Barrel's New Reel

Proud to share Barrel's new reel (sound on):

Years ago, the idea of creating a reel seemed complex and arduous. We didn't have any well-versed "animators" on the team so we figured it would take 10x longer than necessary. At one point, we tried hiring a freelancer. However, we ended up pausing the project when they proposed a much longer timeline and heftier budget than expected.

I'm not sure how much time passed, but eventually, we revisited the project with our internal team. I realized that we spent more time over the years talking about how difficult it would be and trying to come up with the perfect approach than just giving it a shot and taking small steps.

I enlisted Nick, Designer - now Senior Designer, to help make it happen. We put our heads together and reviewed references before sketching out what we hoped to create. We set up regular check-ins, and within weeks, Nick had a working file. Before we knew it, we had a final reel.

I'm pretty sure I got goosebumps watching it through for the first time, thinking back on all the time spent questioning ourselves in the years prior.

It's been a while since we launched that reel. With some exciting recent launches, we knew it needed a refresh. For any motion nerds reading this, we built the first reel by treating each client project as a clip in After Effects, making it easy to add, remove, and re-arrange projects in the future.

With a tight system in place, the team was able to jump in and update the reel with confidence. Big props to Nate, Senior Designer, with help from Jennifer, Design Intern, and Eric, Junior Designer.

All of this is a good reminder of three important lessons:

  1. Don't lead with doubt, in yourself or your team.
  2. Never hesitate to take the first step.
  3. The time spent building systems is time well spent. Without them, you never stop reinventing the wheel. With them, you can build upon them, improving the process with every step.