retro tv on river shore near forest

Reel Tips

In our May 2021 meeting on reels, we meet online to review reels and talk about important aspects that constitute reel content; an essential toolkit for all After Effects users. Here are our tips for reels.

  1. Have an outro and intro title card that contains your name, and email address. With this digital age, you never know exactly how your reel is being shared around online. This will ensure that you receive credit for your work and you are reachable to your audience.
  2. Make certain that your links to your reel are public. Don’t require passwords, as this could be an impediment for Human Resources or other hiring departments and managers.
  3. You reel shouldn’t contain any “filler”, only include your best work.
  4. Don’t assemble your reel in chronological order. Viewers aren’t going to be watching for how far you’ve come. They want to know what you can do, now.
  5. Treat the edit of you reel, as equally as important as the individual pieces of your reel.
  6. Have your best piece at the beginning, your second best at the end, and your third best in the middle.
  7. Avoid copyrighted content (like music, or if you’re an animator, that also mean personal/school projects with famous or licensed characters).
  8. Give credit where credit is due. If you worked on every aspect of every shot, great! But if someone else took care of something else (like lighting, composting, green screen keying, character modeling, and so on) be certain that you’re not taking credit for other people’s work. This could look like including explanatory text in the video description, or utilizing lower thirds in the edit to take ownership of your contributions.
  9. Get a fresh perspective. Have a friend or respected network connection review your reel and help you to identify areas of improvement, or pieces that could be removed.
  10. Ask yourself, how does each piece add value to the reel.
    • Does it show a skillset or capability that the other pieces don’t?
    • Does it show the work you want to be doing?
    • Does it show the work that you have the skills to do, today? (For example, don’t include a shot showcasing skills/techniques that you haven’t done since college and wouldn’t be able to do if you were hired the next day.)
  11. Keep updating your reel with fresh work.
  12. If you’re job hunting (or even freelancing), it may be beneficial to have multiple variations of reels. For example, you have your main reel, and two other reels showcasing your best skills (like a motion graphics focused reel, or a visual effects reel).

Similar Posts