I'm looking at putting a show reel together for myself to put on my website and was just after some advice as to what to put in/leave out, use video/don't use video.
Any advice would be great
Like Ade said, cover everything you want to do professionally, but with focus.
Ive known a guy who did a 5.1 mixe of JUST created audio scenes - which to me is kinda weird because it was post audio... and its not posted to anything. (It wasnt a scene just without the video, it was like he did the whole thing out of his imagination) And the professionals who critiqued it thought it a bit weird as they sat in darkness and listened. So I wouldn't do that.
I do know guys who have made a ton of audio sfx and chained it all together to make an audio reel. Which to me seems like the same kind of deal, but its more relevant to game audio as sometimes you may not have an asset to post to because it hasnt been animation/picture locked. In game audio you make "placeholder" sounds that are the correct length to be placed in and tweaked later. This is to make sure the audio stakes out their memory and CPU usage before the game is fully finished.
On my site I have:
This shows an interest in Video Game audio creation/implementation and the linear media that comes with them (in-game cinematic and trailers), Commercial/Advert based production/post-production audio, Long term linear media projects such as film, and quick contract work such as logos and short sound design spots.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of reels which are a montage of various different projects. I get that people do this to demonstrate versatility but I think a piece should be viewed as a whole so that you can get a feel for the flow and story. I also think intro's and outro's are important. Just my preference! You can always post more than one video if you have several styles you want to show off.
Definitely use something exciting and dynamic that will catch people's attention as your flagship piece, and I would aim for 3 minutes so that it doesn't get tedious. I suppose the idea is to leave the audience wanting more.
If you are short of material I would suggest downloading a commerical film or game trailer and redesigning the sound. Whilst you may have created some amazing sound design for a low budget production, sometimes the quality of the visuals can take away from your work.
Also in the main I would steer clear of using music because I assume it's the sound design that your showcasing. Having said that music and sound design are becoming one in the same so I guess what I'm saying is don't drown the sound design out with some crazy metalcore track :)
As I said this is just my personal preference and not necessarily correct! Let us know when it's up!
Here is similar question on SSD http://socialsounddesign.com/questions/224/whats-the-best-way-of-presenting-sound-design-showreel
Only put in what you want people to see. For example use your best work and what represents your style. If you want to work in film then include mostly film examples and for games the same.
Revised: Check out Rob Bridgett's show reel very good example of concentrating on just a game. Linky
Sound showreels are different to the usual showreels you find for motion graphics etc. But I think it's still important to stick to the same rules. Keep it to max 4-5 minutes, give yourself a short intro/outro with contact details and supply a separate list or a lower third and say what you did on it.
If this is to find yourself a job, most people will listen to the first minute then start flicking through it, make sure the visuals are good too, don't put in work that looks crap.
Also your showreel should be molded to where you are applying. I applied for a job recently and it was not only doing sound design for adverts but they also had an interest in the sound person composing music, I therefore created a showreel with examples of music I have made for ads/promos, even if this is not something I ultimately want to do.
I would also have links to full length work that you're allowed to show.