I have been looking at creating a trailer (maybe showreel is a better term) or two of the student digital work from FBE. I should dive in and create some, but I thought I would look into what resources there are to help me and others do such a thing. The largest resource is the wealth of examples out there (youtube and gametrailers are chockers with these things).
Speaking of Gametrailers, their Bonus Round podcast (which I grabbed via iTunes actually) recently had a 4 parter interview with 3 people covering the Anatomy of a Game Trailer. With detailed vision of the process and concepts behind a game trailer from Activision, Ant Farm and Hammer Creative it is definately a powerful medium. Movie trailers are of course well known to everyone and play a critical role in the promotion of that medium, the same could be true for UNSW with its push through UNSW-TV into both Youtube and iTunesU.
Trailers like the Team Fortress II, BioShick and World of Warcraft stick in my mind, though there are gameplay ones like Crysis and Assassin's Creed to inspire as well. They are all inspirational examples of what the 3D industry can do these days (both real-time and rendered)... Hell there are too many to mention - so in the leadup to E3 here are a few that inspire right now:
The Sims 3
Far Cry 2
Resident Evil 5 (awesome trailer)
Tomb Raider Underworld
Lucky Last its Fallout 3