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Need Critiques

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Justin Costanzo
Need Critiques
on Jun 19, 2007 at 12:23:19 am

I have been trying to get work, entry-level, log & capturing, whatever for a few months now, but was often asked for a reel, and I did not have one. I have recently completed one and would like any feedback anyone would like to give.

Being that I am a video artist, some of my material is appropriated. I tried to find the most "visually interesting" clips to use, and while quite a few of my pieces are quite compelling if watched from beginning to end, they do not lend themselves well to a reel.

In any regard, the clips not from major motion pictures, I shot and produced. I also composed all of the music as well.

Thanks for any feedback.


Reel is here:

"No image satisfies me unless it is at the same time Knowledge, unless it carries with it its substance as well as its lucidity." -Artaud

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Re: Need Critiques
on Jun 22, 2007 at 10:29:32 pm

My first impression was: It too long. I wasn't sure I wanted to watch the whole thing.
The opening Color Bars graphics can be done more quickly. The Words on screen, as voice spoke was nice, but again too long. The Marilyn photo thing was pretty cool, but I wondered if the ink in water was an effect done by you? or what?
Perhaps you can take footage you shot and play with blowing it up...Speed it up ... Slow it down.
Capture short clips-start with it blown way up, then cut to nornal size play with speed then out and to the next one... Kind of making motion graphics out of plan old footage. Nail it to the beat..

Beter to be short with lots of action, than too long because you don't have much.
Anyhow good effort!!

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Ben Hall
Re: Need Critiques
on Jun 25, 2007 at 12:25:50 pm

I would consolidate it as much as possible. It's a good reel, but seems to be more part of an installation piece than a highlights of your career/abilities. Great job on the music, but don't get offended down the road if a producer/recruiter doesn't care. Also keep in mind, unless you know you are the only candidate, most recruiter/producers will just buzz through it. So try and entice them into seeing more.

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Re: Need Critiques
on Jul 8, 2007 at 2:59:03 am

I'm guessing your target audience is one I'm not familiar because I'm a bit confused. I don't know what you want to do from watching your reel. If you're wanting it to be an editing reel then you should probably put together a reel that can tell a story in its own right, or include some interesting montages or something that shows off your editing skills. Same story if you're after graphics, put together a presentation that shows off your graphics skills.

Demo reels exist to present your skills in the quickest way possible. Those skills vary from shooting to editing to motion graphics to 3D, they all vary depending on the genre you're going after. I wouldn't be sending this off to anyone just yet.

I think at this stage in the game your focus shouldn't be on your reel so much as it is getting your foot in the door. The reel will build itself (at least in the respect that your own footage will come as you do project professionally), and you'll have a much better idea of what your reel should look like once you're working with your peers and mentors.

I would focus your energies on getting your foot in the door at some place (or in some genre) you'd like to work. This may mean working for cheap or free but few places will turn down a free employee, especially if you can prove to them you're not some weirdo who will work 2 days and steal their stuff and leave. Show up dressed nice, business casual if they normally don't dress up and business attire if they normally dress business casual (they will tell you it doesn't matter and it will help you if you do this, trust me). Come with a professional resume, even if it doesn't have much production work on it. Include anything you've done in school or in your off-time, include references from someone they'd care about, like leaders / managers / supervisors from organizations they may've heard about - teachers at a nearby college may be a good place to find someone if you're not friends with any higher-ups. Give references to respected individuals - show them you know people who aren't weirdos who would just steal their stuff. Offer up a set time-period so it's less open-ended. Tell them for 1, 2, 3 months or whatever and say you're willing to work those months and these hours in exchange for valuable experience and industry contacts. The more open-ended your available hours are the more likely they will be to accept this - the beginning and ending set-time period (1 - 3 months, don't bother giving a time less than that) is important. You don't necessarily have to stick to it but giving a time period is another way of letting them know you're willing to do this for the experience and that your time isn't normally cheap or free (it's also a way of implying you're not just some punk who wants to make videos and get rich and waste their time).

If anyone accepts this you'll likely be doing bs work half the time but the longer you stick around the more you'll get to do. Also, interns (which is what you'd be paid or not) are usually on the list of next people to hire and when that open spot comes up you'll be in the position of falling into it rather than clawing, screaming and begging your way in. I think a little b.s. work is worth that. If it's not, it's time to re-evaluate what you want to do.

Just my .02. Hope it helps.

- MythProd
(John David Hutton)
Digital Effects Artist, Support Technician
Kansas City, Kansas - United States

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