What would you suggest are the top 3 types of scenes to include at the start of a demo reel to catch the eye of the viewer? ( e.g. dialogue, walks, acting, etc.)
Your first shot on your demo reel should really grab your audience. It should be the shot that best represents your talents -- the one you are most proud of. If the viewer does not like your first shot, chances are, they are going to turn it off and put in the next demo reel.
I would suggest starting with a strong acting piece -- a line that shows a character's emotion change over the shot: sad to happy, worried to relief, anger to acceptance. This will enable you to showcase your range.
The second shot should show physical animation. "Physical" does not mean a walk cycle, but rather, getting the character from point A to point B in an interesting way. For example, instead of showing a character walk over to pick up a newspaper on the floor, perhaps the character is sipping coffee as he uses his behind to push open the front door and picks up the paper and puts it under his arm while still sipping his morning brew. By giving the audience something completely unexpected but still very much grounded in a realistic performance, you are showing your creativity and your ability to bring something new to the table.
Your last shot is just as important as your first. It's the last thing they are going to see - the last impression you are going leave with the viewer. I wouldn't base your decision on what the shot demonstrates as much as how memorable it is. This could be a catchy line that the viewers will be saying over and over again after they have watched your reel. Or maybe it's a moment that will leave your audience laughing. Whatever it is, the goal is to leave them wanting more.
The most important thing to remember when putting your reel together is that it's about quality, not quantity. One minute of really strong animation goes much farther then five minutes of so-so animation.
Guest blogger Aaron Hartline