the spine showing, and you don't want to be passed over for not labelling properly. I know this seems obvious, but I've received many reels that didn't even say who the artist was, didn't have spine labels etc. and we just never hired those people because we're too busy to search around for basic information. Present your contact info clearly in as many places as you can.
I like to make the case as flashy and graphic as you want, but keep the disc itself simple. A plain white disc with your contact info plainly printed makes it easy for the person reviewing your reel.

One last thing - don't send out your reel to 1,000 companies unsolicited, and without following up with them. Here's why:

Unsolicited reels won't necessarily get thrown away, but they will likely end up in a giant cardboard box of unsorted reels until someone can get to them. I've seen this sad little box at every place I've worked. The best approach is to call the company and ask to speak to whoever is in charge of reviewing demo reels for your discipline (3d, graphics, etc.). Introduce yourself to this person and ask if you can send a reel. This way you've made contact, they are expecting your reel, and if you have any personality whatsoever they will remember you and pop your reel in for a view. It's also not a bad idea to visit their website before you call so you know what they are all about, what projects they have done or are currently working on, etc. This will give you things to talk about with them, and shows you did your homework. This is just basic Sales 101.

Follow-up is mandatory. Remember, these people are BUSY and get a lot of reels from people better than you (and me). You can't send out reels and expect a flury of hiring managers calling to offer you a window office. You must be diligent and call every place you send a reel to. Sometimes you have to call more than once until you get through to the right person. KEEP TRYING. If you followed the "call first" recommendation above, all the better. Now you have already talked to the hiring manager, he/she knows who you are, the ice has been broken and you can talk about your reel rather than introducing yourself. They may not have seen it yet (busy!) but you can nicely ask when might be a good time to check back.

Best of luck, I hope it all works out for you!

Mylenium
03-28-2006, 04:49 AM
In addition to what Brendan said, make it a point to say why your are wanting to work for a specific employer/ shop. Don't suck up to the bosses, just name some objective reasons why you want to work for them.

Mylenium

avinashlobo
03-28-2006, 07:11 AM
Thanks for a brilliant post man. So well written that any doofus (me) should understand it perfectly. While seemingly straightforward, it's the little details that you've highlighted that tends to be missed out on that makes all the difference sometimes.

Thanks again. :thumbsup:

beenyweenies
03-28-2006, 05:15 PM
Thanks for a brilliant post man. So well written that any doofus (me) should understand it perfectly. While seemingly straightforward, it's the little details that you've highlighted that tends to be missed out on that makes all the difference sometimes.

Thanks again. :thumbsup:

avinashlobo, I see you are from the UAE. I've been curious to ask people on this board for some time now what the work situation for our industry is like in various parts of the world. It's rare to get glimpses into production around the globe aside from the well-hyped hotspots like Bollywood, etc. What's it like in the UAE? Is there much production work happening? What types - film? tv? other?

I'd be curious to know from anyone outside the US how well production is going in their country.

scrimski
03-28-2006, 06:42 PM
I'd be curious to know from anyone outside the US how well production is going in their country.

It's enough to pay the bills. My last job was a kind of 30 hours a day 12 days the week job as an assistant editor. Very exhausting, totally underpaid, kind of a neverending story with dozens of skipped deadlines, but if asked, I would work there on the spot again.
Current job is arranged that way that I only have to work 3 or 4 days a week because it isn't quite my cup of tea, mainly TV ads, so I insisted to have spare time to work on maybe low or no budget, but far more interesting projects beside my main occupation.

I think it's the same here like everywhere: Working hard and knowing the right people gets you always a job. The more jobs you did, the more people you know, if you don't totally **** up something, you will be hired again or recommended for another job/company/producer.
Most of my job I get by people I already worked with or came in contact in school when I did my apprenticeship. I have just too much work to do to create a demo reel or to host some fancy website, if I apply for a new job for someone I don't already know, I'm recommended by someone else. I show up with my resume, some stuff I edited for TV, some FX or some modeling stuff, whatever the situation needs and I'm usually in.

avinashlobo
03-30-2006, 01:26 PM
avinashlobo, I see you are from the UAE. I've been curious to ask people on this board for some time now what the work situation for our industry is like in various parts of the world. It's rare to get glimpses into production around the globe aside from the well-hyped hotspots like Bollywood, etc. What's it like in the UAE? Is there much production work happening? What types - film? tv? other?

I'd be curious to know from anyone outside the US how well production is going in their country.Hey Brendon. Can't say I'm exactly qualified to comment on the production scene out here, primarily because I've seen very little of it thus far. I'm from India and have recently moved out here.

Basically, there's no movie industry, and logically enough, no graphics production for film (if there is actually any, I apologize for the misinformation, though I doubt I'm wrong).

You'll stand better chance of stumbling across a Bollywood shoot out here than a local production set. Indian directors like to go overseas for their shots and this is one of their preferred destinations (well, Dubai at least, not the entire UAE). All the actual post-production for these is, of course, done back in India.

What I've seen thus far is graphics production only for TV and that too, mostly only title graphics. Not too many TV shows produced here. Plenty of flying logos though.

Pretty skimpy scene as you can see.

Personally, I'd have preferred to work in India given the increasing levels of quality work from there. However, Indian studios are more like sweatshops where you bust your ass for anywhere between 12-15 hours a day and get paid a relative pittance. So the whore in me spoke up & here I am earning a (much) higher salary for comparatively less professional work.

I'd like to close this by saying that the entire text above is entirely my opinion alone and please don't anybody fly off any handles.

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