Demo Reel Tips  

 (please note: this is not a job listing – sorry! Just some helpful hints.) If / when we restart our job board, rest assured we will include all available details & contact info.

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Keep reels fairly short - three to five minutes is ideal.

Include only your best work - think of it like this - you may be judged and remembered by the weakest thing on your reel, not the strongest - don't ask me why, but this truly does happen.

If you have enough strong material to pick and choose from, try to customize your reel for the company and the show you're applying for. Do a little research. Make sure your reel reflects the kind of work you want to be hired to do, and that the company you've sent your reel does the kind of work you're showing.

A short letter/statement of what you're showing and what you did is useful. Did you build the models you're showing, or are you showing us your animation skills, not modeling? If others worked on the same piece, state which elements you did.

Include your email address and follow up with an email. That's a good reminder for the person to check out your reel or respond to you if they've already viewed it. Hardly any one will drop everything and pop in each new reel that lands on his desk - In most places, reels are viewed in groups, often during lunch, breaks or after hours. Then everybody goes back to work or heads out. So it really helps if you make the effort to contact and remind people via email, that you're the guy who sent the cool reel with the dancing bunny. Otherwise, you can get lost in the dreaded "pile-o-reels" every studio has heaped in a corner.

Online reels can be really useful, provided they are easy to view. It’s more convenient for most people to click on a url than to pop in a tape, CD or DVD. But online reels are, of course, at the mercy of connection speeds, browser quirks and other variables beyond your control. Use them in addition to your snail-mail reel, not instead of.

Phoning, unless you've already been contacted to do so is probably not a good idea. Face it, everybody is busy and nobody likes to be interrupted by a call from a stranger. Email is perfect because it's so easy to reply or forward to the right person. In fact, emailing your contact person BEFORE you send your reel is even better. It’s a great opportunity to make a good impression before your reel is even seen. Plus, it saves you postage if the person replies to say they’re not hiring or they’re not the right person to send a reel to.

Poly has to admit, she’s much more likely to check out a reel when she’s already gotten a friendly email from the sender. Animation is a team effort. Even Poly prefers working with friendly, enthusiastic, nice people. And Poly’s a robot!

Good luck! I hope this helps.

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