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Another Reel Critique

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#1 Bryan Fowler

Bryan Fowler

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:09 PM

Visit My Website

ok, it's my reel, so be nice.

I recently gave notice at my full time job, so I'm starting to pass this around now.

It will only take 3 min of your time to watch, and send me a message.
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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:28 AM

I'd say (and I understand that not everybody has the chance to shoot Oscar winning actors in 5 minute long openings to 200 million dollar features, myself included) that it could use more shots that really scream STEADICAM!!! The compisition was fine, the flow was fine, the music worked, et.

I also know that some of the edited material you get might not include really nice steadicam shots you did but quite a few of the shots on your reel could have been on a dolly, tripod, hand held, crane, et.

If I were Lary McConkey and were to make a demo reel, I'd just put the opening shot of "Snake Eyes" on my web site and say, "here you go, I did this". Charles Papert has (hope you dont mind me singling you out Charles) a great "O'ner" on his web site of an "Ugley Betty" show open. A shot like that, in my mind pretty much sais it all.

So if you have any longer steadicam shots, I'd suggest throwing them in (provided the framing is good) but other than that, I think it's cool. Oh, and short, which yours was, I like short in a demo reel.

my super humble 2 cents,

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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:05 AM

Hi Bryan:

I agree with Mike, longer shots that are more involved would be nice, i.e. shots that go from A to B to C to D so that you can demonstrate transitions in speed, subject, geography etc. Most of the shots on there are simply A to B. The last sequence in the library are along these lines, but I'm guessing that was one of your earlier efforts as the operating itself is somewhat less refined as it is elsewhere (more horizon issues, some bouncing in the vertical axis). To this end I think you might be better off just trimming these down to a a shorter bit that has clean operating throughout (I like from the girl picking up the glue pen to the end of that particular clip, before the hit). Remember that you are representing yourself as only being as good as the weakest shot on your reel!

It's really tough at the beginning when one doesn't have a "Snake Eyes" (or even an "Ugly Betty"!) one'r and you are trying to build a reel with what you have, but you could always shoot a sequence specifically for your reel. So many great looking cameras available these days that can do the job admirably (and cheaply), you can shoot something in an afternoon and make it look like part of a "legitimate" project. For that matter, why stop at one sequence, you can shoot a number of bits just for demo purposes.

When one has worked with name actors and/or on recognizable films, you can have shorter clips that simply say "I worked on that". Without that luxury, the clips become all about showing off one's operating, and thus they need to be longer so that the viewer (assuming they actually know what to look for) can judge your ability to keep horizons level, headroom consistent, framing solid and overall timing and shot design interesting and decisive.
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