Jump to content



Photo

New Reel - thoughts?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 mattmarek

mattmarek

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 172 posts
  • toronto

Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:06 PM

have gone way too long without a reel. just playing around with some clips i have from finished products. please have a look and let me know what you think. my last reel (3 years ago) had shorter clips and was cut to music, this time i'm playing with fewer, lengthier clips and leaving the finished sound over top.

i'm aware there's a stretch issue in the reel. i have to address that with adobe :)

cheers.
m


  • 0

#2 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:29 PM

You might want to find a compromise inbetween the two styles Matt--that's too slow-paced for most people who view reels, and there are too many interstitial non-Steadicam shots.

I would also recommend posting it somewhere other than Youtube for us to look at it if you possibly can; the low frame rate they use makes judging Steadicam shots really difficult (everything looks choppy on that site!)
  • 0

#3 mattmarek

mattmarek

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 172 posts
  • toronto

Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:50 PM

thanks charles,

aware of the youtube issua, but i think google video is even worse, and i have no idea how to upload to my site. so for now, it's really all i can think of in terms of getting feedback before the reel is locked and up loaded.

i was thinking of a having a slower paced montage like this in my dvd reel and then a chapter of music vids and faster paced shots from different works (vehicle mount, running etc) is this getting a bit too complicated? should i just trim some stuff out of this 4min+ piece and add some action within?

would adding some handheld work be 'jarring' ?

cheers
  • 0

#4 Michael Stumpf

Michael Stumpf

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 491 posts
  • U.S.

Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:50 PM

I agree with Charles.
Also, you have a few shots in there with headroom issues, and one where you are following
a guy down the stairs where it's apparent you either bumped into something or slipped
on a step as the frame clearly gets jolted and goes askew.
The shot where you are preceding the woman jogging in the snow on the cell phone should be early on in the reel, as it's one of your strongest shots.
The first 2 minutes appears to be all from the same show too, mix that up more.
Lose the first two shots, and as Charles said, any shot that's not on the steadicam.

My 2 cents...or 3 cents since you are Canadian. :D
  • 0

#5 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 507 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 January 2007 - 07:06 PM

In addition to comments above which I agree with, lose the dialogue, put to music - give it a pace, and cut out of a shot to the next once the movement of your shot is understood. In other words, if you have a shot of a long walk and talk (as a hypothetical example), show the shot for a few seconds and move on. If the long walk and talk develops into something else (up stairs, roundy-round, whatever), pick up the shot moments before the transition so you can show the solid walk and talk and transition into the next part of the move.

Personally, I limit my demo reels to 3 mins. MAX and if they're only good enough to show 2 mins., I show 2 mins.

Dan "Bed-ridden with a Nauseating 24-hr. Virus - Anyone else?" Coplan
  • 0

#6 Christopher T. Paul- SOC

Christopher T. Paul- SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 124 posts

Posted 28 January 2007 - 08:47 PM

Hey Matt,

I would really think about trimming the first bunch of clips so that it doesn't appear that you have only worked on one project. That was my first impression is that there wasn't enough diversity in the material. I know that you have other projects that follow, but there is just too much of the same in the first few minutes. If you agree that this is the case, then cut the ones that are less-than-perfect first of course.

There is some very nice stuff in there, just cut it up a bit, and I agree with Dan, once you have established what the shot is, don't drag it out unless you are about to resolve it beautifully, or throw a change up at us that we don't see coming.

Please post it again once you have finished.

CP
  • 0

#7 mattmarek

mattmarek

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 172 posts
  • toronto

Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:27 AM

thanks guys, would others agree to chop out the dialogue and place a soundtrack over the entire reel? i've seen some reels with dialogue others without. i know dop's sometimes watch a reel muted, as all they care about are the shots. is it just up to preference?

cheers
  • 0

#8 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:50 AM

I personally find full-length reels with a music track overall a bit numbing, so I have a mixture of music and dialogue. To me, each sequence should have its own rhythm, so having an emotional slow-moving scene and a zippy action scene cut concurrently with the same track over it takes away from the way the shot was designed in the first place. I think that the odd line of dialogue will help remind the viewer that they are watching a movie, not a music video, but you don't want to go overboard with this or the viewer will start to get drawn into the story.

I have been contemplating a complete recut of my reel that incorporates three sections: an all-music montage at the beginning (it's boring I know, but this will feature the "famous faces"), followed by lengthier individual shots/sequences with a mix of dialogue and overall music track, followed by a series of long shots/one'ers. So the longer one watches the reel, the more in-depth it becomes. The joy of DVD is that the viewer can easily skip around from segment to segment. Thus the director who is looking for "flash" will be satisfied in the first 30 seconds, while the DP who is looking at framing and choices (hopefully) can dig deeper.

The axiom that most people only watch a minute or two of a reel is absolutely true, I've seen it (and done it) myself. I was once went to drop off my stuff at a production office and was invited to meet the director and producer, who then decided to watch my reel right then and there, with me in the room. Awkward...! Ten seconds in, the director turned around and said "good enough then, you're hired!" Everyone laughed and the producer said, "well, let's just watch the rest of it anyway, we're here" which got me second-guessing that maybe they'd change their mind by the end...luckily not! The point was that I don't think this particular director even knew what to look for in a Steadicam reel, it's not like mine was any better than the next guy who might have come through the door, I just happened to be first. But it was an illuminating experience, to be sure.

There are plenty of successful operators who don't have reels or haven't updated them in years. It was sort of trendy a few years ago to announce (almost smugly) "I don't have a reel", with the implication that a) one's resume spoke for itself, and B) one was too busy working to have to worry about it. In the last few years it has seemed to come around again and I am now regularly asked for my reel, so I try to keep it somewhat updated--being able to cut it at home makes a huge difference (thank you, Final Cut Pro!), and having it available for immediate viewing online makes even more sense (but as I said earlier, it's only really worth it on a site that can deliver a good looking picture with smooth motion).
  • 0

#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1800 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 29 January 2007 - 12:59 PM

Charles has excellent points. I have cut my reel in much the style he mentions with a fifteen second opening montage of faces/quick shots I liked (but felt no need to dwell on) set to music and then I enter the body of the reel which is accompanied by the original sound track. I have not gotten around to the third section yet (long "oners") and am not sure I will, but if I do, I will make take advantage of DVD & internet by having a separate section of complete shots. (Two of the spots on my reel are "oners" so I feel less pressure to add this section).

I like having the original sound track for part of the reel as I think it tells more of the story, but this is obviously a personal choice.
  • 0

#10 TJ Williams

TJ Williams

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 213 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 30 January 2007 - 01:48 PM

Charles

Is your reel up on the web? I have run video from my site and found that U tube, google etc. etc. loaded faster and played about as smooth. The web guys say I gotta pay a lot more for high speed servers...

It seems there is a newer way where reels are more often viewed over the internet, things are so time constrained that by the time my disk arrives the decision is made. advice about best ways to put video on the net would probably be helpful to a lot of us.

TJ
  • 0

#11 Afton Grant

Afton Grant

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 908 posts
  • New York, Boston

Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:35 PM

It seems there is a newer way where reels are more often viewed over the internet, things are so time constrained that by the time my disk arrives the decision is made. advice about best ways to put video on the net would probably be helpful to a lot of us.


Hey TJ,

There are dozens of ways to host video on the web. You have to decide which is best for you. How much do you want to pay? How much control do you wish to have? How often will you be updating? What is your comprehension of the web? There are solutions that meet the extremes of all those questions.

YouTube and Google are designed for enormous amounts of bandwidth and therefore compress each video considerably. Because of that, they're probably not the best choice for hosting video where the image quality really counts. Most any other regular web hosting service will support video files without intervention (they'll simply play whatever you give them). They will also most likely have a connection speed that is more than fast enough to serve it to its users, with no need to pay extra.

Common services for specifically hosting demo reels are: Demo Reel Network, SOA, and your agent. All of which are paid for one way or another. I cannot speak for each service's individual offerings since I don't use them. However, they do have the benefit of having an established name attached to them, relieving you of the burden of advertising, and hopefully making it easier for your reel to be found.

Personal web hosting is an option if you want full control over your files: their size, quality, length, updates, etc. Obviously, this requires a better knowledge of the web and its technology. Costs for this are anywhere from free up to as high as you want. A basic paid service would likely be in the $4 - $10 per month range.

I hope this info helps. Let me know if you've got any other questions.

Best,
Afton
  • 0

#12 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 30 January 2007 - 06:16 PM

TJ:

I use the Demo Reel Network which is linked through my web site (charlespapert.com). They have a great introductory deal, and while it is not nearly that cheap after the introductory period, as Afton points out there is an intangible advantage in terms of the advertising aspect. Compared to print advertising in LA411 or NYPG (both of which I did in the past and don't do any more), it's much more reasonable and a useful service. The video is very clean and loads quickly. I also use .mac for my own web hosting, and I keep meaning to test out a comparable sized copy of my reel there to see just how much difference it is compared to the DRN site. The nice thing (again as Afton points out) with your own site is how easy it is to upgrade the video, as opposed to me having to ship a tape to Canada.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that having good quality reels online is the best way to go these days--I've won both Steadicam and DP jobs because of the immedaite availability/accessibility of these reels.
  • 0




Omnishot Systems

Paralinx LLC

Varizoom Follow Focus

Boland Communications

rebotnix Technologies

Engineered Cinema Solutions

IDX

BOXX

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Teradek

Ritter Battery

Wireless Video Systems

PLC - Bartech

GPI Pro Systems

PLC Electronics Solutions

SkyDreams

Betz Tools for Stabilizers