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Post Demo Reel - please comment! DAW Software
Old 26th August 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

Question Post Demo Reel - please comment!

A warm HELLO to everybody!
After having met Jules and others from here at the AES in Vienna, I've been passively reading gearslutz for many weeks, and finally felt like registering!

So, for my first post, I'd love to share some of my work so far, and hope you might be so kind as to comment on it?

I'm a sound and video engineering student from Germany. I'm currently doing lots of film post and location sound, and am just about to apply for an internship in Hollywood. I know... big dreams. But I really want to do this. Maybe you even have a few names of post houses worth trying?

I've fine tuned my demo reel through comments by professors and friends as far as my free time allows for it, but now I'd really appreciate some comments from you guys!

So, if I was applying for a few months as an intern (film post), what would you think if I sent you a DVD with this?

I'd really gladly appreciate your thoughts on this!!! Things like:
- length?
- order?
- mixes?
- what do you like / dislike
- anything else

Cheers for helping,
Old 26th August 2007
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Henchman's Avatar
Well, every faciity I've worked at, pretty much nobody ever looked at any demo reels that were submitted.
Attitude and personality are going to be way more of a deciding factor than your demo reel.
I've never had a demo reel of my post work.
As far as getting an internship or similar in Hollywood, make sure your Visa and work permits are in order.
Chances of getting someone to sponsor you are pretty much slim to nothing.
Especially not for soemon they've never met, who is living in Germany.
You need to be in LA to get any kind of work.
Now, doen't let this discourage you. Just make sure you plan eveyhtign out,and then make your move.
I foud out that the best time to come over is the end of may or early june.
Shows have finished, and peopel are moving around.
I think lost a couple of good opportunitories simply becasue I wasin town a week or 2 too late. And decisons had already been made.
Nonetheless, I still have some excellent things that are happening for me.
I'm moving down permanently next week. But I am a US citizen, so that part was easier.

Also, I saw on your website that you are well-rounded. That's a good thing. More and more studo's are not interested in people who are only good at one thing.
Also, you might want to consider the London market first. Build up your experience there, since there's a big post-industry there as well.

I gained all my post-experience in Vancouver, that has a much,much smaller industry. Yet, I was able to gain an enormous amount of experience in a fairly small amount of time. Especially in the last 4 years I have been able to expand my credit list much faster than I could have, working in LA.
As a result of that, I have been able to get interviews in the largets studio's in LA.
You could try the same thing with London. Look at it as a stepping stone. Or, youcould end up workign at sone of the top facilities there, and deciee to not move at all.
Old 26th August 2007
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Henchman's Avatar
One last thing.
Knowing pro-tools is an absolute must.
Old 27th August 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

Thumbs up

Hello Mark,
thank you very much for taking the time and giving me those tips!!!
As for the whole visa-issue, I want to apply for a grant that would take care of that, however, I must have a confirmed internship by the end of October.

As for ProTools... I've worked with it before, and found Nuendo to be my thing... BUT I am a quick learner, and have so far taught myself anything from CubaseVST over AfterEffects (doing science fiction effects on day 2) to Blender3D... what I'm trying to say is I will pick up the speed when I watch sb. working to get the workflow, then it's just a matter of building up speed. And I know a few somebodies here at uni... I will... but thanks for the tip!!!
After all, I think the daw is just the tool, it's the creative ideas and skill in combination with knowing the tools that give you great results.
So I am as bold to say I WILL know ProTools! Soon!
I don't want to be a smart ass here!

But may I ask what you think of the reel?

Thanks again for the tips!
Old 27th August 2007
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Henchman's Avatar
The demo is good.
But the problem with demo's is that they're not really a good indication of how fast one can work.
A demo can be perfected and fine-tuned over a period of time.
The real question is, how fast are you with a client breathing down your neck, and who wants it yesterday.

Also, I love Nuendo. I still do all my music projects in Nuendo, and wish it was the standard.
But if you want to have any chance of getting any work or even an internship, you HAVE to know Pro-Tools.

Do yourself a favour. From what i can undertstand you are still a student.
Buy a copy of M-Powered Pro-Tools, and an M-Audio Transit interface.
It's the elast expensive way of getting into pro-tools, and you'll have OMF import and export capabilities.
And learn the software.
Old 27th August 2007
Gear Head

I second what Mark says.

Demo reels don't really tell us much, and, to be honest, we have people lined up out the doors to get in as editors/sound designers/mixers with experience (and without.)

If you're still young, I'd suggest that you focus on your people skills and try to get in as a runner somewhere. Make sure you have a valid drivers license. Have a clean driving record and a car.

And make sure you smile when someone asks you to carry 500 pounds of old backup mag to disney.

And, as Mark says, make sure you know Pro Tools inside and out -- although don't flaunt it.
Old 28th August 2007
Gear Addict

They're both dead on. I'm in games, but used to work in post (and started as an intern), and this advice served me well.

Know Pro Tools. Be able to run it with your eyes closed. And above all get FAST at what you do. Like they've already mentioned, speed is critical.

Be confident but not cocky. Don't hold a grudge against Pro Tools unless the people you're working with do. Interns/runners are not really expected to have opinions on these things, and some people take insults to their DAW preference personally. Know when to speak and when to remain quiet (hint: don't ask questions with a client around). Try to be the first person in and the last person out every day. Avoid sick/vacation days as much as possible. Like TWOz said, don't be grumpy about having to do crappy little jobs. That's how it goes.

The biggest piece of advice I can give to you once you get in is to get to know the audio guys and develop your relationship with them as well as you can. Do this by always being positive, friendly and enthusiastic, and following the advice above. If you can get into their good graces, they will start teaching you things, even if it's just by letting you watch them work. That's the best thing you can possibly do for yourself.

If you can get into a good shop with some talented people and get them to teach you their craft, you have a good chance of becoming a successful audio person. I learned more in my three months as an intern than I learned in the years leading up to it (through school, personal projects, etc). I stayed on longer, and they kept teaching me. I'm now very good and fast at what I do, especially considering the short time I've been at it, and I'm getting better and learning new things every single day.

And, most importantly, I made a great group of friends in the business.
Old 29th August 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

Thank you everybody for the great tips! Really, I'm very glad to receive them from you!

As for the attitude/respect - I do hope and think I am on the right side there. I spent half a year at FFS in Munich, Germany (they do the German versions of Nemo, Lord of the Rings etc.) and I felt very well accepted and friendly with the mixers and technicians. I really enjoyed and did learn from sitting in on mixing seesions, allthough this was before my studies, so I just wasn't "in the audio world" that much.

About ProTools: Are there any links that give good workflow tips? I sat in on mixing sessions while being at the BBC, but that wasn't really editing... so I would love to get some info on fast workflow there. The whole concept of editing multiple clips (fades, lengths etc.) is a little awkward for me as a Nuendo user. So if you know a good link, I'd be happy to hear!

And if I might ask one more thing of you: what do you think of the reel? How does it compare to things you hear every day?
I just don't have the experience and professionalism to say "good" or "naw"... and would gladly receive ANY comments and criticism from you!
So that I can fine tune the running order and start making the demos and applications to send off accross the big pond ;-)

Thanks once more,
Old 29th August 2007
Gear Addict

You might find more info on the DUC (DUC: Viewing list of forums) regarding faster workflow. I've also heard that some of the fastest PT editors on earth are flying with trackballs.

For me, with Nuendo/Cubase, I've reconfigured it to mimic a Fairlight DREAM's editing interface, so I use a small jog wheel and a lot of custom configured buttons to get things done. Not sure if a similar thing could be done with PT or not. I can fly it with a mouse, but I'm certainly not a speed demon with it.

*Edited out my comment about being unable to view.

Sounds good. I enjoyed it. I think you're doing solid work.
Old 30th August 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

To all who have troubles with the link: I have embedded the file into my website.

You should be able to view it here now without any problems:

Old 17th September 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

... and it should now play without having to load the entire clip (i.e. it should play while still loading).

I would love to hear your opinion!

Old 18th September 2007
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santacore's Avatar
Overall that's a nice demo reel. That said, I think it should be a lot shorter and have more variety. Too many whooshes in the sound design sections. Good luck!
Old 19th September 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

Thank you for your crit!
Yes, lots of whooshes on "Rebus", I must admit. That was however the producers whish. I had designed other sounds with synths, that where less "clichéed", but they wanted that standard whoosh effect. I prefer it without the music though, more impact sound-wise.

Cheers for commenting!thumbsup
Old 26th September 2007
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Andrew Mottl's Avatar

So, after discovering that mpeg streamclips fast start option seems to be buggy, I saved it again in QT and it plays while loading!

Took a while to find out...

Would love to hear more comments now :-D

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