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Feedback for my Demo Reel and how to remove logos.


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#1 Anthony Liu

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:41 PM

Hey everybody!

 

I just came to a milestone in my cinematography quality. I front loaded my reel with the better footage and left the worse footage till the last, but it has some good tracking/composition/ movi work. So, i am disappointed because there are two clips that i am also attaching to see if anybody can give me some quick tips on how to remove the strip club's logo in the background. the logos are in both shots (2 clips in 1 video). That is my main problem right now cause i dont feel like I can add my best shot that I contributed to to my reel which sucks, cause i was the one that rigged the light on the roof beam and set up the back fill, gelled everything, and operated the gimbal.

 

Other that the above issues mentioned above. What else can I do to improve my reel and would any of you hire me as a cinematographer or 1st AC/ gaffer/grip?

 

One thing that my intuition tells me is that my reel doesn't have enough motion in the shots, a lot of static shots, not exciting to watch in the beginning, which might turn some producers or hiring people off. Let me know your honest feedbacks. Thanks everybody!

 

Anthony

 

P.S. i might recolor the last part, i already know the background in my last section of my reel is overblown and might need to be recolored. any feedback on how to improve that will be great as well!! ND filters? 20x20s, 30 x 30s? lol.

 

 

       <--- demo reel.

 

     <--- the 2 clips i want to add to my reel, but has strip club logos


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:32 PM

I don't see why the strip club logo is a problem. This is a demo reel, not a commercial piece of work, so why would anyone care?

 

I've never come across a 1st AC, Gaffer or Grip that had a reel, and I'm not sure what it would prove if they did.


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#3 Samuel Berger

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:12 PM

I think the dirt overlay on the first scene was a bit overpowering. Strip club scenes were okay, possibly a bit overlit and framing could be a bit tighter in a few shots. But it's the best stuff you have there.

 

The dinner table shots I'd remove entirely. The characters are not well separated from the background and there seems to be some colour temperature issues.

 

The scene outside with the guy following the girl is sweet and charming and made me think of Gene Kelly-era musicals, but you are clearly visible in the reflection of the shop windows and your skies are completely blown out.

 

Hope that helps!


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#4 Ryan Constantino

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 02:55 AM

To answer your question about logo removal. It would be a VFX process. Are you talking about the text on the red canopy in the background? Looks like it just says "10$ dances" is that even a logo? Anyway, an advanced artist could remove the logo from the second shot easily, 15 minutes using mocha and after effects. The first shot is more difficult because of the extensive tracking and rotoscoping. It would need to be tracked probably using mocha and then patched over / painted out with a blank red canopy and then the heads of the people walking in front of it needs to be rotoscoped. That's likely a half day job. It's probably not worth hiring a VFX just for a demo reel. I don't think it matters anyway. If you wanted to learn how to do it yourself feel free to ask I could point you in the right direction, I've done VFX for over 6 years.


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#5 Anthony Liu

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:54 AM

I don't see why the strip club logo is a problem. This is a demo reel, not a commercial piece of work, so why would anyone care?

 

I've never come across a 1st AC, Gaffer or Grip that had a reel, and I'm not sure what it would prove if they did.

 

 

You're totally right, its just a demo reel. But if you were hiring me for a job wouldn't you expect me to at least touch up some parts that are slightly blemished (honest question, not rhetorical)? As you can see in my video footage the logo is covered with gaffe tape, but there is still a sliver that the PA's didn't tape unfortunately and I just felt like thats on me. Tbh, I'm not sure how picky paying clients are thats why i'm asking. I've been doing videography for 5-6 years but mainly as a side thing, but now i'm pretty serious and want my stuff to be as highest quality as possible.

 

As for the second part, I think you're right as well. However, wouldn't a 1st AC benefit from a demo reel that can demonstrate his badass rack focuses, hitting every point he's faced with? If you were to hire a 1st AC, gaffer, or grip to come on board with you what are the factors you would use to determine their competence besides from previously working on set with him before?


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#6 Anthony Liu

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:10 AM

I think the dirt overlay on the first scene was a bit overpowering. Strip club scenes were okay, possibly a bit overlit and framing could be a bit tighter in a few shots. But it's the best stuff you have there.

 

The dinner table shots I'd remove entirely. The characters are not well separated from the background and there seems to be some colour temperature issues.

 

The scene outside with the guy following the girl is sweet and charming and made me think of Gene Kelly-era musicals, but you are clearly visible in the reflection of the shop windows and your skies are completely blown out.

 

Hope that helps!

 

 

Hey Samuel thanks for the reply!

 

1) Yes, unfortunately that filter was the director's choice, I had no say over it, but i know what you mean.

2) You're totally right, i'm gonna remove the dinner table scene. Do you think I can reduce the exposure or highlights to compensate for some of the over lighting in the strip club? Yea, when I was on set, I felt it was sort of overlit as well, I should've said something but the director had more experience than me and I didn't have a solution at the time for him either.

3) Haha, yes! I just recently caught that reflection of me as well! Most people didn't catch it though, so i'm praying that would be the case for when someone is hiring me. Do you have any suggestions to avoid blown out skys like that? (Pick a better location with the sun oriented at a certain angle so I can use the buildings as bounces etc? or decide to shoot at a different time of the day? I think it was 2-4pm when I shot this.) Some friends suggested to me that what might make it better is have a PA hold a reflector to expose their faces a bit more while following their movement or use an ND filter.

 

Thanks!


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#7 Anthony Liu

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:38 AM

To answer your question about logo removal. It would be a VFX process. Are you talking about the text on the red canopy in the background? Looks like it just says "10$ dances" is that even a logo? Anyway, an advanced artist could remove the logo from the second shot easily, 15 minutes using mocha and after effects. The first shot is more difficult because of the extensive tracking and rotoscoping. It would need to be tracked probably using mocha and then patched over / painted out with a blank red canopy and then the heads of the people walking in front of it needs to be rotoscoped. That's likely a half day job. It's probably not worth hiring a VFX just for a demo reel. I don't think it matters anyway. If you wanted to learn how to do it yourself feel free to ask I could point you in the right direction, I've done VFX for over 6 years

Hey Ryan! Thank you so much for the advice! Actually, I know what you mean, but its not on the red canopy. I think a picture would explain it better than my words lol. Let me upload some pictures for you that are marked. Yes! I actually youtube/googled how to remove logos in video and I came across the After effects Mocha plug in tutorial and using tracking and converting it to photoshop to use clone tool! I think what you just told me applies to the pictures I attached with the parts that bothers me. Now I'm just wondering if there are any subtle differences or variations I need to know.

 

Thanks!

 


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#8 Anthony Liu

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 11:41 AM

Does anybody know a website I can use to upload my stills to share with you guys so I can post some reference photos of the blemishes I'm talking about in my shots? Google drive? I tried to attached some stills for you Ryan Constantino, but unfortunately that failed as I attached 5 docs and as I posted it, they disappeared.  :blink:


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#9 Ryan Constantino

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:43 PM

Does anybody know a website I can use to upload my stills to share with you guys so I can post some reference photos of the blemishes I'm talking about in my shots? Google drive? I tried to attached some stills for you Ryan Constantino, but unfortunately that failed as I attached 5 docs and as I posted it, they disappeared.  :blink:


Try imgur.com
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#10 Ryan Constantino

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:49 PM

I think I see what you're looking at, is it the silver round thing on the photo on the right that's hanging in the wall? Pretty much the same methods still apply that I mentioned before. For the second shot, very easy. What you do is take a still frame of it and clone stamp it out /paint it out in Photoshop then you motion track the slight movement and "patch" the piece onto it. For the first shot, same thing you have to take a freeze frame and paint it out then motion track it into the scene and rotoscope the heads passing in front. If you're serious about doing it yourself I can make you a little tutorial if you'd like.
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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:17 PM

But if you were hiring me for a job wouldn't you expect me to at least touch up some parts that are slightly blemished (honest question, not rhetorical)? As you can see in my video footage the logo is covered with gaffe tape, but there is still a sliver that the PA's didn't tape unfortunately and I just felt like thats on me. 

If I was hiring you for a job as a cinematographer, I wouldn't care about parts of the image which were obviously Art department's responsibility.

 

 

As for the second part, I think you're right as well. However, wouldn't a 1st AC benefit from a demo reel that can demonstrate his badass rack focuses, hitting every point he's faced with?

I've never watched a 1st AC demo reel, and in any case, all it would prove is that he or she got it right once. Personal recommendations and a strong resume are far more important.


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#12 Anthony Liu

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 06:07 PM

If I was hiring you for a job as a cinematographer, I wouldn't care about parts of the image which were obviously Art department's responsibility.

 

 

I've never watched a 1st AC demo reel, and in any case, all it would prove is that he or she got it right once. Personal recommendations and a strong resume are far more important.

 

Awesome! Thank you for the response. Would this be a good 1st AC resume? I attached it to a link below. What kind of feedback or improvements should I put on it?  What I really want to do is just make films in general with an emphasis on writing and cinematography, but I do find that being DP for all of my small film sets was the most fun I have ever had. The biggest set I DP'ed for was like around 20-25 people and  I felt good as hell when I finished that overnighter shoot. I don't really want to beat around the bush and pretend I want to be a 1st AC or Gaffer and stay in those positions forever before I become a DP or Director. What do you suggest for a person like me who has so much going on in my head? Just work my way up from the bottom and take more 1st AC or Gaffer jobs? I don't even know if I want to be a Camera DP or Lighting DP. 

 

https://www.dropbox....ny_Liu.pdf?dl=0

 

also, if its okay with you, im going to brush up my demo reel a bit more tonight and post it so you can take a look at it and tear it up? haha. Thanks.


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