Jump to content


Photo

My DP Demo Reel


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Scott Lynch

Scott Lynch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 40 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 29 May 2006 - 06:48 AM

Hello all,
I'm a younger DP looking for a lot of honest critiques of my reel. Mainly I'm interested in getting a few more credits under my belt and attempting to get into AFI's cinematography program. Currently, I'm in a small film program at a community college (far away from the filmmaking world), but I augment the lack of any real schooling with working on as many professional projects as possible.
I've started to create a good professional name for myself, but most of my work tends to be low-budget music video's, short films, and mind-numbing corporate projects. With they way I'm going right now, I'm afraid I'll get stuck in the small end of filmmaking (aka the non narrative/creative), and I feel that without a good exposure to established cinematographers and professional equipment, I may lock myself into corporate video.
So my questions are:
1. Is my work of high enough caliber to get into a top program, such as AFI?
2. Is a film school really the best course of action or should I remain working my way up through the ranks?
3. Or should I take the $50k/year that I would spend in school and use it towards a nice festival short film?

And here is the reel:
High-res (11.4 MB):
http://cardboardboxf...chReel-HIGH.mov

Low-res (4.4MB):
http://cardboardboxf...chReel-HIGH.mov

Thanks for taking the time to look,
-Scott Lynch
scott@cardboardboxfilms.com
www.cardboardboxfilms.com
  • 0

#2 Anatole Sloan

Anatole Sloan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Director

Posted 04 June 2006 - 11:26 AM

Impressive demo. Your work w/ the music videos is good, and I like the use of lighting and the movements of the camera compliments the style. Personally, I think you'd be better off working on your own non-music video type of stuff with the money than going to film school; with talent like that, all you need to do is sharpen up areas that you aren't use to filming, as you say, narrative film making. In the end, though, it's your choice, and don't base your entire future on what I'm suggesting. I just think you can get further doing some film making yourself.

Cheers,
Anatole Sloan
  • 0

#3 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:10 PM

[quote name='Scott Lynch' date='May 29 2006, 03:48 AM' post='107642']
Hello all,
I'm a younger DP looking for a lot of honest critiques of my reel.
[/quote]

Your reel is good, nicely paced with some good shots and good music track, it worked for me.

quote name='Scott Lynch' date='May 29 2006, 03:48 AM' post='107642']

1. Is my work of high enough caliber to get into a top program, such as AFI?

[/quote]

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what anyone on this board thinks, it's what the selectors at the school think, and there's only one way to find that out, apply.

quote name='Scott Lynch' date='May 29 2006, 03:48 AM' post='107642']

2. Is a film school really the best course of action or should I remain working my way up through the ranks?

[/quote

If by "best course of action" you mean which will help you achieve your goal of rising above your present position and into some of the more creative/lucrative work, then unfortuanately there is no way of knowing which way will prove more beneficial to you. There are top DOP's working that have come from both camps.

quote name='Scott Lynch' date='May 29 2006, 03:48 AM' post='107642']

3. Or should I take the $50k/year that I would spend in school and use it towards a nice festival short film?

[/quote]

Judging by your reel you already have some skills so, yes, you could quite easily take the cash and make your own work. If you take the other route and go to film school you will be able to access all of their equipment and facilities and still create your own work. It really gets down to what YOU would like to do. If a hundred people say go, and a hundred people say no, then what do you do? I say go with your gut and make up your own mind, neither way is a guarantee of success, it's still going to end up falling back on how you handle the skills that you have and what decisions you make.
  • 0

#4 Morgan Peline

Morgan Peline
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 417 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 June 2006 - 05:05 PM

Hi,

I really liked your reel. IMHO I think that you definitely have an 'eye'. As I am at film school myself all I can suggest is to shoot more yourself to gain more experience but to also work for more professional DPs to see what tricks they might use and learn from their experience. You might pick up some new ideas.

As for AFI, you could go or you could just keep shooting stuff yourself. What's great about it is that you can see how others in your class shoot though to be frank I would imagine some cinematographers in your class would be more experienced than yourself whilst others might not be as talented as you, so I wouldn't worry about whether you are good enough or not. Just try. I would say however that you justneed to shoot more narrative short films if that's where you want to be.

Good luck!
  • 0

#5 Aaron_Farrugia

Aaron_Farrugia
  • Guests

Posted 20 June 2006 - 05:21 AM

dude
film school is good in a way as you get to make possible contacts for the future and you get to use their equipment , but in the end IMO all this can be done if u get out there and just go for it anyway
because there is only so much u can learn technically,

the rest of it is all you

no one can teach you art
  • 0

#6 Scott Lynch

Scott Lynch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 40 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:39 AM

Thank you all for the comments.
I was talking with a gaffer/DP that I know and we were talking about the pro's and con's of film schools and he pretty much said that it really depended on where I wanted to take my career. If I go to AFI what I'm really paying for is a way into the studio system. So I guess I need to really evaluate what it is that I want out of filmmaking. I think I would rather DP independent features, so going to AFI may not be the correct path for me. I think what I will do is work on a few short film projects that I have in the works and practice my craft on my own terms.
Thank you all again, this has helped give me some better perspective.

-Scott Lynch
Cardboard Box Productions, LLC
  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:32 PM

There are a lot of independent features made alongside the studio ones, so the two worlds are interconnected -- you can think of the mid-range indie films as basically the low-end of the studio world, with similar people involved.

Besides, even if you went to AFI or USC, you're going to start out doing non-union indie projects after you graduate.
  • 0

#8 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 June 2006 - 10:08 AM

2. Is a film school really the best course of action or should I remain working my way up through the ranks?
3. Or should I take the $50k/year that I would spend in school and use it towards a nice festival short film?


Question: Since the above question(s) has been posed on this forum many times do we have any actual examples here of young people who skipped film school, spent the money on a first feature, and went on to a successful career in the industry?

R,
  • 0

#9 Morgan Peline

Morgan Peline
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 417 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:23 PM

Hi,

I think it's always useful to get an idea of how more professional, larger sets are lit using larger equipment because I think that many times when younger cameramen shoot low budget shorts, they fall into the habit of lighting everything with smaller tungsten lights e.g. redheads and blondes. Eventually, when they get a larger film, they sometimes don't have the knowledge that could have been very easily gained by working on bigger sets for a few days.

I know that this is most likely not you, but sometimes I come across people who have never seen a HMI in their life because they have always worked with redheads. This is where a well equiped filmschool that has very experienced tutors can help sometimes. You can learn how the 'bigboys' do it.

At my filmschool I am always asking my tutors for advice because they are all working DPs. The advice and insight that they give me is invaluable - probably something I could not get elsewhere. Obviously, half of this knowledge you can learn as an AC as well, if you keep your eyes and ears open.
  • 0

#10 jennifer leigh rice

jennifer leigh rice

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Director

Posted 10 July 2006 - 03:49 PM

Poetic style mixed with genuine heart. many on the indie end would hire you now. go for it!

Hello all,
I'm a younger DP looking for a lot of honest critiques of my reel. Mainly I'm interested in getting a few more credits under my belt and attempting to get into AFI's cinematography program. Currently, I'm in a small film program at a community college (far away from the filmmaking world), but I augment the lack of any real schooling with working on as many professional projects as possible.
I've started to create a good professional name for myself, but most of my work tends to be low-budget music video's, short films, and mind-numbing corporate projects. With they way I'm going right now, I'm afraid I'll get stuck in the small end of filmmaking (aka the non narrative/creative), and I feel that without a good exposure to established cinematographers and professional equipment, I may lock myself into corporate video.
So my questions are:
1. Is my work of high enough caliber to get into a top program, such as AFI?
2. Is a film school really the best course of action or should I remain working my way up through the ranks?
3. Or should I take the $50k/year that I would spend in school and use it towards a nice festival short film?

And here is the reel:
High-res (11.4 MB):
http://cardboardboxf...chReel-HIGH.mov

Low-res (4.4MB):
http://cardboardboxf...chReel-HIGH.mov

Thanks for taking the time to look,
-Scott Lynch
scott@cardboardboxfilms.com
www.cardboardboxfilms.com


  • 0

#11 Bill Totolo

Bill Totolo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 698 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:52 PM

Going to AFI doesn't guarantee you the employment you're looking for.
What I think it will do, that a smaller school can't, is place you in a unique group of alumni
that may or may not contribute to your career aspirations.

Spending $50k on a film is rather meaningless in my opinion. Money doesn't make something good.
I was in a film festival last year where I spent $50.00 on my project and the guy next to me spent $50,000 literally, and we both had the same exposure.

If I could offer any advice it would be to find people who can put you in contact with talented writers and directors that are funding their own projects and need an up-and-comer, like you, to help them realize their goals. That puts you in a better light and limits the downside of investing your own money into a project.

I don't know how old you are but you have to be prepared to put in a lot of time to make it in this biz. You have talent so be patient and keep doing whatever it is you're doing.
  • 0

#12 Scott Lynch

Scott Lynch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 40 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 11 July 2006 - 05:45 PM

Thanks again to everyone who has commented.
Just to add a few things of my own. I'm 22 years old, but I've been working towards being in the business for just about 4 years now. And Bill T, what you said really rings true with what I've discovered. You really do have to work your ass off just to get started meeting people, and then you have to work that much harder to get a job. I still work in any capacity on a lot of different projects every time I have a chance, even a few weeks ago I drove down to Chicago to grip on a short film for no pay. But I have started to see things pick up in ways I wasn't expecting, and in the month since I wrote the original post, I was hired to be a Post Supervisor/Editor/Motion Graphics on a feature length doc that we are getting ready for Sundance and I met some established professional people that are very interested in getting one of my short films off the ground. So I realize that I am still a long way from where I want to be, but the path I have chosen (non-film school route) has started to open up a lot of possibilites, and the type of possiblities that I like :).
But what I've really liked about the path that I've found, has allowed me to really focus on the storytelling process. I've discovered that going to a film school, even one like AFI, cannot really teach me how to tell a story, and that is something that I have to learn on my own. And I have no desire to fit in the studio system, but feel like I have the freedom and control to make films on my own terms in making my career however I see fit. But all of you again have really helped me gain some perspective about what exactly I want to do, and I really appreciate that you took the time to respond to my post. Thanks again,

-Scott
  • 0

#13 Scott Lynch

Scott Lynch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 40 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:03 PM

Oh, one more thing...
One of the reasons I had wanted to go to a better school was to get the access to the high-end equipment. While I will not argue that high-end professional equipment is important to understand and learn from, I believe that at the end of the day it is still a tool to tell your story. I mean all of us can point out films that was shot 35mm that didn't have have anywhere close to the merits of a film shot with lower quality equipment. Technical proficiency, while still very important, does not create a story, it can only make a good story better. Mainly I believe because it allows the viewer to keep up their suspension of disbelief, in order to focus and be drawn into the film. Thanks again,

-Scott
  • 0

#14 Chayse Irvin

Chayse Irvin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 11 July 2006 - 09:46 PM

I did 2 years of film school loving them both... but my course was only 7k a year. If I were you I would try and do both film school and invest into a project that could help your reel and maybe win an award. You can buy books and read all the stuff you would in film school... but for me it was about meeting and establishing relationships with the people I was going to be working with in the future.
  • 0

#15 seth christian

seth christian
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Director
  • Nashville, TN. USA

Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:17 PM

pretty good stuff. I like most of it.

I would suggest shortening your reel...too much of the
same thing can give the appearance that you don't
have a lot of experience.
  • 0

#16 seth christian

seth christian
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Director
  • Nashville, TN. USA

Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:33 PM

what format did you compress your reel for internet play?
and what compressor codec did you use?
and how big did the file end up?

the reel looks pretty darn good for being online.
  • 0

#17 Matt Workman

Matt Workman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 421 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NYC

Posted 12 July 2006 - 03:06 PM

I'm not really in a position to critique someones reel but...

I like the EXT shots of the girls. Also some of rap videos have some cool shots.

- I think the WS of the girls dancing outside in the backyard doesn't fit.
- The BW shots with the edge effects are a little distracting.
- The shot of the guy pointing a gun to his head (was lit well) but makes me want to stop watching.

Otherwise looks great. Do you have a website?
  • 0

#18 Scott Lynch

Scott Lynch
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 40 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 12 July 2006 - 07:22 PM

@mattworkman -- http://www.cardboardboxfilms.com

@thinkmonkeymedia --
what format did you compress your reel for internet play? Well it is a quicktime .mov file with the reel edited in FCP and exported using compressor. The HIGH version is 480x360, Millions of colors, running at 29.97fps. The LOW version is version is 320x240, Millions of colors, running at 15fps

and what compressor codec did you use? H.264 for the video. ACC Stereo for the audio with the High at 48kHz and the Low at 32kHz.

and how big did the file end up? High - 11.3Mb Low-4.42Mb
  • 0


Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Glidecam