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Demo Reel advice


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#1 Lee Tamer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:30 AM

What types of shots do clients look for in demo reels? What should I include to sell myself as a cinematographer? 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:23 AM

You basically put your best shots on the reel -- you can't control what a client wants to see on it, he may be looking for someone who has shot the streets of Paris for all you know.

 

I think it should be a mix of daylight exteriors and scenes involving lighting, including night exteriors, just because most projects have a mix of that.

 

It should represent who you think you are as a cinematographer, how you'd like to present yourself to the world in terms of your aesthetics.  Maybe early in your career it can be more of a jack-of-all-trades sort of reel, high-key comedy to horror, etc. but as you get more material for your reel and have more experience, you can focus the reel more on what you want to be shooting in general.


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:49 PM

I was always told that people prefer to see dialogue scenes, or at least something with multi-setup continuity, as it's otherwise too easy just to montage one's most attractive stuff to music.

 

Does that sound reasonable? Are viewers that sophisticated?

 

P


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:15 PM

Nowadays with reels online, you can put multiple segments on your site, I'd say make a montage to music and then put some clips with dialogue in a separate reel for people that want to watch that.  Just don't put a lot of long scenes together because at some point, people start judging the writing and the acting, which the DP isn't responsible for.


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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:35 PM

Whatever you do, you should put your best shots up front!

If people are busy they may only start to watch your reel for a short time and they make judgements from the start of the reel even if they watch the whole thing. Put your best stuff up front and make a good first impression. If you can end with something nice that's great too. Hide your less good shots in the middle or better still, leave them off altogether! ;)

 

Freya


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#6 Lee Tamer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:03 PM

so for example if i put too many dolly or tracking shots that would be a bad idea?


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:54 PM

"Too many" by definition is too many!


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#8 Lee Tamer

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:34 PM

ok i'll rephrase that hahaha, should i include static shots as well? 


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:26 PM

Sure if they are good shots.
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#10 Justin Hayward

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:54 AM

Get a fellow filmmaker (that you feel has an eye) to help you discern the difference between a really good shot that's worth putting on your reel, or something you might be including because you remember all the work that went into it.

 

Also, keep it short if possible.  I far prefer one minute packed with great footage over four minute of scenes and sequences.


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#11 Lee Tamer

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

another question, does it matter if some of the shots are cropped for widescreen and others arent? 


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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:38 PM

No.


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#13 Maximilian Hillmer

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:50 PM

No. Your showreel should work as a whole and best you have good music which supports your images.


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#14 Maximilian Hillmer

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:51 PM

the variation of the aspect ratio really doesn't matter.


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#15 Lee Tamer

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:20 PM

here it is, any thoughts? 

 


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#16 Benny Tan

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

My only advice would be to better time your cuts to the music.

In all honesty, as a Cinematographer, you're still a storyteller. I'm not sure how much experience and content you have under your belt, but cutting in a more narrative style (even if it's still edited as a montage) may reflect well on you.


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#17 Richard Boddington

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:08 AM

I watch so many of these things.  Now I really prefer to see cut scenes, maybe 3-5 scenes, 3-4 mins each.

 

I don't find "montage to music" reels to be of much use.  But that is just me.

 

R,


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#18 Lee Tamer

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:23 PM

My only advice would be to better time your cuts to the music.

In all honesty, as a Cinematographer, you're still a storyteller. I'm not sure how much experience and content you have under your belt, but cutting in a more narrative style (even if it's still edited as a montage) may reflect well on you.

 

Ive only been doing freelance for about two years. Most of the work I've done is music videos and documentaries. Ive done very little narrative work, which is why i didnt put any dialogue scenes 


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