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i came accross a very interesting article about demo reels and that if you want to start somewhere try to do one! ok so far everything is good! the problem is the choise of the video for me. what would be a great demo reel for an employer? something that has "unique" effects, or something that has the usual and all-time-classic sounds (walking, knocking, breathing, etc, you get the picture right?)??? and after this decision do you have to suggest a good place to pick up interesting-for-sound-design-videos? or is it clearly a matter of personnal choise and point of view?

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

A few suggestions from me;

Keep it short: Try to make it shorter than 1 minute. People will not want to go through a 5 minute demo reel so probably they will end up with fast forwarding in which they can miss your best parts.

Emphasize your strengths: Do not include everything you have done. Include your best works and the ones that showcases your unique skills. You have to give the audience a reason to choose you.

Have sub-reels: One demo reel can never cover everything. Have one main reel and have sub-reels such as "Motion Graphics Sound Design Reel", "Game Sound Design Reel" etc. Use them whenever you are communicating with the people of that area.

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You need a demo that shows what you are good at. There are a lot of sound people out there an a lot of demos. Think about what makes you different from other sound designers and present that in your demo. Stay away from walking, knocking, breathing (unless you've found a cool new way to do Darth Vader type breaths). Everyone will assume that you already have the skills to cover the basic stuff. You need to show what is unique about you and what you can offer that no one else can.

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I think you should be clear before you make the reel what kind of work you are hoping to attract eg I have done a few BIG overt sounding VFX heavy films but those aren't on my show reel because it is not the kind of work I wish to spend my future doing....

I've read articles online about the 'right' duration for a show reel, but it totally depends on what your skill is & what you wish to demonstrate. For example think how different your show reel would be if you were pitching to sound design a dialogue driven art film vs pitching to be weapons designer on Star Wars XYZ...

In both cases if the video has great production values & your sound contributes to the drama, story telling & action, then they should reflect well... But its up to you to know what it is you are aiming to present to a future director, producer, employer etc...

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There's a really good article by Kyle Vande Slunt over at http://audiocookbook.org. In it, he provides a list of 12 guidelines for creating a sound design demo reel. Here's the link:

http://audiocookbook.org/sound_design/guidelines-for-making-a-sound-design-demo-reel/

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