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My first reel... Needs feedback


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#1 Darrell Ayer

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:59 AM

I am looking for feedback on my first reel.  It's assembled from 2 shorts that I shot as a DP, and a good sexy shot in the open.  Thanks!

 


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#2 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:54 PM

Darrel,

It says the video doesn't exist.


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#3 Darrell Ayer

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:04 PM

I'll fix it as soon as I can.

 Thanks.


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#4 Darrell Ayer

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 06:47 PM


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#5 Darrell Ayer

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

Everyone loves it and I shouldn't change a thing? I doubt that.  Please help me improve this reel.


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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:04 PM

Ok, I'll start, and please keep in mind this is just opinion and it'll be hard because you haven't got too many alternative shots for a reel if you've just done 2 projects so all the things wrong will get better with time:

 

Opening shot goes on too long and opening music is annoying. Maybe cut it both down to about 5 seconds. We see it's a car and it's driving. I like it goign around the corner, so start a bit before and a bit after. I really dislike the song's opening though.

 

Rooftop is ok, but it's bland, you should grade it. have some fun but give it some kind of look, rather than "here it is." Would've been better to schedule that shoot around towards sunrise or sunset, depending where you are facing to get some interesting light and shadow in the sky. Not always in your control; but mention it.

 

Next shot in the apartment should go. The hard shadow on the wall is very distracting. the reverse isn't bad.

 

Shot of 2 folks outside is wonky. I just personally don't like the angle, the framing, or where you parked your exposure. It feels over-exposed, which is hard to do when dealing with darker skin tones against a sky on a DSLR. Next time, fill with a white card or something as they walk.

Shot of them getting undressed is out of focus. never put an out of focus shot in your reel unless it's 100% easy to tell it's supposed to be out of focus. So this shot kinda has to go unless you want people looking @ the door frame.

The shot of her laying down is nice; but I don't like when he shadows her, personally. I may jut say cut it to as it appears @42 seconds on your reel. Start it there.

The next rooftop shot is kinda Mergh as well. His shirt is over-exposed and it's taking me away from looking @ him as he doesn't stand out against the black of the city. The next shot, which is a reverse is better, but so fast I cant see it. I would focus on this shot, as opposed to the shot of blue shirt man.

Loose the kitchen and the couch. Both appear unlit and all go by too fast to get any sense of them (granted I also have quick cutting in my reel, but that's not until way @ the end by which point I hope I have made most of a impression... you have to let people see your shots... not your edits)

Shot @ 102 is very nice; but again cuts out too soon. Do you settle on her face? if you do, extend it a bit so we can see her reaction.
next shot; with fence can also be nice; but needs a grade, too flat presently, pop it up a little bit

Next sequence in the living room isn't bad, the opening shot goes a bit too long and then subsequent shot is too short. (@121)

Park bench shot is also very nice; but also runs a bit too long, you can cut it out probably right after their hand shake, while they are still looking at eachother, if you have a beat to cut on. And again, needs a grade, and what I mean by that is something like this (note i'm no colorist.. and this took me all of 30 seconds in photoshop from a screen capture... you can get much better results downloading the free version of davinci resolve and learning it at least marginally to apply curves and LUTs to you footage/render it out)
Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 3.49.10 PM.png

The shot around 154 on the roof looks really good, we shouldn't wait till 154 to see it. It's not just about an opening sexy shot, every shot has to be sexy, and as polished as possible.

Those last shots of the reel are pretty good, and I'm sure you have to have more than just this 2 min of footage. Go back and look for just the best shots. Even if you're not putting them in any kind of quick sequence, I personally think that's ok if that shows stronger work.

And if you can't make a reel work just yet, then grab a camera and shoot some of your own stuff for a reel. Slow motion of a girl at sunset, Closeups of stuff in nice window light (northern) ect. Maybe even some time-lapse stuff, and get the best reel you can as it's so easy now a days to do that what with how cheap vDSLRs are becoming.

Also, don't ge discouraged, my first reels were appalling... if you want to see how bad drop me an e mail and I can give you a link if you promise not to share ever... with anyone. So keep at it and the work will grow.


Also I don't mean to sound overly harsh or anything nor disparage your abilities in the least, You're just starting out, and normally one would say that the only way to go is up, but that presumes you're at the bottom and doing crap work. Now, I don't know if you are doing crap work or not, but what I do know is that the shots in your reel which work, work well and show promise and the fact that, while you can improve, you're also not doing a horrible job. I really hate the song though. I don't know why.
Maybe look into something by Max Richter, its contemporary classical, just looking @ my quick playlist, Maybe The Tree, The Beach, and the Sea from Elle s'appelait Sarah


 


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#7 Darrell Ayer

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:41 AM

Adrian,

Thanks for the feed back, the song was something a friend scored a while back for a short I did called Human Resources, back when I was a "director".  None of your feedback hurt my feelings in anyway, i really appreciate your forwardness about everything in there.  I'm dying to shoot more and bring more to it, especially movement.

 

Thank you greatly for your feedback and real reaction.  I've needed to get off my ass and shoot "reel shots" for a while now, and you've pretty much affirmed that. 


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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:47 AM

My pleasure. Good shooting and enjoy the east coast (lord knows I miss it sometimes. )


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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:55 AM

Oh, one other thing I nearly forgot to mention. I like to use vimeo for my reels, much better compression than youtube, for one, and a lot easier to just replace the video with new versions, so only one embed needed. But more-over, I think it makes the most sense to choose the thumbnail-- the screen before the video loads-- to be your own name and contact information. That way they can see it when the video loads, for one, and for two, they have to hit play so that they can get a sense of your work-- as opposed to the random generated thumbnail. Then you can at least attempt to hook them with a shot or two to keep them watching and beginning to form a choice, as opposed to just looking at a single frame. Let's be honest here, producers get hundreds of applicants for each shoot, sometimes more, so you have to get them engaged enough to want to hit play because you can quickly get burnt out looking @ reels.


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The Slider

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Glidecam

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape