I'm in the process of cutting a new demo of my narrative work. I am curious on how others consider the presentation of work when cutting a demo reel.
Last year's demo can be seen HERE. It was cut with the intention of drawing in small jobs, shorts and student work. It did ok.
I considered a lot of the basics in this reel: Strongest stuff (the hook) in the first 30seconds. Keep it under 3min. Very few will watch the whole thing...etc. I'm always looking for ways to make it better.
My body of work doesn't have a lot of fancy action sequences, flying jib shots, or slow-mo, but rather Drama, Romance, and Kids. So that's what I tailored it to. I also arranged the edit to be short sequences of well-lit, well-composed, related shots told an emotion or small story. The method made sense to me for a narrative reel.
A year later; I still don't have a lot of sweeping jib shots or slow-mo, and I don't have any music videos either. I'm rather handicapped in the music video world; I listen to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Dvořák.
When I look around on the web for other examples of reels. A lot I see a lot that are exciting, but mostly montages of "pretty" shots that aren't really connected or related in a way that makes sense. My shots are ok-pretty, but don't have a lot of that...*umph*.
My instinct tells me to present my work in a way that best represents me. That's what I'm doing. But my instincts aren't always in tune with what a director or producer are looking for in a DP.
What approaches do you usually consider when cutting your reel?
Am I being altruistic in the way I cut my reel?
Does a viewer care about story in a reel?
Would I get better results focusing more on "the pretty"?
Jeremy Parsons, MFA
Mostly a 1st AC. Trying to do more DP.