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A Clever Alternative to the DVD Reel 50 Comments



Don’t send DVD reels, nobody watches them. Try something clever instead. Better yet, go make a real connection and stop sending spam.

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50 Comments

    • MMMMMM thanks Ernest. Appreciate it!

      And Nick, I remember years ago how hard you drove this concept home, and I scoffed and was like “but my discs are so pretty (Thanks to Coudal of course)”.

      Ahh how naive I was. F Discs. F Rezzies. Long live the simple Quicktime on a webpage.

      Reply
  1. Jason Preziosi

    How do you feel about sending custom USB flash drives with a Quicktime version of your reel and PDF of your recent work?

    Reply
    • I got a reel on a USB from http://www.randommotion.tv/ when I was in LA and I lost it. :) It was definitely a better idea than a DVD reel and it was HD, too! But in the end, its still outdated a month later.

      I ended up remembering their name and finding their reel online, however. Mainly because I met them in person and they had such great attitudes and outstanding work. I think THAT is the real key. Making a real connection trumps any clever marketing idea.

      Reply
    • I don’t know how psyched I’d be sticking a flash drive in my computer from someone I don’t know. I mean it says there’s a reel on but who knows?
      Bottom line, Once you go Internets you aint never going back.

      Reply
  2. WOW! That is what DVDs look like! What a wonderful relic of the past :-)

    In these times you are absolutely right about showing off work online. I think the main problem is that people still do not understand that this process of sending a real thing to a person they don´t know in person is kind of intimidating. It is only one of 5000 real things they got from people they don´t know. Although these reels are probably done in a very creative way it seems ancient if you for example take a look at the future of the technology and of course the internet.

    The things I said are obvious to most people checking your blog and other forums, but a lots of folks are probably to nerdy in a way that they don´t have many experience in making social connections. Well, this is just one thought I had for a while on that.
    I´d love to start a little discussion here and hear your thoughts on that topic!

    I am excited!
    Cheers,
    Dan

    Reply
  3. Dan Fredriksson

    That’s a really bad example Nick. Not at all creative.

    Reply
    • Jason Preziosi

      What would a better example be? I mean if you’re going to dis it, why not counter with something you think is better.

      Reply
    • Guys, come on!!!!
      It´s not about if the picture nick chose is representative 100 percent!!! Why not diggin a few miles deeper and talk about the real issue ;-)

      Cheers,
      DAN

      Reply
    • I just thought this was a fun way to get some attention. The problem is, it can’t be your way cause it’s already done. My soloution? Making a connection is better than any of this stuff.

      Reply
    • Steven Jenkins

      When you say make a connection, Nick, would stopping by a studio be an example of making a connection, or would that be soliciting? Our 3d group in Houston doesn’t meet that often. In fact, I haven’t been to one yet because, since I’ve discovered it two months ago, there has only been one meeting and I couldn’t make it.

      Reply
    • Dan Fredriksson

      I would never send broken cd. If you really wanna get the attention of a company and they do not reply to your EMAILS. You should do something clever and original. Why not send them a cake with your homepage address in eatable frosting?
      That will get their attention.

      Reply
    • Dan Fredriksson

      I would get rid of a broken CD faster than a cake..

      Reply
  4. Colortrails

    What if a big part of the job you’re marketing yourself for is disc-based media (DVD / BR menu creation, motion menus, etc)? :D But yah, most of the time just a waste of resources. Not much better than sending out resumes.

    Reply
  5. Guy Mansterson

    Wow. It costs 42p to send a DVD? Mail’s starting to get expensive.

    I guess it’s worth it if you get the job. ;)

    Reply
  6. Yeah, I didn’t get a single response from the 40+ DVD’s that I spent countless hours and $$ producing.

    I did just get an idea from reading this post, what if someone made a faux dvd / dvd case that was basically a business card / print resume / invitation to check out your website. I’m sure the upper level people in the industry are too busy to look at full dvd’s, but it’s hard to ignore a unique idea.

    Reply
    • Trouble with that is getting people to grab your “DVD” and read it. I wonder how many people/firms immediately toss something that even looks like a dvd. It might be like doing a mailing campaign where you make all of your awesome stuff look like a pile of coupons, causing people to toss them on sight. Or maybe that wouldn’t be the problem at all, what do I know.

      Reply
  7. Marc Secher

    I totally agree real connection is #1. Although a DVD reel or PDF portfolio on DVD is useful when a client or future employer is checking out your stuff on an airplane or somewhere remote like a weekend summer house with no internetz.

    Reply
  8. “Don’t send DVD reels, nobody watches them”…
    just a little eliteist…

    Reply
    • Elitist? Really? Of course a few (very few) people watch DVD reels. But, is that really what you want to spend your time on? Making DVD reels? Menus? Compression? One at a time? Just put it online where the whole world can see it. Who doesn’t have an internet connection? Especially at a studio.

      Reply
    • Your point is well taken, Nick. But as in any business one size does not fit all. I’m pro internet and I don’t want to be making dvds but without the optional dvd or the ability to fire one off, how do you handle the occasional client who asks for one. And what about the leave behind that gets passed around. Their are no internet connection on a flight from LA or NY. It is not always about what I want but the demands of the connection.

      Reply
  9. I saw them toss a gondola full of shrink wrapped directors reels out at work the other day…. some had some really creative packaging…

    on the other side there are still jobs (not the most cutting edge) where people want DVD reels

    Reply
  10. Haha creative, yes. however i think using hand writing is a bit sloppy for such creative idea. Maybe he should have designed his own label and printed it out? I think some clients just prefer seeing people with an eye for small details.

    Reply
  11. So I like to send out my resume with a link to my reel and then if I can drop by the offices with a DVD, It gives me an excuse to come in. Usually I have something extra on my dvd this is new or that I haven’t had time to put online. That way I can show my face and meet somebody. It’s worked 2 out of 3 times. So I Say LONG LIVE THE DVD!

    Reply
  12. I agree that a real connection is the best way to start of any relationship (business or personal), but I also think that change has to come in the way people communicate their talents. I’m not a big fan of showreels. I connect them to physical media like tapes,cd or DVD. I think people have to see the bigger picture here.Reels are shorter now then ever before, they became an art form that not everyone can make. I agree that there should be a level of excellence above the rest of us because they are the facilitators of change.These are the geniuses of our craft that live their life trough their art and that is what makes them happy.But there are a lot of people out there who are happy skating, diving, traveling… and work for them is the way to finance their way of (happy) life. To make a reel like that, you should have a much broader talents like art direction, editing & directing etc. Not everyone knows or even want to those things. I think that with the advent of internet communication which changed the way people communicate in general, job seekers in any creative industry have to change the way they convey their talents and personalities online and strive for a real connection. In the end that is the only thing that matters. You might land a great job because of your reel but it’s not a guarantee that you would like the environment or people. My suggestion is that if you are in a creative industry you should search for the environment that suits you. You should communicate a lot more personality. The guy who made the DVD in the picture said a lot about himself. Someone might say ok, I like this guy, or on the other hand, who the f… does think he is. Not only did he presented his work but made a real connection.

    There is a lot of technology out there that can support creative ways to communicate your personality and work. The geniuses will figure it out for the rest us ;)

    Reply
    • Steven Jenkins

      I agree. Just because you can’t do all the ornate woodwork necessary to make a fancy, original wooden clock doesn’t mean you can’t make a living hammering together fences. You’re still filling a niche, and shouldn’t be looked down upon. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing. There are very few truly original ideas. Most of what humans do involve imitation. (hello, Windows?)

      Reply
  13. Boy’s approached worked for me. I only saw an image of the disk and I visited his site and checked out his work. I’m sure steven did too.

    Connection made in my opinion. Standing out and getting noticed is what goes hand in hand with developing these relationships.

    Reply
  14. Ashcat

    At uni i was told this story where a girl kept sending the creative studio she wanted to work for a single crushed pea through the post, she did this a good few times before eventually sending in her CV which was printed on a circular piece of paper, she was hired shortly after.

    Doing things that make you stand out from the crowd or something which makes it easy for people to see your work are the way forward ?:-3

    Reply
  15. Michael

    Web link is the way to go, however I’ve worked with some old school producers that still like DVD’s and ask for them still ( for some reason).

    Reply
  16. Broxy

    This is a tricky one.
    I do agree with Nick that perhaps reels are old hat, however from my experience if you are to post something, there is nothing worse than when someone sends something into your studio that is different or imaginative (tacky). A CV and reel is best.

    Nick, making a connection, would clearly be the best option in theory, however we’ve had people knocking on our door and I’ve never seen my boss have time to speak to any of these people.

    I think an email and link to your showreel online is the best solution.

    Reply
  17. DVD portfolios are inadvertently a great indicator for applicants: the quality of work from applicants I’ve seen who put their portfolios on DVD’s have never been as good as applicants who have work online.

    Reply
  18. toads

    We once had a guy apply for the job by sending us a light bulb with his CV on and a few illustrations. You put the bulb in a light and it shone up huge on a wall. Was a great idea and really helped him stand out of the crowd.

    Reply
  19. I’m currently putting together a promotional mail out piece to get my name out in the local agencies and I’ve been toying with the idea of putting a DVD reel in or not. I’m leaning towards not at the moment, it seems an unnecessary expense, and I agree not many people in the motion design industry look at them. I do think there is value to be had from a nice piece of print being sent, assuming most of the people I want to see are similar to me in some respects, nothing cheers me up more than a nice tactile printed piece arriving in the mail. It’s like a wee present!
    I do however intend to use the printed piece as a lead on to a phone conversation and ultimately a face-to-face connection, as it is the best way to be remembered. Especially with my hair!

    Reply

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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.