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Re: help and advice

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Timothy Allen
Re: help and advice
on Dec 22, 2002 at 5:40:41 pm

My experience is quite different than John's. Although this business is very competitive, I've been lucky enough to work with quite a few people who are willing to share their knowledge.

I mean, that's the whole reason that the COW exists. I still have a kind of informal, personal "Jedi council" that I know I can go to if I'm having problems related to the business. Most professionals are glad to help, as long as you are acknowledge that their time is valuable. (In other words, do all the legwork you can before asking their advice.)

The only issue that I have with David’s request is that it’s really too broad for us to answer with specific advice. A demo reel is supposed to be a reflection of the person who made it. It should not only let viewer’s know what the editor is capable of technically, but also some more subjective things such as personal style.

Tell you what, David. If you are anywhere near Houston, TX, I’ll drive out and take a look at what you have. We can go out to lunch, so I can get a glimpse of what you are trying to accomplish with your demo (i.e. target audience and at least a limited sense of what your “style” may be.) Then, it might be possible for me to make specific suggestions. Without seeing exactly what you have, we would be shooting in the dark if we tried to give you specific advice.

As it stands, I can only echo the advice that you either get some more work to expand your footage.

One more idea: If you have some friends that would be willing to help by acting on camera, you could stage a shoot that could somehow tie your other footage together. (Maybe a music industry or social reporter that could be doing a special story on some of the bands and locations that you’ve filmed.)

*By the way, I also had a production company owner tell me to "get out while you can" when I first started. Granted, it's just one example, but his company no longer exists, while I'm still very happy that I stuck with it.

If you don't enjoy it, get out. On the other hand, if you live and breath making great TV and film productions (like the hosts and many of the visitors to this forum do), don't let anyone discourage you from what you love. Sure, there will be difficult times, but you'll look back knowing that you are one of the few people in the world who got to wake up each day looking forward to creating something special.

Best of luck!

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