Escape Studios is a learning facility in London that teaches different types of visual effects production and in their short courses produce some of the best graduates that I've seen.
Above is a showreel from a graduate of Escape Studios called Lammie Veracruz. His work shows three different visual effects and then a breakdown at the end, of which is common in a lot of showreels.
All three visual effects are videos with models and visual effects placed in. Usually this means that they used Boujou or similar and then used Adobe After Effects or Nuke to composite the visual effects together.
Although the breakdowns make it look like a simple process, it shows the complicated methods that made up each scene. In other showreels I've seen, breakdowns (although not labelled) show the methods that were used to make up the scene.
Lost Boys Studios is another learning facility in Canada, which is very similar to Escape Studios, in that it shows off graduate showreels as they are visual effects orientated.
Lost Boys Studios
Above is a showreel from a graduate of Lost Boys Studios called Pedro Colmenares. His work shows of numerous visual effects across the board and displays breakdowns in a sliding motion as each layer is applied.
The above two showreels show off some very good work, and I'm jealous of what they can achieve, and hope over the coming months, I can gain some skills to be of a similar standard.
The only problem with both these showreels is that they don't flow very well into each shot. Additionally, I've been thinking that if I keep learning Adobe After Effects and get an advanced knowledge of it, I will be able to create a very flowing showreel similar to the Internet Explorer Advert below, which combines both good music that flows with each scene that flows with each other.