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Overcranked Footage in Demo Reel?


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#1 Michael Shu

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:11 PM

Hi All,

Another newb with only a few posts here!

So after flying the Pilot for a couple of years in random jobs (as camera op plus steadicam), I'm finally getting off my ass and actually putting together a reel for hire as a dedicated op.

The thing is that a lot of good shots were designed as overcranked shots. If I bring them back to realtime speed, they go by super fast and it's harder to catch the action. I was wondering what everybody's thoughts were about using these shots at its native slomo speed, as I'm afraid it may seem like I'm masking poor operation or something.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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#2 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:02 PM

If they were designed as overcranked shots, I'd personally use them as designed (if they make the grade overall).

I'd also use them judiciously, and not let them be the majority of the shots. Pick the best shots overall, make sure you DON'T select shots that exhibit mediocre operating. Skilled eyes will pick those out, even at slo-mo speeds.

As all shots, choose slomo shots with good shot design and good technical-and-aesthetic compositions. Also, select for other production valuee (good lighting, art direction, etc.) Even if you weren't responsible for those aspects, showing that kind of stuff demonstrates (or at least appears to) that you are working on higher end shoots.
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#3 Michael Shu

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:43 PM

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the reply and the suggestions!

Yeah I decided to have 3 of the overcranked shots remain at native speed in the reel. Others I sped up, though with a few motion artifacts and lack of motion blur from the shutter speed. Everything else is in realtime, so I think I'm good.

Choosing shots was definitely the hardest thing to do, not so much in operating quality, but by the fact that the HUGE majority of my footage lay in doing weddings and live events. I have some narrative, commercial and music video material here and there, but not enough for a good balance.

Currently I have my reel at around 1 minute 35 seconds, balancing all those out somewhat decently. Do you think that's too short? I don't feel quite comfortable in its quality to show publicly, but can send around through PM if there are ops out there willing to critique.

Thanks a bunch!
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#4 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:08 AM

Yeah, feel free to PM me...demo reels are very subjective, but I'm happy to give my 2 cents.

By the way, I think it's best for a newbie (and I sm still pretty new to Steadicam myself) to have a short reel with only your absolute strongest footage. My gut feeling is that there are two types of people viewing reels: those who know what to look for and those who don't.

For those who do, your first three shots or so will determine whether they even look at the rest. For those who don't, it's all eye candy, they just want to know if you can make those cool Steadicam moves (and they wouldn't know a bad horizon if it smacked them upside the head).
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