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Reel edit preference


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#1 Mike Bove

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:29 PM

Hi all,

When editing a cinematography reel, is it better to cut one segment at a time per project or just start off with a flurry of different images and intercut between several different projects? I've seen both methods done, I'm just wondering what people prefer, or if one of the other is the dominant style.

Thanks,
-Mike
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#2 Boyd McCollum

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:09 PM

Hi all,

When editing a cinematography reel, is it better to cut one segment at a time per project or just start off with a flurry of different images and intercut between several different projects? I've seen both methods done, I'm just wondering what people prefer, or if one of the other is the dominant style.

Thanks,
-Mike


It seems as if there are as many ways to do reels as there are reels. I think a short 30-60 sec montage of your best stuff can be a nice way to start. After that I think it is best to cut one segment at a time. Either before or during those individual segments, you should also indicate exactly what you did on it. I see so many reels where you don't know if the person was operating, dp'ing, both, etc., not to mention if there are motion graphics or other effects going on. And when they are all mixed together, you don't know if scenes are from the same or different pieces.

For commercials, I think you should be able to show them in their entirety. For narratives, I would recommend a couple of scenes from different parts of the film that shows how you handled different parts of it. You don't necessarily need to show a complete five minute scene, but enough to show how you handled a master shot, CUs, reverses, etc.

Also, I'm personally beginning to lean against reels that just lay down a music bed against images only. That's great if it's a music video, but for most everything else, it's not. It's a reel to demonstrate your ability to use cinematography to tell a story, to expand on a theme, provide suspense, reveal character, etc. and it's important to get a real feel of the piece itself - what the dialogue is, what the action is, so the person watching your reel can actually see how the cinematography was used in the film. A great way to choose might be to pick the ones where you go "that 'insert great cinematographic element' really worked for the scene."

Obviously, put your best stuff up front, and I think it's okay to spend a little more time up front with your best work, then shorten the subsequent segments. I'm not sure what the best total number of segments should be, maybe 4-6 segments in total. On a DVD you can also provide a scene index that allows the viewer to quickly jump to specific works. On my demo reel, I've listed the titles and running times of each segment, including on the back of the DVD case, so folks know what to expect.

Anyways, just my $0.02. (I just spent a week working on my demo reel and really thinking about it and researching what others have done, so I hope my conclusions aren't too strong for those that take a different approach :) )

Regards,

Boyd
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#3 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 03:49 PM

I used to have a comp' reel that was lots of nice looking images cut together to a music track. Now I don't.

- The fact is that quick cutting between nice images is pretty easy to pull off but doesn't actually show how you work as a cinematographer - people need to see how you're lit and covered a scene and the choices you've made in film-making process... A montage of unrelated clips is exactly that and not much more, it may look superficially flash but it doesn't say anything in the end...

- What is useful is to divide the dvd menu up into chapters - drama, commercials, doco's etc.


As to 'putting the best stuff up front' I don't agree with this... if you've got variable work then only put in the good stuff and cut out the chaff'... Clients often only look at a few minutes of a 'reel and it's best to make it short and all good, rather than starting good and tailing off'.... If you've got one great piece then you use that alone... If I saw a good trail and then a series of weaker pieces of work I'd begin to wonder if it was all your own work....

Regards,

Rupe.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

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Willys Widgets

CineTape

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