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The real reel...


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#1 Ben Staley

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 06:02 PM

Hello.
I am interested in serious feedback and critique on my reel.
Heres the link..
Ben's Real Reel
I think its a little long... Opinions please. Don't be shy, I can take it like a man...
The link also contains a couple recent videos I shot in their entirety...

And hey.. I really appreciate your time. Seriously.

Cheers,
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 06:14 PM

Hey Ben.
Lots of really nice looking stuff in there, but I have to agree, at around 5:30 the montage reel just runs too long for my taste. Most of the other reels I've seen on here and elsewhere seem to be 'round the 3 minute mark, and personally that's what I always try to aim towards.
I really liked the music but I think that shot selection suffered a bit; we're seeing a lot of the same thing over and over again, ya know? A bit more diversity will help (part in parcel with the shortening).
There were 2 shots which felt a little soft to me, one of them was the man leaning against the white wall, and before that there is a woman in a peach-ish top; both just rendered soft on my screen here to i'd say give them a quick look.


All the best,
~Adrian
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#3 Pete Von Tews

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 01:17 AM

Hi Ben!

Your reel looks very good. Lots of exciting camera movement, great colors, awesome production design (especially the music videos). I dig the style!
Did not mind the length as lots of good footage to look at. I usually watch DP reels with audio turned off as to focus more on the visuals, so can't comment on that one. I did check out the soundtrack and its not distracting to the footage.
How long have you been a DP and how many people in your production team? What cameras did you use?

I will bookmark your page and check back often.

thanks!

-pete
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#4 Nate Downes

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:41 AM

It did feel a bit long, but a lot of marvelous work in there. I did find a lot of similar shots (in particular the SWAT team style shots) which could be trimmed I guess, but they all are unique in their own way so hard to say.
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#5 Ben Staley

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 12:39 PM

There were 2 shots which felt a little soft to me, one of them was the man leaning against the white wall, and before that there is a woman in a peach-ish top; both just rendered soft on my screen here to i'd say give them a quick look.


Hey Adrian. You know what.. those shots ARE a teensy soft. but I like them. However, perhaps I should pull them.. I was using some equipment I had never used before, as well as directing, with a minumal crew.. and poop was going wrong everywhere.. ahh... It was fun. Anyways.. thank you for pointing that out. And I really appreciate your time!

How long have you been a DP and how many people in your production team? What cameras did you use?



Pete. I have been getting paid to shoot for about 4 years. Tons of Industrial and ENG type stuff (none of which is in this reel). Then friends, and now other people have been hiring me to shoot narrative and music videos as well. I never set out to be a DP, but I keep getting hired and I thought maybe I should make an "official" reel.. I am actually a director and an actor as well. I like it all though, I love playing with the tools and find it all equally rewarding from a creative standpoint. As a director I started shooting my own stuff because I really couldn't afford the kind of talent I thought I needed behind the camera. And if it was going to be sub-par, I could stomach my mistakes better than someone else's..

Ive never shot film, although i desperately want too.. But its expensive and I dont want to f-up and waiste someone elses money. I have turned down jobs because of this.
But when I have the cash of my own.. I'm going to play.. bigtime... all the ways you cant with digital.. I LOVE the look of super16. I'd love to shoot with some reversal stock.

80% of this was shot on my HPX500 and the rest on a rented HVX200. Mostly in 720.
I have an awesome crew I try and hire whenever possible. Some of this footage was only me.. and some of it I had as many as 7 or 8 people working.

For example.. the brightly colored music video.. I had an AC, a gaffer, a key grip and 3 more people working swing. But it was a super low budget and a long day so we all did a little of everything. I am so proud of that video and the crew, we only had $500 to light the whole-thing, and it was a big space with over 30 extras.. And serious credit goes to the 2 girls who did all the production design. It made the video.

I have a lot to learn yet but the work is getting there and I'm getting bolder. My attitude has always kinda been, "how hard can it be"? I've gotten spanked a few times and no doubt will again. But like I said, I LOVE the tools and making cool pictures...


Thanks for your comments Pete, I really appreciate it!

It did feel a bit long, but a lot of marvelous work in there. I did find a lot of similar shots (in particular the SWAT team style shots) which could be trimmed I guess, but they all are unique in their own way so hard to say.


Thanks Nate. Yeah.. another friend of mine who is a DP told me.. "well, it looks like you can shoot sunsets and guys with guns". I took it to heart.. I am definitely gonna trim some of the guns.. But they are so COOL to shoot!

Thanks!

oh and.. If you want to see any of my ENG stuff.. or more shots, I have shot about 95% of all the stuff on our production companies website.. www.presentdaypictures.com
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 12:59 PM

Ben, I'd say from the talent in that reel you may have missed your true calling as a DP ;)

As for film It's a lot more forgiving than an HVX!

Best of luck shooting
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#7 Ben Staley

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:52 PM

Thanks Adrian. I REALLY appreciate that.
cheers.
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#8 Adam McDaid

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:45 PM

Hello.
I am interested in serious feedback and critique on my reel.
Heres the link..
Ben's Real Reel
I think its a little long... Opinions please. Don't be shy, I can take it like a man...
The link also contains a couple recent videos I shot in their entirety...

And hey.. I really appreciate your time. Seriously.

Cheers,


Ben,

You have some really great work in your reel but, as you said, it's too long. Try to cut it down to your best stuff and about 3 minutes in length. It's difficult sometimes to make those cuts but you'll be better served by making them. There's some particularly good stuff towards the end, but most won't viewers get there because your reel is more than 8 minutes. Again, great work.

Best,
Adam
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#9 Ben Staley

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 01:30 PM

Thanks Adam.
I appreciate the feedback. I AM going to cut it down to a lean 3 minute. I checked out your own reel and I really dig your style. Especially Alexandra. LOVE it. And in all your work, the very crafted, "available light" feel. Nice!

thanks again!
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#10 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 10:59 PM

whoa dude, 8 minutes!!! Craziness.


Honestly, I liked your work. I liked that you aren't afriad of the "dark". You had a lot of nice images that tell a story, and stay pure, rather than over light something just to settle someone else's incompetence.

Definitely too long. Trim some shots, we get the point a lot sooner than you think.

Jamie
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#11 Ben Staley

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 12:07 PM

whoa dude, 8 minutes!!! Craziness.

Definitely too long. Trim some shots, we get the point a lot sooner than you think.

Jamie


Hey Jamie. thanks for the notes.. I am most concerned that "They" get the point.. heh heh..
cheers!
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The Slider

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam