Eli Guerron’s montage is more technical than most of the work we post on Motionographer, but it’s wicked polished and infused with a solid design sensibility. Eli’s pretty young (by my standards, at least), but he’s one of those guys who works his gonads off to improve every chance he gets. And it shows.
There’s another important reason I’m posting Eli’s reel. Notice how he lists his roles for each project at the bottom of the screen? This should be standard practice for all freelance/individual reels (regardless of how technical they are). This kind of full disclosure is not only helpful and informative, it’s ethically the right thing to do. I’ve heard of more than one case of people slapping projects into their reels even though all they did was pass by the designer’s desk on their way to the coffee machine and suggest that the deer head be chartreuse instead of pink.
The way I see it, reels are a necessary evil. Evil because they essentially reduce every designer/director/animator/visualist to a 2-minute binge of bite-sized eye candy. Necessary because they do conveniently represent (however distorted those representations might be) individuals and studios in an industry that crowns king he (or she) who can grab the most eyeballs in the shortest amount of time.
So since reels aren’t going away any time soon, let’s at least be up front about what we, as individuals, have done. Let’s be clear about exactly how much influence we had over the end product. I’m not saying that every reel needs to have complete credits running at the bottom like some obnoxious, self-flagellating ticker tape of humility. I’m just saying that Eli’s example is a good one to follow. Simple and easy to implement.
When I recut my reel (which unfortunately is comprised almost entirely of medicore student work), I will do the same. I hope you will, too.