How to create the perfect showreel

Reel Talk

Creating the perfect showreel is a challenge all creatives face, there are so many factors to consider… How long should it be? Should it be broad or specialised? However, fear not! We have created a new guide Reel Talk which brings together expert advice from across the 2D and 3D VFX, games and animation sectors to create the ultimate reference for creating showreels that shine.

We have spoken to recruiters and artists from our industry partners; The Mill, Framestore, Rushes, Bithell Games and BlueZoo to create the Reel Talk guide, packed full of ‘reely’ good advice! You will find out what they look for in a showreel and the best way to grab their attention.

Blue Zoo animation director Will Cook says in one video: “The main thing I look for in an animation reel is if the characters move. It’s all about the body mechanics – if you nail the mechanics in a showreel you are a pretty good animator and all the rest can be taught at a studio like Blue Zoo.”

Will draws on his experiences of watching applicants’ showreels to offer some dos and don’ts. “To impress me, do something that hasn’t been done before… what is exciting to see is multiple shots in a sequence, two or three camera cuts in action shots, as that shows you know about story and camera work,” he reveals.

For all the budding 2D and 3D VFX pros, Framestore lead modeller Chris Cook says: “You need to show you have good understanding of the VFX pipeline as a whole. If you’re making models we’re looking for you to show that you also understand how a model will be textured and shaded further down the pipeline. It’s very important you can show us you can work with other departments in mind.”

Mike Bithell, founder of Bithell Games, advises game artists to include a breakdown of how you’ve put your work together, to show potential employers how you’ve done it. “It shows you can work in a team and you understand process and production” he explains.

Reel Talk not only offers tried and tested advice for showreels across the whole VFX industry, it also describes specific, technical must haves and must nots for each separate discipline, to help you tailor your showreel to the area you’re most passionate about and create the perfect showreel!

Get your Reel Talk copy here.