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Just say NO to DVD Demo Reels 118 Comments


I wanted to show you where most of your DVD reels ended up. Please make a simple website to show off your work instead . The internet always always wins over physical media.

Quick note for students: Next time your school “makes” you build DVD demo reels, please slip them a link to this will ya?

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118 Comments

  1. the last time I made a dvd reel was, well, when I was forced to in college…we live in a new day, and there’s the internet now, and its true, no one watches dvd’s even for movies now, nonetheless your 3 minute reel…

    Reply
    • John Brune

      No one watches movies on DVD anymore? That’s funny. I’ll take a DVD any day over watching it on a computer–unless that computer is playing it thru my home theater system. I still shoot on videotape, too. I’ll take physical media any day over “web quality” or tapeless anything.

      Reply
    • I still have a DV cam, but I avoid the tape at all costs and bring a laptop to capture to directly or a firestore if I’m not stationary.

      I still watch DVD’s, but I certainly don’t prefer tape.

      Reply
    • you know, the technology today exists to watch stuff online that is as high of a quality as a dvd (for all intents and purposes)…physical media is just a sign of a slowly dying technology (maybe with the exception of physical hard drives but with servers and online storage even those are becoming more obsolete by the day)

      Reply
  2. btw nick fun experiment: go to DK one day with your camera and show everyone the sheer number of dvd reels they get/still have/toss regularly…such a waste of money too…

    Reply
  3. I throw away the DVDs but keep the boxes… you never know when they’ll come in handy.
    Especially when they have cool ‘release’ buttons on them like the second one you tossed.

    BTW: What happened to the cool “One Is Us” Poster? Is “One” “Them” now?

    Reply
  4. Evan Seitz

    Hey Nick – great information. For those of us that have placed the majority of our time and resources into the film side of freelancing, can you suggest any good sites for learning the ins and outs of creating a clean, basic website?

    Reply
    • There are a lot of good portfolio sites out there so you can show off your work, but if you want to build your own you should probably just hire someone. By the time you learn how to build a site, you could of built a ton of cool motion shit. Just gotta remember you want your site to be simple and put huge emphasis on your reel/work.

      I built this small portfolio for Nicolas Girard.

      http://goodmorningstranger.com/
      http://nicolasgirard.ca/

      Reply
    • Evan Seitz

      Cool site – if you don’t mind my asking, how much would a portfolio site like that usually run for?

      Reply
    • Evan, for me the best portfolio site is by far Cargo Collective.

      http://cargocollective.com/

      It has extreme clean and well designed templates (but you can customize a lot of it), an excellent interface, very easy to update and you can even use your own domain. My portfolio uses Cargo Collective, check it to see some of the features.

      I feel pretty confident telling you that you won’t regret getting a Cargo account, I’ve been through a lot of different services and this one is just perfect.

      Reply
    • Cargo is free (but there is a paid account with more options) but you can also try Indexhibit

      http://www.indexhibit.org/

      Its and Open Source platform for building portfolios in a very simple and elegant way. But you need to install it on your own server. Its the most flexible tool for building a portfolio but you need to know what you are doing. If you don’t have any ‘web skills’ I think you better use Cargo :P

      Reply
    • My website is also build with indexhibit. Its reallly awesome ones you got a nice layout. And its so easy to update.

      Reply
    • Evan Seitz

      Thanks so much for the advice guys!!

      And on a side note – when picking a domain, is it smarter to just do my name, like “EvanSeitz.com” (for example) or something abstract like “Greyscalegorilla.com”?

      Reply
  5. I absolutely agree, and have been saying this for years now. Unfortunately i’ll be forced to make a physical DVD reel at some point to please my school. I made my own website, and business card a head of the game because I knew physical media was dieing out.

    The problem is some people still want DVDs. A lot of veteran vfx artists and people who are in the hiring process are stuck in their old ways and still demand physical dvds, regardless that they’re wasteful. This is why if I need to make a physical reel (because its still useful to have a couple on hand), i make them super small. No bulky packaging, and more like that second case you showed. I also set up the dvd so it plays automatically when its inserted. Gotta make it super fast to view so it has a better shelf life than your competition.

    Reply
    • Sounds like the same folks that want to read a newspaper with their morning coffee. :)

      Not sure why in such a computer driven business, people would want to hassle with a LOW REZ dvd instead of watching it HD on Vimeo or Yourtube.

      Reply
    • Jason

      Do you really want to work for a company that us so “stuck in their old ways”? I think this says alot about the company in general. If they’re behind in something like this, what else are they doing in their business that is out dated? Personally I would b selective with th companies I apply for a job with

      Reply
    • Vancouver Man

      I think the reality is, if you’re going to work for a company with managers or other higher-ups in their late 40s or early 50s, they don’t think the way younger creative generations think.

      They relate to the tactile side of things. They may want a paper resume or a DVD or whatever, instead of a link to a URL and a Vimeo feed (as crazy as that is). Old habits die hard. When the people who are 25-35 right now start owning and managing all the businesses out there, guys who came up the ranks thinking in digital terms and not in terms of physical media, that’s when you’ll know you’re totally safe going all digital and ignoring physical media.

      It’s like web design. How many years have big-time sites been given crappy mark-up, hacks and small layouts because the default PC setting was 1024×768 (even though the monitor can do much better) and the default browser was IE 6 and never changed? The web could’ve been SO much better going back several years, but web designers were screwed because they had to cater to people who were too lazy or techno-phobic to go into a control panel and increase their resolution, and download a browser like Firefox. Sucks but it’s reality, and I suspect it’s the same kind of situation with DVD. Driven by people who are afraid to change.

      Reply
      • These places doing business like this are the PAST. Why even get a job with them? Ignore their old ways and get a job at a place that is up to date. Not EVERY available job is the right one for you.

        Reply
  6. It wasn’t until this last quarter at AI that the graduating students weren’t forced to create and burn 50 DVDs of their reel. Nobody wanted to do it, but it was a requirement. I went to the portfolio show, and most people hadn’t given away a single DVD, but had given away plenty of business cards with their web site info. Thankfully this quarter the administration finally wised up and lifted the requirement. This quarter at portfolio show nobody had DVDs.

    Reply
  7. Even if they do go back to that shelf when they are looking for someone, chances are that Reel will be outdated by then. Someone seeing outdated materials can be worse than someone not seeing your work. If they see something 2 years old and aren’t impressed by what you were capable of then, they may pass over your more current application or link because they’ve already formed an opinion of you.

    Reply
    • Exactly. You never get a second chance for your first impression (or something like that). The new DVD’s should have a Mission Impossible feature, like “This DVD will destroy itself in 6 months”. :)

      Reply
    • Douche McDoogle

      yea but if you’re that dope, then nobody can pass you up, even if they have an impression that you suck. if they do, go to a shitcan studio and rip it up there. if you end up being the reason that studio is winning jobs over the powerhouses, then you are a rockstar and the ladies will flock to you like vultures to a baby seal carcass mid-july.

      Reply
  8. Hello I’m from Ukraine (can anyone heard of such a country can someone have not heard). I would like to ask you Gorilla, you can publish in your site \ blog lesson Animating characters in Cinema 4D. Please! Besides, I like your lessons, all so clearly explains that even dumb people will understand you!

    Reply
    • Douche McDoogle

      animating a character in c4d would take more than a lesson. it would also take visa/mastercard/discover…but not american express.

      Reply
  9. Good stuff Nick. Tell it like it is.

    My first real animation gig came after I had sent in my DVD Reel to the same person at nickelodeon 3 times in 6 months. They never looked at the DVD.

    Instead, when I was renting a workstation at Nickelodeon Digital Animation labs for a project I was producing at Noggin, the producer at Nick Dig saw my work for that project, and asked if I could bring in a reel. I told him I had sent him 3, and then he took me to his office and showed me something that looked like the mountain in Close Encounters – only this one was made of VHS and DVD reels. He said: Find yours and we’ll watch it.

    I brought my reel in the next day and we watched it. After that, I built a website.

    And that was when the internet had just taken off for real. No one watches DVD reels anymore. An email with a link to your site is the fastest and most reliable way to show your stuff, except sitting in the office with the people hiring and watching it with them.

    Reply
    • Great example, Aharon, but he did still ask to see a reel. Granted, that may have been years ago, but I do still run into clients who (during an interview) want me to bring a DVD reel. They don’t want the hassle of dealing with a web site or some internet connection that may be down. Heck, half the clients I interview with have tech problems they are currently dealing with. It’s been easier for them to just pop in a DVD. So while Nick’s advice is good, I think experience will tell people how they need to best prepare for getting that gig.

      Best,
      -Robert

      Reply
    • Great comment, Aharon. Thanks for sharing your story. This happens more than people think.

      @ Robert. Having a backup way to show off your work is definitely a good idea for an interview. Maybe a thumb drive would work in this instance?

      Reply
  10. Victoria

    Definitely agree that DVDs are annoying. 50 copies? You poor students! What a waste of time. DVD reels, dated as they are for applications (No one — NO ONE — looks at them), are at least still important to bring along to interviews. Lots of places have nicer DVD screening setups than monitors, and you can recut with a focus on the type of work for the job.

    There’s a small problem with web-based reels becoming the norm, though: lots of designers don’t have the rights clearance to display their most important work on their personal sites. Some design job contracts specifically disallow their inclusion in a reel, which is easy enough to ignore when you’re showing a DVD to three people in an office but a bit more problematic when you’re posting it for the entire web to see.

    It seems like most people just completely ignore licensing rules when it comes to reels. I’ve even had applicants send me links to an unprotected HD clip of something they’d designed for a not-yet-released movie. No way I want to risk you doing that with any of our films, so no way I’m gonna hire you. If you want to do stuff for network broadcast, I need reassurance that you have a basic understanding of copyright law — after all, I don’t want to find out a halfway into a project that you’ve just pulled the map you’re using off of Google Image Search.

    There must be a good solution, but I’m not sure what it is. Password-protected video files, perhaps, but then you’re limiting your potential audience…

    Reply
    • I have had the same NDA issues (Did a year of work at a certain computer company that is obsessed with secrecy). I also still love custom packaging designed by someone thoughtful. I certainly don’t throw away beautiful things.

      Of course, I still buy nicely designed “books”, which are these small, rectangular, non-updateble sites and blogs.

      Point taken though, Nick. We already generate so much waste in our industry.

      Reply
  11. I don’t even work in motion design (I really want to and am working on it) but this just proves my theory that teachers are so far away from real life practices. Its insane, where I went to college they taught us web design on Adobe GoLive, WTF is that about? I think it is our job as professionals to tell professors what we we want to see when deciding on who to interview when we are hiring. Otherwise they will never know. This post is a great start. Go Nick!

    Reply
  12. ScottCorey

    I recently saw an article (meant for graphic and print designers) giving the reader the idea of leaving business/postcard like keepsakes after a meeting with a potential client, kinda like the handouts at the graduation show you mentioned in the video. Do you feel that something along these lines is helpful for a motion designer? If so what?

    Reply
    • Douche McDoogle

      some dope studios give away designer toys to clients and visitors alike. don’t know if doing this as a designer would help, but it definitely can’t hurt. and in my opinion, a card or something like that, unless it’s got a dope visual or can fold up into something cool, isn’t worth it.

      Reply
  13. you r right as usual, but…
    If it was real dvd’s from real people – can you imagine what they may feel when dvd’s goes straight to garbage in the front of whole community? I think this can be done easy way…

    Reply
    • They need to know what happened to their DVDs, right? I didn’t even comment on their actual work. Besides, you better learn to grow a thick skin if your going to work in this business.

      Reply
  14. I totally agree that DVD’s are a pain, but I still use them a fair bit. I do a lot of work that is under NDA for years at a time and isnt allowed on the web so DVDs are unfortunately a necessity for freelance work.
    I work at a place called The Peoples Republic of Animation (http://www.thepra.com.au/) and our production director watches all of them. crazy right? but it means that we get to see the best work from that person at the time that they send it.

    Reply
    • Douche McDoogle

      makes sense in that aspect regarding showing pitch stuff.

      Reply
  15. ray houghton

    i still make mine on vhs… i agree say no to dvds

    Reply
    • ray houghton

      dammit patrick you beat me… i’m submitting pez dispensers from now on

      Reply
  16. The school I went to made us make DVD’s, but a big part of it was learning how to author a dvd and use the software.

    Reply
  17. I totally agree but…

    What about studios like Blue Sky Studios that REQUIRE it as part of their application process? (check their site)

    I moved near them recently and would apply if I weren’t against filling landfills with my reel and wasting my time on something that will probably end up on some HR persons shelf then in their can. If by chance I were someone they were looking for.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Douche McDoogle

      there are a couple in los angeles that still want dvds. i think it’s also to see how well your design aesthetic translates over to other avenues other than motion/etc.

      Reply
    • If they require a DVD, then they require a DVD. Why skip on a chance of getting a gig cause someone didn’t want to mail in 1 DVD even though it was instructed. I can understand with a portfolio show and what not. Who knows, maybe that person whose in charge of look on it doesn’t have access to internet:|

      Pixar requires dvds too if the descriptions require it. Yeah, I’m still surprised some of the bigger houses require it though. They probably have many people that look at it. Sometimes physical media just works best.

      Reply
  18. the only time i would recommend a physical copy of your reel is if you have an intreview, but really only as a back up just incase internet connection may be down.

    asides from that i agree with the gorilla

    Reply
  19. Keep fightin the good fight Nick!

    I recently cleaned out my office and also threw out countless old AI reels from fellow alums I’d checked out at portfolio shows. Along with that, a stack of dvd reel cases of my own that were never going to be used.

    Reply
  20. talking about waste, I fully agree with you, when Istarted as a freelance I just make the best “cartes de visite” (maybe visit card) with beatifull paper with a simple design but great finition (150 €) and I made my own website (12€ / year)and a vimeo page (0 €)

    For 162 € I’ve all I need to work, there is just one time I was asked to burn a DVD, it was after a first meeting with a consumer who wanted to show my work to his associates.

    You’re right (one more time ; ) )

    Reply
  21. sebastian

    I’ve so much to say about this. I just don’t know where to start. You know what …
    I’ll send you a DVD.

    No Please no, not the garbage can!!!!

    Reply
  22. I’m sure someone got stung from watching this,
    7 years ago I would have too.. but only 10 CDrs.

    I’m just reading John Peel’s biography. He received up to 400 demos a week and tried to listen to most of them. But every now and then a skip-full of unheard demos would leave from his whereabouts.

    Reply
  23. Parkway Drive

    I’m moving with the current trends and sending nick my reel on a mini disc via a carrier pigeon.

    Reply
  24. Marshall Baltzell

    Instead of a dvd, why not use a flash drive? There are places that will create a custom shell, and the reel can be built to auto play as a quicktime, or you could even create a custom app for them to navigate around a bit. Plus, if they don’t like it, they can delete it and use the flash drive for themselves. Win-win, in my opinion.

    Reply
    • how is that a win win….1.This still requires you to buy a lot of these flash drives which are more expensive then dvd’s. 2.Your work on these drives will be outdated fast just like it would be on a dvd. 3. They still have to take the time to insert a thumb drive, just like they have to insert a dvd…

      and what are they going to do with a thumb drive??Its not even a good paperweight.lol

      Fail

      Reply
    • Cathy

      Tonnes of marketing companies sell flash drives for super cheap – with your logo on them….

      Not a fail in my opinion…. You people are too negative… Marshall looks even younger than us! We should listen to him…

      Reply
  25. I’ve never made a DVD reel, and after this never will. I am almost done with my Website.

    Reply
  26. Nick, you make a good point that DVDs are obsolete and cumbersome. And I agree that a website with work and a reel is great and efficient. But there is a larger issue here and just having a website isn’t a whole solution to the problem. Nobody knows about your site if you’re not sending something out to promote it or making it easy to find on the internet.

    And I would argue that sending an email with your link can be equally forgetful and annoying. Aside from students sending reels, promoting your studio to potential new business is not as simple as sending an email blast or putting a business card out on the table. People need a reason to open anything and look at it, even a website. Whether it be a referral, some sort of face to face contact prior, or an seductive marketing piece that engages the recipient; there must be a connection that motivates.

    In the end, it’s naive to think simply having a website and sending emails to people is going to get people’s attention anymore than a DVD, because the internet is far more saturated with portfolios and garbage than anyone’s office. There has to be something special driving traffic to your site, especially if you’re using a basic template like CargoCollective or Indexhibit. Persistence, networking and strategy are far more effective at achieving this.

    Reply
    • John Brune

      Finally someone who knows what they’re talking about! I agree with everything you said–except the part that DVDs are obsolete. Getting your material in front of potential clients is a concert of persistence, talent, patience, business cards, web sites and yes sometimes even DVDs.

      Reply
    • I’m not saying that having a website is magic. You have to promote yourself and, most importantly, have great work. There are a TON of people fighting for work. The two things that will get you a job is 1. Being good and 2. Them knowing you exist. You have to do both.

      Reply
  27. I agree with most of the stuff said. But its not the same in all countries I guess because of the diff level of tech savvyness? (is that a word) I live in Trinidad(Caribbean) and there are not much studios, but I do offer my work freelance. Because most of my potential clients aren’t Graphically inclined or even email oriented, I have to make sales using dvd reels. Just because they don’t even read the e-mail I send to them. But my reels are diff than the simple rough-cut reels, because they are like digital brochures for my work explaining in detail for the non tech person to understand what I do and how it will apply to them.

    Reply
    • Nice reel, but i would recomend not using pieces inspired by tutorials, i think that’s too easy and it does not show your uniqueness.

      Reply
    • Laser

      bro, never ever put a tutorial in your reel. and the fact that nick is broadcasting out of chicago, and you’re looking for work in chicago…bro…c’mon man. you’re setting yourself up for the blacklist.

      Reply
    • Yeah, I agree. Too much tutorial work in that reel. People will notice for sure.

      Keep rocking the five second projects (I see you had some in there) and work on creating your own style. Bravo on keeping the reel short. Cheers!

      Reply
  28. Joe Barone

    AI is a joke, a very very expensive joke. Even some of it’s faculty will agree. Whatever makes the board members happy is what flies, and the board members are stiff business types with zero creativity.

    It’s an art school run like a business school. PEOPLE, WE DO NOT WANT MBA’s in ART!!!!

    I think its a SHAME that they REQUIRED me to have a DVD reel and printed portfolio AND present them at some pathetic dog and pony show they call a “portfolio show”. NOBODY CAME! and I was down nearly $400 because of it… but they didn’t care: IT WAS A REQUIREMENT TO GRADUATE.

    I have homicidal thoughts whenever I make a student loan payment.

    DON’T GO TO “ART SCHOOL”, you’ll end up hating the whole business before you even know what it’s like to actually WORK in the industry.

    Reply
    • I graduated from there years ago and completely agree. Actually, the class before mine sued the school (the whole class) in a class-action lawsuit and won. And school that advertises on television during Jerry Springer is not a real school, it’s a scam. They probably have a big stake in Sallie Mae.

      I will say Joe, some art schools are fantastic and have an incredible faculty that are worth every penny. Overall though, the design market is saturated. We don’t need anymore designers in this country. Everyone wants to be one, and thats exactly how school corporations like the Art Institutes International can exist.

      Reply
    • I COMPLETLY AGREE!!!!!!!!
      I’ve been saying this for years while I attended AI and I don’t recommend it for any one who ask. Its a really big waste of money and most of the teachers are not qualified. I spent my last year of AI trying to do something about it but all I got was ridicule from the faculty and staff. When everyone else in my major began to see my point and stand up against AI all they did is try to shut us up for wanting to learn more!

      Reply
    • Nobody is 100% happy with their school experience. I had a pretty good experience at AI in Chicago. Sure some teachers are awful, but that happens anywhere. Find the good ones and stick with them. Take as many of their classes as you can. If all you get is one great mentor in school, it’s worth it. The degree itself may be worthless, but the time spent learning, no matter what you school, is invaluable.

      Reply
    • Joe Barone

      I might have seemed a little brash in my original comment, and don’t get me wrong, I had some TREMENDOUS teachers there (not to mention some of the raw talent I was surrounded by). Those are the merits to going to an art school… however, for Pete’s sake, take your gen-eds at a community college and NOT at your art school… I’ll never make that mistake again… My stats class cost me something like $2000…the same as my Advanced Compositing class. I’m not saying the education is bad, it’s just the business-driven collective mentality of EDMC, AI’s parent company.

      From what I have seen and from what I have heard from faculty, there is always an elevated sense of tension between what the teachers want and what the board will let them have.

      The school was also always lagging behind in technology, citing cost as the main reason for not getting video DSLRs, or at least a Nikon lens adaptor kit for our Panasonic HD cameras. But, they’re fine spending thousands on new signs for the building, and flat screens in every hallway showing the school schedule.

      Bottom line is the education was great, my teachers were/are pros in the field, but the company as a whole is rotten from the core.

      Reply
  29. I’m sorry to here about AI. Maybe AI was not a good choice but I have to disagree with the whole “do not go to art school” bit. Yes its true designers are a dime a dozen; in particular bad designers, ha!

    On the contrary, I say go to art school and get a solid foundation in art and design and then learn to push buttons. Put it this way, its not going to make you any worse if you don’t have the theory, but it will make you a hell of a lot better if you do.

    I’m currently studying and majoring in communication design with a minor in printmaking (intaglio, and lithorgraphy) despite the fact that what I really want to do is motion graphics and animation, I have stuck out my four years of school learning design and traditional print because I see the value in what I am learning. The reality is this.. art school creates thinkers, the amount I have grown artistically in my four years is ridiculous to me. After I graduate I am going to take a two year intensive on character animation. That’s a total of 6 years of school..

    What I’m trying to say is this..
    Six freakin’ years!!! that’s what i’m trying to say.. SIX YEARS!!!

    there are no shortcuts in life..

    I hope this does not come off as arrogant. maybe a little bit out of context.
    but I felt like it was appropriate.

    Just to add to the above, when Pixar came to my school to view our work they went straight to the visual arts department. They didn’t even bother looking at the animation student’s work.

    Reply
    • Great comment ed. I totally agree about school. Learn the hard stuff in school like design, color, type, story, and drawing. THEN, learn how to push the buttons on sites like mine. The software is easy to learn. Design isn’t.

      Reply
  30. Joe Moya

    Interesting… when I look at the business of graphic/video/aniamtion art (in general), I see a lot of ways for someone to sell themselves. But, the reality is that the industry is an entertainment-like business that has much more supply than demand for the services…. hence, the term “starving artist”.

    That being said… I think because there is such a large supply of artists (but smaller supply of good artists) trying to promote one’s artistic abilities does need to be done at the most efficient level possible. And… no way is a DVD the most efficient way of showing “your ware’s”.

    As someone who decides who is used for various projects, I can say I have NEVER looked at a DVD… and, this may surprise some,… I seldom ever look at artist reels as well… typically, I look at entire packages/projects done by various artists. And… from that I make my decisions to accept an interview.

    What does this mean? Well… probably not a lot… except I know of others in my position who hire on the same (or similar) premise… and, if that is the case… then, the best way to be noticed is to do good work… all the time. And… what I have found out is that the internet has made this sorting process much easier when you see what is liked and disliked by various viewers. Unfortunately, online artist reals seldom make the top viewed list…. but, good completed projects do make the most view lists. My suggestion… post your best completed projects… not just reels… and, put minimal effort into DVD’s.

    Reply
  31. John Harvey

    Dude, I used to come here for the photography stuff, and recently…nothing. The animation stuff is cool, but come on, show me some love here :)

    Reply
  32. Could you say the same for the film festivals ?

    I am so tired to send dvd while i can just send a link…
    I have to burn the dvd… go outside my home to send the dvd… pay for sending the dvd … waiting a few days… and sometimes they send me an email ” we don’t receive our dvd” or “your dvd is not readable, send another please”. And that just for the selection…

    Forget the dvd please !

    Reply
  33. Could not agree with you more. Over three years ago we (imago studios) decided to abandon wasting plastic and instead refer people to our website. We made a small sub-domain called reel.imagonewmedia.com and it worked for us really well.

    With an exception of a few EXTREMELY old-school clients (you know, people who still prefer to use fax over email), nobody ever complained and the entire process allowed us to put the reel in front of a prospective viewer in a matter of seconds, rather than days.

    Reply
  34. This has been a thought provoking discussion. I live in a rural area that has a local phone company that owns the transmissions lines and offers high speed DSL..there is NO other option except satellite which cost much more. All these low res videos I am referred to on the web barely play 3 frames/sec and the audio is choppy at best. HD forget it. I agree net presentation is the way to go but you must be able to present yourself to the widest range of potential clients. Fine details and subtle colors that work on DVD and don’t translate to web may mean the loss of a gig. I understand you are trying to present your reel to producers but eventually your work is SOLD to an end user. Making a reel to get hired by a “video gatekeeper” is in itself an old fashioned method of content delivery. What percentage of end users, even in the USA are capable of receiving your HD content over the net? Why aren’t you “youngsters” joining forces and coaxing your geek friends into creating a web service that offers pay per view that will work for the vast majority of web users? Instead, I see original content given away on YouTube, that I still can’t enjoy.

    Reply
    • Good points. But, I don’t agree that people need to present to a “wide range of clients”. Frankly, client’s without a hi speed data connection would suck to work with anyway, (no offense). Sometimes it’s better to limit who can hire you. You may be better off in the long run.

      Reply
  35. Something else you didn’t seem to mention (unless I missed it) is that if you’ve received a demo reel and you’re impressed but don’t think it’s someone you’re interested in hiring, but it is someone who matches the skills a friend or business associate mentioned needing you can’t just pass a link along, you’ve either got to rip it from the DVD, ship them your copy or contact the individual and ask them to send a copy, it’s much easier to simply forward the link along.

    Reply
    • Great point, SR. It’s a point I bring up in some of my talks. Sharing links is SO easy and a great way to spread great work.

      Reply
  36. I love this post!! … If somebody’s work is great it gets noticed on a website, vimeo page etc, without any kind of promotion. Creating expensive portfolio books, DVD packaging, etc. is such a waste of money!!! … I wouldn’t even spend money on printing my resume on expensive paper!!

    Reply
  37. Couldnt say it better myself. Thats why I got a website!

    Their still teaching DVD Reels and iMovie/iDVD at the college I went to…I just laugh

    Reply
  38. Mattski

    You are so right, Nick! DVD demo reels are PERFECT to use as coffee mats.

    :)

    Good work with the tips, mate!

    Reply
  39. Thank you really much again Nick. You doing a really great job for us students. And in fact I am in the same position. I just relaunched my website in a clean straight forward look. All my videos are on vimeo, because I think its really the best platform to share your videos. But I would still recommend even if you have your website you should still go for others community sites like behance. Yes I guess nothing to new for you guys :) . Have a good day. If you get bored check out mine at http://www.ruetten.tv/reel.html

    Ah one thing do you think it makes sense to apply at studios even if they are not hiring at their website at the moment? And how strict do you distinguish between designers and animators? Because at the moment i can see myself as both (doing boards and animate) ?

    best regards roman

    Reply
  40. Gary S.

    The last position my news station filled had a stack of DVD’s and VHS’s. Who still thinks VHS is even an acceptable format anymore? I can tell you that the people slow enough to send a format that nobody uses anymore found their reels in the trash (followed shortly by hysteric laughter at their expense).

    I got my job with an emailed resume and a vimeo link, no physical media at all. I also saved 15% on my car insurance at the same time!

    Reply
  41. I have even received full portfolio websites burned to a DVD/CD. It’s crazy. I have gotten pretty good at guessing people’s ages by the type of portfolio package I receive at my work. Great article! It needed to be said. I hope a lot of professors/Instructors will find this one. Also great comment by Aharon Rabinowitz. Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time.

    Reply
  42. Nick man I totally agree, a website is the way to go as opposed to a DVD reel. My response though is in the form of a question to you and the community here, is a business card alone enough? I want to break into the market, so I need to be able to cold facilitate a conversation with prospective customers or employers. It takes a lot of faith for me to think that people will see my plain looking card and jump onto my website without some sort of teaser to grease the wheels. Otherwise it just becomes a stack of business cards that no one looks at instead of dvd cases.

    Reply
    • Business card’s don’t really work either. All of these tools are useless unless you make a connection. Make connections with a people and show them your great work and you will do just fine.

      Reply

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