It doesn’t matter if you are looking for freelance work or a career in a motion graphics studio, your reel and your past work are your golden tickets to getting your foot in the door of any employer, be it a company or an individual client. They will care more that you can do the work they will be paying you for than what your GPA was in college, but how do you get your video out to as many eyes as can see them so that you can start pulling these clients in? One of the answers is to let technology do most of the work for you.
Video sharing sites such as Vimeo, YouTube and Creative Cow are popping up left and right all over the web, and this is great news for you. These websites get thousands of views a day by industry professionals and individuals looking to find people to help them with their projects, and allow you a place to communicate with them. Even if they aren’t looking at your work with an idea of hiring you, that’s another pair of eyes on your video and another person who will have your name or project in their head.
Of course, there are pros and cons to these sites such as cost, compression applied to your videos and the community that surrounds the website; however, as long as you know what to expect ahead of time, and prepare properly, you will be able to bypass many of the hurdles.
Thousands of industry professionals and novices alike visit Creative Cow a day which already gives this website two of its biggest pros wrapped in one: a professional community. You will get great feedback on how to improve your reel and work plus eyes of people working in the industry will see the work you put out. If they like it, there’s always the possibility they may contact you for a job. If you follow the link I provided and click on “Upload Instructions” they will tell you how to export your video so that there’s is no compression added to the video! Oh, and did I mention it’s free! There really is no reason you shouldn’t upload your video to this site.
There are at least three videos you need to check out while you are visiting Creative Cow. They not only will show you amazing work, but how videos rendered in different formats are handled by the Website. Justin McClure, whose wide and varied body of work can be seen on his website, JustinMcclure.tv, and who can be followed on Twitter; Jim Chappell, whose amazing reel and work is displayed on his website, JimChappellCreative.com; and Rodion Rusu, whose reel, title “Glow”, should be changed to “Shine” because it does just that, all have amazing work that needs to be seen.
Another great site that is solely dedicated to uploading and viewing video, Vimeo is chock full of people currently in the industry and those aspiring to be who will look at your work as well as comment and tell you how to make it better. There is a basic membership to this site which is free, but you are only allowed one upload of an HD video per week (which is reasonable) and your video gets compressed (though it still looks better than most), but a small fee of 5 dollars a month ($59.95 a year) will get you unlimited HD uploading and better quality video (2 pass). It’s a very good site to upload to, and there’s no reason not to use at least the free option.
While you’re on Vimeo, you should check out these great Motion Graphics reels. Each of them displays great work with amazing editing skills which only further heightens their spectacular reels: Andrew Cornett, whose work you can also see on his website, Amotion.tv, and can be followed on Twitter, has a great reel with a lot of variation in style and design; GKaster, whose full body of work can be seen on his website, GKaster.com, displays some eye-opening work with Cinema 4D and After Effects; and Eric Sanderson, whose work can be seen all over the web including on The Motion Exchange, has a great reel with a large variety of work and some slick editing.
The community surrounding YouTube is somewhat sketchy at times, but the amount of views YouTube gets in one day is staggering. The name itself is widely known around world as a place to go for videos so it makes sense to upload your video here as well. Also, the quality of the video has gotten better since they added the HD upload option, and there is no limit to the number of videos you may upload as well which is a huge bonus. Oh, it’s also free as well. You won’t find a lot of other industry professionals commenting on this site, but you may find someone who’s interested in your work and wants you to work on their project.
Three great reels to check out here are by Diana Paez, whose work can also be seen on her website, DianaPaez.com; Noah Shulman, whose website, NoahShulman.com, contains his full body of work; and Facundo Sanchis, whose reel is best viewed on his website, FacundoSanchis.com.ar, since YouTube cut the music for copyright issues (a negative of the site, but it doesn’t happen a lot).
A website is always a good idea because you will look more professional, and it’s a central place that has a URL that will not change where people can view all your work, find out more about you and get all your contact information. Another great reason you should have your own website is because there is no compression on your video except what you choose. Your videos will show up how you want them to. Of course, this method does cost the most amount of money requiring hosting and domain fees and either the knowledge to create a website, the money to pay someone else to do it or a little bit of both if you purchase a template; however, the benefits are well worth it.
Every professional motion graphics designer who is trying to get his or her name out there will have a website and their reel either prominently displayed on the home page or with a link to it clearly visible. The idea is to make it as easy for your viewing audience as possible to find exactly what they need.
There are a lot more video sharing sites such as Blip.tv and Mevio, and by all means you should use as many as you can, but the ones I listed are among the best. Don’t be afraid to try other sites out, but make sure you know their upload guidelines so your video will look the best on their site.
The bottom line is to start using all the services available to you in order to get your video to the masses. It’s all a part of networking, and it’s going to get your name out there. The more places you post, the more eyes on your work, the more people will have your name in their heads, and that, my friends, is always a good thing.