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Rough cut of new reel. Want input


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#1 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:06 AM

https://www.yousendi...9cc06214a76fcbd

Looking to get some feedback on what works, what doesn't and any changes it might need. I am hoping to have it finalized this weekend. If you have a moment please let me know what you think.

In addition to this I plan on having a selection of oners available for viewing.

~Jess
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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:43 AM

Nice, good flow, nice music... My two pieces of feedback:

Focus on more steadicam specific shots. There are quite a few quick cuts in there (that although they may have been part of larger steadicam shots) could have been done on a tripod or dolly. If it's not at least a few seconds of movement it doesn't really say 'steadicam'.

Next I would use a few less shots from the movie with the blond girl in it. When you repeat the same show more than a few times it starts to look like you dont have good footage from other productions.

Just minor critiques.

mm.
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:53 PM

Jess:

A certain percentage of people (directors and amazingly enough, DP's) don't really know what to look for in a Steadicam reel. These are the folks who will be convinced simply by a parade of famous faces and/or recognizable projects. That's the reason to front-load your reel with those faces. I didn't recognize Brittany Murphy until the final clip with Eriq La Salle, had to go back and see if you had her earlier (and of course you did, but she's most recognizable in the final one with dialogue). Might want to consider moving that one earlier.

For those who do know what to look for, they are going to be scrutinizing horizon, headroom and precision. There are quite a few instances that may not be putting your best foot forward on these fronts. Some I'm not sure why you would want to include, such as the SUV in the desert at :12; it's a lockoff that has a rolling horizon, i.e. no bueno (the CGI lightning doesn't justify its inclusion). The shot of Bruce Davison at :16 is an example of a headroom issue--he steps off the curb and rather than compensate for this, the headroom continues to rise throughout. Then the subsequent wide shot with the ambulance has a "waffling" feel.

I remember from last time you posted a reel and solicited comments that you suggested that a specific shot (someone running on a pedestrian bridge maybe?) was intended to have a rolling horizon for stylistic reasons. This may be the case with other shots represented here, but that will only be apparent as a choice if the rest of the reel has really solid horizons. The clip of the girl running at :49 starts with a major roll (and ends with her dipping right out of frame). Even if any of this was intentional, it doesn't come off as such.

My suggestion would be to trim out pieces where the frame bounces back when it should be locking off or where there is excessive roll. It's better to have a shorter clip that to include problem areas. The only exception to this would be if the shot dazzles in any other way, or has an external "wow" factor such as the star appear mentioned in the first paragraph. I have wrestled for years with what I consider to be major headroom flaws in the shot I did in "American History X" with Ed Norton and Ed Furlong running down the stairs, yet it is a signature shot that has elicited such positive response immediate recognition that I leave it on my reel. If it was a shot from an obscure film with generic actors, it'd be long gone, or at the very least trimmed.

I'm also unconvinced that it's wise to combine Steadicam and underwater (Steadicam and anything, really) on one reel. Seeing that virtually everyone these days will view your reel online, it's easy enough to have these as separate items. It's good to inform that one has multiple specialized skills, but they are indeed that--specialized--and thus should be separated.
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#4 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:16 PM

The shots you mention are all shots that bothered me for the reasons stated. I expressed my concerns to my editor and a number of other non steadicam operators(mostly directors, producers and DPs) and they all seem to like the shots and think they should be left in. I had already planed on dealing with most of those shots but it is good to have someone that agrees :-)

The most annoying thing about most of these shots is I know I shot better versions but they didn't make it in to the final film which is all I have access to.

The shot at :49 was intentionally started at a dutch angle and rolled in and honestly I feel like it works fine. Anyone else have any input on this? The end of the shot is obviously less than ideal but i feel like cutting it sooner would be awkward.

Thanks everyone for the input!

~Jess
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:11 PM

Jess,

I think Charles' break down is right on so I won't repeat, but I did want to reinforce that I too feel that a Steadicam reel should be just that - 100% Steadicam and nothing else (no dolly shots, hand held, under water, etc). I really really frown upon combo reels because you have no idea what you are looking at.

On another note, I couldn't help but notice the abundance of high frequency vibration throughout your shots (too many to list). Obviously that is an equipment related issue and not an operating thing BUT its everywhere. Don't know what sled you are flying, but I'd make fixing that a top priority.
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#6 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:45 PM

...
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#7 Aaron Medick SOC

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 10:01 PM

Jess,
I agree with Alec and Charles' points.

I keep all stylized shots off the reel. For one simple reason, if one person doesn't hire me because they think that "Style" was a mistake than I can only fault myself for leaving it in. There are too many reason that we don't get a particular job. I never want it to be something that i could have prevented.

The vibration is a big problem. Fighting that vibration is sabotaging the quality of your work.
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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:11 AM

I am in agreement with Charles, Alec and Aaron

Figure out the source of your vibration, ditch the roll and also try to concentrate on composition, I saw what to me looked like "Hey it was in the frame, that's good, right?" rather than deliberate composition.

Each and every shot should tell a story and should help to move the story forward and I just didn't get that, that was being done in those shots

Just my 2 cents
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