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#1 James Mulholland

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:02 AM

Hey Everyone,

this is my first showreel. I'm 22 and live in Ireland, I've been DP'ing for about 3 years now on no budget shorts and music video's while working on features as camera assistants, b camera Op and lighting design.

This is my DP reel I made a few weeks back, If anyone has suggestions on shots to take out or anything I would appreicate it.

Thanks for your time



James
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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:44 PM

Looks a bit EOS-y.
I expect that can't be helped but it's worth keeping that in mind for the future.

This reel actually gets off to a good start which is surprising as so many people seem to put their rubbish up front for some reason. Never been able to quite get that one.

Having said that, while I really like the poltergeist shot, it is very noisy. For that reason I think it has to go further down the reel. (I know, hate, hate it when the camera noise is ruining a great shot but you have to face the harsh realities)

Theres some strangely pointlessly bad shots in here:
1:20 WHY?
1:21 WHY again?

they are followed by more static shots of stuff that are really just sort of okay, and putting them altogether in a block is just really not a good idea. I'd probably lose the lot of them quite frankly. Maybe you can make these work in the right places on the reel. Maybe fade the sky out or do something with it. Dunno but it would be better if you could replace them with better stuff (YES you already know that but...)

1:04 sort of has things going for it but it opens badly. Dunno quite like it when the people pop into frame but not keen on the abstracted shot of the car door. Definitely has stuff going for it tho so I think it's a keeper and is probably in about the right place in the reel.

B&W lightbulb woman! BEST stuff on the reel. Looks lovely and I'm instantly jealous of her for having all those lovely beautiful lightbulbs. ;) This should maybe be high up on your reel. Maybe even replacing the poltergeist stuff.

1:08 is VERY NICE except the framing is a little off in lots of ways. Still looks great tho! Like the shot a lot and I guess that's why you chose it for the thumbnail. (Good idea!)

1:56 is great! Think it's another one to go high up on the reel. Maybe after lightbulb lady. Looks nice, GREAT acting, not perfect but works really well overall.

Overall you need to get better at your framing and well, you need to shoot more generally.

Look I can tell from your reel that you have thought about it a bit and have some idea of what your best stuff is (piano) and are trying to make it work. I hope you can make the reel work a bit better with a bit of juggling. (Maybe even make it shorter?) but basically you don't have enough stuff yet for a great reel. Make it the best you can tho, and it may still help you to get the next job where you can fight for great shots to improve on it.

Also it feels like you watch too many cheap TV dramas. Keep in mind that a lot of TV in the UK and Eire has traditionally been all about having a good signal to noise ratio. Things are better these days but it's maybe not the place to be looking at things for great cinematography.

love

Freya
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#3 James Mulholland

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:59 PM

Looks a bit EOS-y.
I expect that can't be helped but it's worth keeping that in mind for the future.

This reel actually gets off to a good start which is surprising as so many people seem to put their rubbish up front for some reason. Never been able to quite get that one.

Having said that, while I really like the poltergeist shot, it is very noisy. For that reason I think it has to go further down the reel. (I know, hate, hate it when the camera noise is ruining a great shot but you have to face the harsh realities)

Theres some strangely pointlessly bad shots in here:
1:20 WHY?
1:21 WHY again?

they are followed by more static shots of stuff that are really just sort of okay, and putting them altogether in a block is just really not a good idea. I'd probably lose the lot of them quite frankly. Maybe you can make these work in the right places on the reel. Maybe fade the sky out or do something with it. Dunno but it would be better if you could replace them with better stuff (YES you already know that but...)

1:04 sort of has things going for it but it opens badly. Dunno quite like it when the people pop into frame but not keen on the abstracted shot of the car door. Definitely has stuff going for it tho so I think it's a keeper and is probably in about the right place in the reel.

B&W lightbulb woman! BEST stuff on the reel. Looks lovely and I'm instantly jealous of her for having all those lovely beautiful lightbulbs. ;) This should maybe be high up on your reel. Maybe even replacing the poltergeist stuff.

1:08 is VERY NICE except the framing is a little off in lots of ways. Still looks great tho! Like the shot a lot and I guess that's why you chose it for the thumbnail. (Good idea!)

1:56 is great! Think it's another one to go high up on the reel. Maybe after lightbulb lady. Looks nice, GREAT acting, not perfect but works really well overall.

Overall you need to get better at your framing and well, you need to shoot more generally.

Look I can tell from your reel that you have thought about it a bit and have some idea of what your best stuff is (piano) and are trying to make it work. I hope you can make the reel work a bit better with a bit of juggling. (Maybe even make it shorter?) but basically you don't have enough stuff yet for a great reel. Make it the best you can tho, and it may still help you to get the next job where you can fight for great shots to improve on it.

Also it feels like you watch too many cheap TV dramas. Keep in mind that a lot of TV in the UK and Eire has traditionally been all about having a good signal to noise ratio. Things are better these days but it's maybe not the place to be looking at things for great cinematography.

love

Freya


Hey,

thank you so much for writing back with all the feedback I really sincerely appreciate it.

Yes I have only shot with DSLR's and Canon Hv's. In Ireland in the indie film world these are the camera's most being used. But I am shooting a western on the RED Scarlet next month so that should help my CV and hopefully my reel.

I am strongly considering making it stronger, I am still learning lighting and framing but the main thing (like you said) is I have to shoot more regularly, which at the moment is a nightmare. So far this year I have DP'd 1 short film because nothing much seems to be happening in Indie Ireland. I am considering writing scripts that might be visually interesting and shooting them to keep practice up instead of sitting around waiting.

thanks a lot again for watching and giving advice, Hopefully I can improve as I shoot more.

Thanks

James
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:09 PM

Hey,

thank you so much for writing back with all the feedback I really sincerely appreciate it.

Yes I have only shot with DSLR's and Canon Hv's. In Ireland in the indie film world these are the camera's most being used. But I am shooting a western on the RED Scarlet next month so that should help my CV and hopefully my reel.


It's good to have a bit of a mix of stuff going on. Nothing wrong with a bit of EOS except that all the low budget stuff tends to be EOS so it tends to scream out cheap DSLR look. However with a bit of other stuff as well, it shouts out diversity! (always a good thing!)

If you are shooting a western then you must check out some classic Sergio Leone like the good the bad and the ugly. Maybe look at those and think about shooting in 2.35 yourself? Not sure how easy that is on the scarlet. Never seen one in real life.

I am strongly considering making it stronger, I am still learning lighting and framing but the main thing (like you said) is I have to shoot more regularly, which at the moment is a nightmare. So far this year I have DP'd 1 short film because nothing much seems to be happening in Indie Ireland. I am considering writing


That doesn't surprise me! ;)
Don't assume it would be THAT much better in say London tho. If you have managed to get as much as you have for your reel you are doing well. You just need to get a bit more and when you get the opportunity you need to make the most of it!

scripts that might be visually interesting and shooting them to keep practice up instead of sitting around waiting.


THIS is very much the way to go I think. I'm doing a lot of stuff in London at the mo and it's going great but getting work is hard without a decent reel unless you are the charming psycho type! ;) It doesn't matter where you are in that sense. You should initiate your own project and do the other stuff too and just keep at it. Also be sure to watch some great movies and also check out that recent thread full of great cinematography shots. Looks at some films with great shots in them and then don't be afraid to steal them and try and put them in the new context of your film or something.


thanks a lot again for watching and giving advice, Hopefully I can improve as I shoot more.


I'm sure you will! You can get very cheap DVD's of classic films on e-bay and the like.

love

Freya
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Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly