What I learned from Sound Design Demo Derby and Reel Talk!

GDC 2019 ended! I tried to write one of these last year, but I couldn’t because I was so overwhelmed by everything amazing that happened there.

At GDC, I submitted my reel to be reviewed by Scott Gershin, Shannon Potter, Jaclyn Shumate and Brian DiDomenico.

Their feedback were similar to the feedback that I received in Reel Talk when my website was reviewed byKevin Regamey and Andrea Chang!
You can watch it here if you want to watch and learn from my mistakes! :) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/402701553?t=00h50m48s

It was such an amazing experience to be reviewed by them, and have everyone in the chat cheer me on as well. Here were some of the tips and knowledge that I gained out of it!

  1. Don’t make your reel exhausting to listen to. Give the listener moments to breathe. Moments of quietness is required for moments of bombast.

  2. Gauge the intensity of the energy in my clips and make sure that there’s a really nice flow.

  3. If you’re submitting an application as a sound designer, absolutely remove all Music, even music that you wrote. - They’re only listening for the sounds, and music might be masking it.

  4. Aesthetic does matter and give a great first impression of how organized and serious you might be, before even clicking to watch your demo reel. Logo, Fonts, Colors and Site organization.

  5. Pay attention to movements. Especially Bullets. People may not see it, but they will hear it.

  6. Go deeper and create a sense of aftermath. When a bullet hits something, what happens to the environment afterwards?

  7. Focus on your mix! Consider what’s the most important thing in each scene, and then mix from that perspective. (Example: Akali and Sion fighting. I hear too much ambience). What are you seeing in the scene? What’s the story?

  8. Keep your bio serious. Don’t risk putting anything jokey in it. Having your voice in Wwise demonstration video adds enough personality.