We VFX artists live in a catch-22 situation when it comes to demo reels. We need to make demo reels to show our work, but the studios won’t let us have the plates. We are forced to rip DVD’s and simply add notes when what we really need to do is show shot breakdowns with befores and afters. But to do that you need the original plates, which you simply could not have – until now.
At FX Ecademy we offer ShotKits™ which are all of the plates required for a VFX shot that you can purchase and put together for your demo reel. These plates are all feature film quality and resolution shot with RED, ARRI, 35mm film, and the odd Sony 950. They were all shot by pros. No student films here. They are also software agnostic so the shots can be put together with any compositing software – Nuke, Fusion, Flame or After Effects.
Can Do It? or Have Done It!
The thing about VFX studios looking to hire people is that they do not want to hear that you CAN do it, they want to see that you HAVE done it. This requires a professional demo reel with examples of your skill and experience with complete shot breakdowns. Anybody can put up a clip ripped from a DVD and claim “I did that” to a skeptical Comp Super. They will be much more impressed by a detailed shot breakdown showing the original plates along with the final comp.
ShotKits™ are grouped into six “collections” of similar types of shots so you can choose the skill you want to demonstrate. Some ShotKits™ are designed to showcase your compositing skills while others are designed to let you show off your creative design skills. Here are the six collections:
FX Ecademy ShotKit™ Collections
|Action Collection – fast action shots with motion blur and depth of field keying challenges that make a powerful demonstration your outstanding keying ability.|
|Fantasy Collection – creative shots with a fantasy theme where you add elements of your own design to show off your very magical design skills.|
|Horror Collection – creative shots with a horror theme where you add some elements of your own design to showcase your blood-curdling design skills|
|KeyPack™ Collection – not intended for a demo reel, but instead to give you valuable keying and spill suppression practice with a “pack” of 10 different greenscreens or bluescreens, all feature film quality of course.|
|Sci-Fi Collection – creative shots with a sci-fi theme where you add some elements of your own design to show off your awesome design skills.|
|Skills Collection – plates for you to demonstrate your compositing skills for clean plates, day for night, marker removal, monitor inserts, rotoscoping and more – the meat and potatoes of VFX.|
Each ShotKit™ is presented with a demo video to show you what the finished shot could look like along with images and specs for all the elements you get with the shot. Of course, for the creative collections you will design your own effects to show off your unique talent.
Body Shield 02 ShotKit™
Create your own body shield and weapons fire animation for this exciting Sci-Fi shot to demonstrate your visual effects design talent. This visualization was created by Alejandro Davalos.
Demonstrate Your Skills!
You can choose from dozens of ShotKits™ to pick those that will best demonstrate your skill for the type of job you want to apply for. Entry level Paint and Roto? Got your covered. Junior compositor doing cleanup? No problem. Intermediate compositor that wants to move up to senior with proven keying skills? Many options here. Want to get more on the creative design side of visual effects? You can do it with creative ShotKits™. Should you want help putting together a professional demo reel we have a fully mentored Demo Reel Workshop just for that.
Don’t Use Poor Quality Video!
Some people say just grab some video off the Internet for greenscreen and bluescreen keying practice. The problem with this idea is that these videos are invariably very poor quality and make for lousy keying, but that is not what you are going to encounter on the job. You also do not want to turn in a demo reel with lousy keying examples then try to explain it was because of the lousy footage.
Show Your Shot Breakdowns!
Some think that purchasing the same ShotKit™ as another artist would be a problem, but that’s not true. Even if the hiring team saw the same shot from another artist all they care about is that the work is yours. Besides, modern productions invariably have multiple artists working on the same shot so the hiring team is used to seeing the same shot worked on by several artists.
Because you have the plates your shot breakdowns will show exactly what you did and how you did it (which will obviously be better than the other guy’s). And there will be no question that you did not simply rip a DVD and put your name on the work. If the hiring team has to choose between a reel with DVD rips and one with full up shot breakdowns which one do you think they will choose?
Get That Job!
If you are tired of not hearing back after sending in your demo reel then maybe it’s time to upgrade it with some well-executed ShotKits™. It will demonstrate that you can do the work on the same professional quality elements as you will encounter in production working on a real show. Go to the FX Ecademy website today and select some ShotKits™ that will enhance your demo reel and advance your career.
Click here to see all of the ShotKits™ available now on FX Ecademy!
Check back often to see the exciting new ShotKits™ that we will be rolling out or better yet join our mailing list so that you’ll hear about it when it happens!
Until next time Happy Comping!