Assessing Different Showreels:

Comparison of different showreels:

I’ll be basing things off of the criteria I’ve created with reference to several different articles.
The document under the name of ‘Assessing Some Websites’ should hold some bullet points which these showreels should hopefully follow.
The grades will be based on their visual quality, ability to keep me entertained and their uniqueness as it’s own advertisement.
So, adding all that up, I’m looking for:

  • Keep the best work at the front

  • High quality video quality

  • Professional layout

  • Length of between 3 and 4 minutes

  • Uniqueness

  • Level of entertainment

So, with all that in place, let us begin:

Before we get moving, I believe that now would be as good a time as ever to discuss where I am pulling my research from.

For example, where’d I get the idea that showreels should always be between 3 and 4 minutes long? What an interesting question, I’d definitely like to answer this.
On ifsstech, a site which I ended up putting in rather high regard, they wrote about how your showreel should be short and sweet in their ’12 tips for an effective showreel’ guide. To quote them directly ‘3 to 4 minutes is a good maximum length.’
They weren’t the only site to say this either. Video Collective also said tha
t ‘Employers will have seen a fair amount of showreels by the time they get to yours so ideally you would want to keep it under 3 mins.
In fact, just about every single source said to keep it under 4 minutes or even less. This lead to me the conclusion that just about every source believes this is a good idea. I believe that this is fair because if it drags out for too long, the showreel would get boring.

Another common theme amidst all the sites I’d researched was that the best work should be put toward the front of the piece.
Video Collective said that I should put the ‘best foot forward’ because a lot of companies won’t watch past the first 30 seconds of the video, especially if it’s not your best work. I didn’t review Video Collective too nicely, that being said, Audio Cookbook recommeded the same thing!
I’d say this means that the best work should certainly be toward the front of my showreel.

Most sources brought up something about having the video be uploaded in high quality. Ifsstech said to ‘Encode your showreel for the best possible visual quality whilst maintaining as much playback and download efficiency as possible.

I imagine they said to do this because it makes your showreel look more appealing from a visual perspective. Nobody wants to look at some ugly ass work.

With the main chunk out of the way, lets get to reviewing these pieces of work based off of what the pros believe:

Here are screenshots of each showreel that I will be evaluating, in western reading order.

Erik Jacobsson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzK-7ZBpRtI

Pros:

  • Shows different types of sound design and shows how he did it

  • Cheap layout makes it very unique and memorable… even if it’s in a bad way.

  • 1080p, always good to see!

  • Shows both sound and music design

Cons:

  • Drags out to over 7 minutes long

  • Annoying music plays in-between clips, super annoying

  • Not professional at all

  • Struggled to stop me from closing the video cause I was sooo bored after the full 7 minutes (not entertained)

  • Starts off terribly.

Conclusion:
Before I rip the life out of this work, I just wanted to say thank you for at least uploading it in 1080p, this at least made me smile. Video quality is important. The next good part of the showreel is that it’s memorable, if not for the wrong reasons, this is a good thing because people are more likely to hire somebody with a memorable video than one that they’d instantly forget. The sound design in it is okay but that’s basically all I can say…

This showreel had the poorest layout I’ve ever seen. The quality of sound was sometimes recorded on a cheap camera which was recording sounds coming from the sound designers computer! It was dull, non-engaging and seemed uninspired. The total run time of this showreel is 7 minutes and 37 seconds, a good minute of that could be cut out by just removing the annoying and useless slideshows that happen between clips. This work isn’t professional, it looks like it was made by a student over the course of about 2 hours, I’m sorry but it’s just that bad. It begins and ends poorly and I struggled to sit through the whole thing.

I’ll give it a E for effort (get it?)
At least it ticked a few boxes but this one will likely take the cake for worst showreel of the day.

E

Wevie:
http://wevie.tv/


Pros:

  • Strong introduction, gets to the point and gives out his job title

  • Strong first video, great piece of work showing off both sound design and musical composition abilities

  • Very professional

  • Shows a broad range of abilities

  • Starts off ridiculously entertaining

  • Animations take center stage and it feels like it all fits a unique theme

Cons:

  • 720p is the highest visual quality possible, I like my videos in 1080p!

  • Drags out to over 5 minutes long and feels too lengthy

  • Gets less entertaining as it progresses for too long

Conclusion:

This was a very strong piece of work. The professionalism is notable from the instant it begins. The animation theme is memorable and it all fits together nicely. It begins with the best video, this one shows off both sound design and composition abilities and that’s definitely something that a company needs to be looking at – the most creative piece is shown first and I think that’s definitely a good thing.

A mixed issue I have is that the highest quality I could play the video at was 720p, though this is still considered ‘high quality’, it felt like a slight downgrade because 1080 is considered the norm these days… I won’t mark Wevie down for that, I’ll mark him down for this next issue.

The main problem that the video has is that it drags out for over five minutes. That’s two minutes above the recommended amount. I’m not cool with that. You can feel the videos getting progressively worse at it drags itself toward the end. I would’ve removed the last two minutes and kept it there, leaving it at it’s strongest.

I started off entertained and felt like the video was strong but got bored toward the end. The video was visually appealing and kept a strong theme.
Taking in mind the issues behind the length of the video, I’ll give it a B+.
That’s right. Solid B+ from me.
B+

Nathan Palmer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfiJYSegRVI

Pros:

  • Strong format, very memorable thanks to the fact that each clip is very short

  • First video is definitely the strongest

  • Uploaded in 1080p

  • Video is short and says what it needs to about his abilities

Cons:

  • Becomes less engaging and even a little bit dull as it becomes predictable

  • Only shows cases of sound design, no music

  • Only 2 minutes long and could be forgotten because it doesn’t hold too much in terms of diversity

Conclusion:

I always love it when a video is uploaded in 1080p. It does feel professional, everything fits togther nicely and nothing feels thrown in or unappealing.

The showreel is short and snappy, filled with short and snappy videos. I like that none of them drag out for too long, it helps it feel like it keeps going.
The first video is the most memorable. Lastly the video does definitely have many different feelings and emotions, helping to show the creators abilities when it comes to tone.

Unfortunately, the actions taken here also damage the product. Firstly, the short length of the videos creates an unusual flow and it’s difficult to enjoy them when you know that they’re gonna be short and predictable, it destroys immersion and because of that makes the showreel less entertaining. The other major issue I have is that it’s length sort of ruins it – it’s difficult to remember something so short – I would be unlikely to hire the designer because of that.

I’d give this showreel a solid C, it fits most of the marks quite nicely and is a good piece of work, unfortunately it’s too short and is not too entertaining.

C

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