New Year, New Reel

You know what they say, “New Year, New Reel.” So, I took a few minutes to chat with the guy who led that charge. That guy is Ryan Gargac and he specializes in edit, animation + sound design… so he knows a thing or two.

From your perspective Ryan, what purpose does a reel serve?

A lot of people make reels to advertise their skills, but I think reels can be more than that. In many ways they represent not only what you do, but also who you are. It’s a great opportunity to show off your personality or your work culture. Have fun and make it unique and true to yourself.

Plus, reels are a great way to compare work from year to year and motivate ones’ self (or in this case, ones’ studio.) With how critical creatives are of themselves it’s nice to look back and see how far you have come. Give yourself a pat on the back every now and then.

What’s an unexpected synonym for “reel”? (No thesauruses allowed.)

Hmmm… maybe Storefront?..hah. Think of it like this. Say you owned a bike shop. What bikes and accessories would you put on display in the window to convince people to stop in?

How was Pixel Park’s 2021 reel approached differently than in years past?

We tell a lot of emotional stories here at Pixel Park and it was important to me that it was represented in the reel. Instead of just tossing in clips to make your standard hype up demo reel, we carefully chose our clips and built out a story arc with our edit. 

So what’s that intro sequence all about?

It’s about teamwork, passion, spontaneity, fun, & collaboration. It’s a little glimpse into what projects look like going through the pipeline here at the Park.

Preliminary storyboard exploration of intro sequence
Preliminary intro sequence animatic

What do you think the music says about Pixel Park?

To me selecting music for a reel is like choosing the theme song for a TV show. It’s a big deal. If a show’s theme song isn’t great, I usually don’t watch the show.

That’s why it’s not uncommon for me to spend days just looking for the perfect music track. This year was no different. When picking out a track, I like to close my eyes and imagine someone walking into our studio for the first time. What theme would you hear playing in the background?

We’ve done a few arcade sounding songs in the past. We wanted to build off of that, but take it in a new direction. Something more mature but still fun and funky. After lots of careful consideration we found the right vibe. I think it speaks to who we are as a company. 

One of our final music contenders (we ultimately felt it was too similar to songs used in the past)

What was your favorite part of putting together the 2021 reel?

My favorite part of putting the reel together for 2021 was getting to work with our entire team in some shape or fashion on it. Everyone adds their own flavor to the pot. I am inspired by my creative teammates everyday.

Thanks, Ryan – for letting us get inside your head for a few!

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