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Steadicam Reel

Steadicam Reel

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#1 Eric Coughlin

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 07:00 PM

I'm looking for some feedback on my Steadicam reel.  This was all shot using a Glidecam HD4000; about 60% of it was handheld without a vest and 40% was with a Steadicam Merlin arm and vest adapted to the Glidecam.  As mentioned in the other topic I posted earlier I just upgraded and bought a Steadicam Zephyr.

 


Edited by Eric Coughlin, 13 April 2015 - 07:02 PM.

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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 08:50 PM

Hey Eric, a few thoughts about your reel... 

 

First, it is way to long.  Like 4 minutes too long.  There is some nice stuff in there but nobody (not even your mom) will watch 5 minutes of your work, not with any real focus.  I love steadicam and it pays my mortgage but I can't even stay focused on your reel (or my reel or anybody's reel for more than a few minutes).  The reason this matters is that directors and DP's that might hire you can not and will not focus on it that long either.  Much past a minute they are thinking about what they want for lunch.  And then they might miss some of your better shots.  For context, I've been doing steadicam for 16 years and my just re-edited reel is about 90 seconds long.  Jimmy Muro (arguably one of the best steadicam operators ever) has a reel on youtube (you can still watch it) that is just over 3 minutes.  Keep in mind he leads with Titanic, Heat, Dances with Wolves and Terminator. 

 

Second, unless you are looking to do corporate video (which I'm not knocking, just assuming you aspire to do features or television) you should get rid of pretty much all of the crowd and stage stuff. 
 

Third, don't repeat shots from the same job.  While Muro does it a few times, remember he's using multiple shots from Titanic.  The same actor and the same set stands out and screams "I havn't done many jobs so I'm using a lot of shots from the stuff I have worked on".

Finally, no need to put hand held shots in a steadicam operators reel. 

Hope that didn't come off too harsh, just trying to help.  If you re-edit and bring it down to around 2 minutes I'd be happy to re-review it for you.

Good luck.


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#3 Eric Coughlin

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 11:40 PM

Yeah, I should probably make a shorter reel.

 

Corporate, doc, and event work is mostly what I do as a DP and I enjoy the faster pace of it compared to the slower pace of larger TV and narrative sets where a Steadicam operator may only be needed for a few shots and I gather may otherwise be standing around waiting a lot; I have very little experience on larger sets currently so don't really know how much the Steadicam op is typically working.  I'd like to get on some bigger narrative and TV jobs but it's not my goal to make that my main gig; I like diversity in what I shoot and particularly enjoy fast paced sets where I'm working (having fun) constantly, and doc and live events tend to be like that.

 

All of the shots were on the Glidecam; there were no handheld shots in the reel.


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#4 Nathaniel C. T. Jackson

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 12:34 AM

Nice work. I agree that it could be cut down, but I'm impressed with the shots you can get, especially with the HD4000 by its self. I started out using the Hd4000 and found it hard work.
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#5 Eric Coughlin

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 02:09 PM

Thanks.

 

I just trimmed the reel down from 4:50 to 1:49 and added one recent project in there.  Happy to get feedback on the updated reel.


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#6 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 02:48 PM

I like that a lot better.  My only other note is to try and incorporate as many longer, uncut, tracking shots as you can and use them to replace the shorter cuts.  Even though they are nicely composed shots the people looking at your reel for steadicam purposes will want to see longer shots.

 

All and all pretty darn good.


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#7 Eric Coughlin

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 08:36 PM

Thanks again for the feedback.  I had some longer shots in there but I took them out, but I guess nothing I'm particularly proud of; one of them was from a wedding and I took all of the wedding shots out which probably makes sense to do.  The shot of the guy and girl walking together at the end I'm sure I have a long take of that, but it's pretty boring and straightforward.  A lot of my work is for promo type videos which only need 3-5 seconds shots in their final edit.  I might wait until I've got some better long takes before adding them in instead of scouring through what I have currently to find some.


Edited by Eric Coughlin, 30 April 2015 - 08:36 PM.

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