I’m a firm believer that demo reels shouldn’t exceed 2 minutes, but it’s always so difficult for me to follow that rule. The thing that helped me for this reel in particular is asking the question, “What’s this demo reel for?” More often than not, I feel like a reel should showcase what you did for a project. Now, should that be only the coolest looking things you did? Or should it be a showcase of your hard work and labor? Do you want a reel of showstoppers that you maybe spent 5% of your time on? Or a robust smattering of all that your job entails? Foot fall poofs, muzzle flashes, projectile tracers, drips, dust, etc aren’t exactly the most exciting thing to look at, but they’re often the biggest part of the work.
Ultimately, the deciding factor for me was “What do I want to work on?” I cut out a lot of the work that I did for the AAA titles (Spider-Man, State of Decay 2, Shadow of War) and left in the work that is more stylized, brighter in value, and richer in color variety (Spyro Reignited, Meow Match, Injustice 2), because when people think of me and my work, that’s what I want them to think about. I want to do more fun, more bright, more colorful. I still have a vast library of subtle, “realistic” effects. I have whole entire sample reels exceeding 2 minutes that encompass the whole of what I’ve done on particular games. But, for this showreel, it’s all about my personal favorite things to work on.
I hope you like it as much as I do.