Animate someone else’s properties. Or as Cartman would say, “proper-TAYs”. But for real. I’ve told this to some students in the past. Known entities are a good place to start your portfolio . Whether as an animator or just web development freelancer. Take a look at what James Curran did below. He made an unofficial title sequence for the upcoming movie The Adventures of Tintin. He’s got no rights to it, and sure, if the property owner really want to raise a stink they could probably battle against it being posted. But thats unlikely. And why wage war against a fan piece. Especially a good one thats gotten almost half a MILLION views on Vimeo alone! And in a best case scenario something like this happens (Senor Spielbergo calls you up).
So as a web developer, how could using someone else’s property work for you? Just make a mini-site. Every movie gets one now, a little self contained website promoting itself. Some aren’t even that good. You could make a stellar one. For a movie like X-Men First Class, there’s plenty of images the studio released, and put together a mini-site and host it on your domain. MyCoolDominion.com/xmen . Link to that from your portfolio in a new window. Make it feel like the real thing.
Who are you fooling? No one. And you don’t need to trick anyone. If you made a great “fan piece:, you still made a great piece of work regardless. You can admit it wasn’t officially a job for Fox or whoever. Your average small business owner thats looking for a freelance designer just wants to see some hint of talent. And if the rest of your portfolio is boring corporate jobs (like your next job probably will be), then its really important to have something that stands out. And heck most people looking through portfolios of people to hire are probably pretty darn bored with the majority of what they see.