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CINEMATOGRAPHERS DEMO REEL


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#1 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 12:49 AM

Hi Guys,
I just cut a new reel for myself ('DEMO REEL' section on www.fnvfilms.com) its kind of a transitional reel because there are many new projects that I am waiting to get footage from, but wanted input mainly on music, pacing and editing (but of course any other input is also welcome). Also it was suggested to me to make a new reel, to add to this not replace it, with actual parts of scenes including dialogue! what are everyone else's views on that direction (I never really contamplated it before).
Cheers.
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#2 Matt Read

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 04:35 PM

Your stuff looks great. Nice work.

The only thing I would change is to intermix footage from your different projects. I personally like that better than grouping everything from one project together. I would also try to shorten your reel. Just pick your best stuff. It's more concise and it looks like you only make awesome shots that way.

I would shy away from including audio. You are trying to showcase your talents as a cinematographer. Adding dialog would only distract from the impact of the visuals. I would suggest not including any parts of scenes. That would again change the focus from your talents to the story. If you really want to have full scenes from your projects on your website, then make them separate videos.
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#3 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 12:13 AM

Hey Matt,
Thank you! I agree about the length, I need to cut a few shots, but I'm having trouble deciding which ones (thats the problem with cutting your own work...no objectivity) If you (or anyone else) have any specific shots you think are weaker I would definately be interested to hear which.
In regards to your suggestion about mixing footage, I have always had my footage mixed, this is my first reel that goes project by project, but I tend to preffer it this way, if for no other reason than the changes in grain and aspect ratio when intercutting always distracts me from the actual footage. Also I tend to feel that this represents the Narrative aspects of my work as well as my lighting/framing aspects. What I mean by that is that people can get a feel of the mood I created for a piece rather than just getting barraged with almost random nice shots with no context or idea of the piece as a whole and how I created a sense of mood and narrative with the shots.
Thanks for your comment, its much appreciated.
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#4 Daniel Voshart

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 02:00 PM

Tomas,

Great stuff.

Cut: the one of the man wearing sunglasses. And some parts of another man driving an Audi. You've established your ability to shoot stuff in a car much better with the work at the beginning of the reel.

Keep: shot of the woman holding the beauty light and put it closer to the beginning of the reel because that was really spectacular.

In general keep more of the lit interior stuff and less of the unlit exterior shots unless you really can't part with them. The only reason I would have hesitated to say this is because a lot of the quality in your work is excellent composition. and I saw several nice magic hour shots. Do you operate your own work?

I'm currently debating with my own footage whether or not to keep a hint of narrative structure or if its better to assault the viewer with a variety of images.

best of luck

Edited by Daniel Voshart, 20 May 2008 - 02:01 PM.

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#5 Jim Keller

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:35 PM

Overall I think you've made a good start, but I'm feeling that it's running a bit long. I'd try to tighten it up about 10-20%. Most of us in this industry have very short attentions spans.

I think leaving out sync sound and using music works best (because if the sound isn't perfect, it creates an unconscious impression that your photography isn't as "polished" and, really, that's not what it's about). I think your current music choice is good. But remember, it does create an impression about your work, so make sure it's music that you think is really you, if that makes sense. I get an impression about the "tone" of your work (and you as a person) by what music you lay down, and that will color my hiring decisions. (I say all that with the caveat that I do personally like the music you've chosen.)

Also, since you're organizing by project (not a bad choice overall) I found myself wondering by the sixth or seventh shot if you'd only done one film. You can prevent that by using less footage from each project (not ideal, since you want to use your best work regardless of project), organizing it some other way (involves finding another story to tell with the editing), or by creating a quick montage/composite/etc. of many projects to go with/under your title at the beginning (assuring me that there are several projects featured before I see the first one).

Just my $0.02. Hope it helps.
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#6 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:25 PM

Tomas,

Nice reel. I think you have a lot of good shots in your demo. I do agree that the reel should be shortened. Me personally, as a Director, when I'm looking for a DP I'm just looking to see a brief example of shooting under each challenge that my film may present a potential DP. I would say this is indoor high/low lighting, outdoor day/night, pans, tilts, dolly shots, DOF shots, obviously camera stability, and seeing a various assortment of camera angles and framing. I would say a very tight reel could be as short as 1:30-2:00 and still be impactful. Not to mention it leaves a bit to the Director/Producer's imagination. This gives you the power of looking awesome by only including your most top notch stuff.

Just one man's opinion...take it for what it's worth.
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#7 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 12:23 AM

Tomas,

Great stuff.

Cut: the one of the man wearing sunglasses. And some parts of another man driving an Audi. You've established your ability to shoot stuff in a car much better with the work at the beginning of the reel.

Keep: shot of the woman holding the beauty light and put it closer to the beginning of the reel because that was really spectacular.

In general keep more of the lit interior stuff and less of the unlit exterior shots unless you really can't part with them. The only reason I would have hesitated to say this is because a lot of the quality in your work is excellent composition. and I saw several nice magic hour shots. Do you operate your own work?

I'm currently debating with my own footage whether or not to keep a hint of narrative structure or if its better to assault the viewer with a variety of images.

best of luck


Thanks VERY much, all of you gave very constructive and useful comments! I agree with them all, and I think I will put a "teaser" section in the begining with various shots from all different projects just to show that the whole real wont be one project (I had someone else say "are you going to show any other projects" about 10 seconds in!!) then go project by project, but try to increase the pace and use only the VERY best shots, I will loose the sunglasses shot, I agree it doesnt really add anything. I dont know when I will get time to Re-Cut but when I do I would really enjoy comments from you all again...I'll keep you updated. P.S. I Operate myself on Film and I have an Operator on HD so that I can be by the big HD monitor, not a black and white viewfinder or small on-Board!
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#8 Tom Stoffel

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 05:02 PM

Tomas,

Very impressive! I am particularly amazed at the beautiful lighting and color. I enjoyed many of the shots you had in the reel. I think your longer shots were great. They give the viewer a chance to notice the subtle choices you are making in camera motion, zoom, etc. I would leave those in. I agree with many of the other posts above. The reel could be shorter. Showcases shots that make a statement---shots that, in an instant, tell a bit of a story. A shorter compilation of the more interesting and impacting shots will really pull the whole reel together. Great job again and keep up the good work.

Cheers
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