Showreels... A dummy's guide

Landing a job in 3D is a bit like auditioning for the lead in a Hollywood blockbuster. In an audition, an actor has only a few priceless seconds to impress, and, likewise, a 3D artist will usually only have about two or three minutes to showcase their work. If the recruiter's time is short, he or she might make a judgement call in the first 15 seconds, so there's no point saving your best stuff for the end. You've got to shine from the start, playing to your strengths.

As DreamWorks' European Representative, Shelley Page says: "There's no such thing as a student film that couldn't do with editing." Demo reels are entirely different from student films - unless you've made the next Geri's Game. Many student films take on too much, resulting in what one jaded recruiter describes as: "typically five minutes of poor animation on poorly rigged models in poor environments." Demo reels are about focusing on one's strengths and not trying to be, for example, a character animator if your genius lies in modelling and texturing. "I don't want to wade through a showreel where someone's thrown in everything they've ever done," says Dave Throssell, Head of MillTv.

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