FORUMS: list search recent posts

Am I neurotic, or is it just me?

COW Forums : Art of the Edit

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Pixel Monkey
Am I neurotic, or is it just me?
on Oct 26, 2005 at 5:17:14 pm


Demo reels. Baaahh humbug.

Apply for an editing gig at Time Warner, and they ask for "Trailer Work ONLY" or "Feature Work ONLY". Apply at a post house and they want "Corporate and Commercial ONLY". Doc folks want the Ken Burns stuff. Indie filmmakers want the artsy stuff. Recently I've noticed a growing population asking for "no edited montages" (which I agree with). A lot of others refuse to watch demos on the web because they want to do all their screening on one TV.

The efficiency expert in me screams to create one long reel and disregard their requests. The neurotic perfectionist in me refuses to hand the reel over to the FedEx guy until every frame, dissolve, effect and cut has been jockeyed perfectly. Both MUST be wrong, so there must be some way to merge the two. Last year I created my mega-monsterous DVD, which had everything. I thought it was cool because it was a simply-designed interface that allowed people to do their own segregating. Nope. They became faced with "over-choice".

So here's an idea - whaddo'ya think?...
1.) At the end of an edit, create a full-res Quicktime file of the finished product.
2.) Keep 'em all on some external hard drive.
3.) When specific requests come in for reels, burn only what they need to a DVD.

Not sure what non-editing-system DVD programs are out there that create DVDs you can watch on a consumer DVD through a TV though. However, this would cut down tremendously of the hours of time it takes to create a demo.


______
/-o-o-
`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey
`(___)



Return to posts index

Alan Bell
Re: Am I neurotic, or is it just me?
on Oct 26, 2005 at 9:50:31 pm

I don't have a reel for my editing work. If they want to see my work I tell them to rent the film, or I'll get them a copy. I know that doesn't cut it for many people but at least in the feature world the snob aproach has worked for me.

Alan Bell

Alan Bell
---------------
Discreet Combustion Co-Host
LA Combustion Users Group Co-Host


Return to posts index

gaspar
Re: Am I neurotic, or is it just me?
on Oct 27, 2005 at 2:29:32 am

Hi Alan,

I thought I would check out your website. In case you don't know, all four of the clips on the site have broken links.

Ciao,
Vito


Return to posts index


person
Re: Am I neurotic, or is it just me?
on Oct 27, 2005 at 1:50:19 pm

good luck.


Return to posts index

Chaz Shukat
Demo Reels
on Oct 27, 2005 at 3:15:24 pm

Dear PM,
I feel your pain. It has become a very complicated and compartmentalized world, hasn't it? Used to be you could just send out your one reel on a VHS tape that anyone could play on any VHS deck and TV. But in the name of progress, more and more people don't have VHS decks, they want a DVD, and like you said, will that DVD play on their DVD deck with their particular type of TV or monitor, or will it only play on their computer DVD player? I currently have 2 reels, one long-form, one short-form, but this is hardly adequate anymore. It's due to what I like to call the "pink-elephant" syndrome. The producer is doing a documentary on pink elephants. They are looking for an editor that has experience cutting shows about pink elephants. "Well, I could show you some documentaries I've cut." Not good enough. "Well, here's a couple I cut about wild animals." "Great, but have you cut elephants?" "As a matter of fact, yes." "Pink elepants?" "No they were grey elephants." "Aww, we need to see pink elephants." It all goes along with a world where we now have hundreds of channels of narrow cast programming. Too many choices is perhaps not a good thing. As DEVO said back in the 80's in their song FREEDOM OF CHOICE,"Freedom of choice is what we've got. Freedom from choice is what we need." We're all DEVO.

But the real issue is (or should I say the reel issue) is that we are creating this bad situation for ourselves in that we continue to deliver the impossible to our clients. They expect a one hour doc edited in 10 days on a shoestring budget and we give it to them and it's effin' spectacular to boot! So now they expect that and it becomes the norm. Next time it will be less. They want a taylor made reel and we deliver and it's smokin' to boot. We are digging ourselves into a bottomless pit.

Your idea sounds good. Please give it a try and report back your results.

Chaz S.


Return to posts index

Pixel Monkey
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 27, 2005 at 5:01:41 pm


Will do... and I dig the DEVO reference.

______
/-o-o-
`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey
`(___)



Return to posts index


Shane Ross
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 28, 2005 at 9:41:26 am

[Chaz Shukat] " They expect a one hour doc edited in 10 days on a shoestring budget and we give it to them and it's effin' spectacular to boot! "

I refuse to work with those people. And yes, there are more than a few. They have NO concept of how long it takes, and how much skill and talent people bring to a project. They want it in 10 days, and they only have this low amount to offer, then they are going to get some new kid just starting out (or editor desperate for work) and they are going to get crud. Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick two. Currently I am allotted 4-5 weeks for a finished one hour doc. Plenty of time for rough cuts, re-writes and network notes.

As for the Demo reel...yeah, it is getting nuts. I used to tailor my reel for the job (OK, if I really want the job I still make a tailored reel specifically for them) but now I just give them everything. I have on my DVD, my narrative work, my documentary work, my commercial work...three 4-7 min reels of each. Then I have sections for full scenes, or full acts and other commercials so that they can watch what they want.

I am tired of this "Can you edit Pink Elephant" syndrome. It has gone too far. "Oh, you have? Great. Oh...but did you work in a blue edit bay? Tsk...only red edit bays? Sorry."


Return to posts index

Bob Cole
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 28, 2005 at 4:02:06 pm

re: clients who want pink elephant editors only.

These are the same people who get paralyzed by having too many choices of clips in the edit room. They are simply trying to apply a formula, rather than taking the time and energy to think and make an intelligent decision.

You wouldn't want them in your editing room anyway.

Like everyone else, I say that now... but if work slows down, I guess I'll be cutting some pink elephant demo's.

-- BC


Return to posts index

Charlie King
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 28, 2005 at 5:00:58 pm

[Shane Ross] "They want it in 10 days"

After a 6 month futile attempt at a post facility in Los Angeles (I won't give the name). The inauguration of George Herbert Walker Bush (The 200th anniversary of the first Inauguration) was brought to me. I was told, "You have 9 days to do this project.


[Shane Ross] "then they are going to get some new kid just starting out (or editor desperate for work) and they are going to get crud. Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick two."

I am not a new kid on the block. I was not at that time desperate for work. I just plain love a challenge. Nine twenty hour days later we delivered a finished product to the congress of the USA, and they bought it.

I would send daily edited sections upstairs where we had created a sound scoring room just for this project.

Now I must admit it's been a few years, and there is no way I would attempt that again. Most of my work at that time was created in weeks or months, and I am talking 30 second and 60 second commercials not 1 hour documentaries. But just as a point of reference, an experienced driven editor can create art in a small amount of time if confronted with that type deadline and he is challenged enough to do it.

Just thought I'd add that. As to sample reels, after 43 years in the business, I never had to use one, so I feel for the guys of today that depend on their sample reels for their livelihood.

Charlie


Return to posts index


Shane Ross
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 28, 2005 at 9:36:22 pm

[Charlie King] "I am not a new kid on the block. I was not at that time desperate for work. I just plain love a challenge. Nine twenty hour days later we delivered a finished product to the congress of the USA, and they bought it."

If I was seeking a new client, or really believed in the project, then yes, I would accept the challenge. I often do this. It is the companies that have 13 episode series for major cable networks that pay HALF the going rate and want it done twice as fast that are the issue. And these companies are popping up everywhere. But, I guess the issue is that there is so many cable stations and so much content to fill, yet not that much money to go around that makes them do this.

I guess I should look at it as an opportunity for the young editor to get his break.

I don't knock working for free or for a reduced rate, it is the consistancy of this expected work that gets to me.


Return to posts index

Charlie King
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 28, 2005 at 9:42:38 pm

[Shane Ross] "I don't knock working for free or for a reduced rate"
Oh, don't misunderstand. This was not at a reduced rate, just reduced time frame. Believe me they paid dearly for that rougly 180 hours in 9 days.

Charlie



Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Demo Reels
on Oct 29, 2005 at 5:31:45 am

[Charlie King] "Believe me they paid dearly for that rougly 180 hours in 9 days."

AH. Good.

It like when we edited a show (third in a series) with a certain style. Then the network comes back with the numbers from the first two and the demographic isn't skewing the way they wanted it to. They wanted...needed, the younger crowd. So we had to rock and roll the cut (the footage and the topic didn't call for it, but...OK), and gave us 3 days to do it...since the delivery date was the same. So 4 editors going day and night pulled it off...and we billed the client as this fell OUTSIDE the scope of the project...the last minute changes AFTER they cleared the initial "final cut."


Return to posts index


Walter Biscardi
Re: Am I neurotic, or is it just me?
on Oct 29, 2005 at 1:04:48 pm

[Pixel Monkey] "So here's an idea - whaddo'ya think?...
1.) At the end of an edit, create a full-res Quicktime file of the finished product.
2.) Keep 'em all on some external hard drive.
3.) When specific requests come in for reels, burn only what they need to a DVD."



I sort of do this. I have a simple Maxtor drive I picked up at the local Best Buy that I dump all my projects to, but what I do is create the MPEG-2 / AC3 file and save those so they're ready to go to DVD Studio Pro.

What I've done is create a 2 hour DVD Demo, yep 2 hours of material. I have one menu that comes up with all the sub-headings, Long Form, Music, Children, Broadcast, Commercial, Training etc..... The entire pieces are on there and the client can simply choose what they want to see and how much of each piece they want to watch. I regularly go in and replace stuff as we create new projects here.

The way I look at it, any Producer can end up doing anything at any time. So even though they asked to look at my Commercials, they may also be working with a corporate training gig and by having the Training section on there, they can see that work as well. I believe it's better to provide a well rounded sample of our work instead of targeting exactly what the client asked for. In the accompanying letter, I'll direct them to the titles that are specific for what they're looking for.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


Return to posts index

Chaz Shukat
Re: Demo reels
on Oct 29, 2005 at 7:36:47 pm

Speaking of demo reels. I've got a very clever, unique open on my reel, but unfortunately, a lot of the shots look pretty crappy because they originated from VHS dubs of the projects I've edited. If you own your own company, as it seems many of you Cows do, you are able to get a dub of your projects in any format you need for inclusion on your reel. What if you are freelancing for other companies at their facilities, how do you get a high quality dub for your reel? Most of the time I'm lucky to get a VHS if I can get a dub at all because they don't want to be letting out broadcastable or bootlegable copies,especially before airing. Occasionally, I've had to resort to taping my show off the air. Anyone else in this situation? Any suggestions?

Chaz S.


Return to posts index

Walter Biscardi
Re: Demo reels
on Oct 29, 2005 at 9:10:22 pm

[Chaz Shukat] "Most of the time I'm lucky to get a VHS if I can get a dub at all because they don't want to be letting out broadcastable or bootlegable copies,especially before airing. Occasionally, I've had to resort to taping my show off the air. Anyone else in this situation? Any suggestions?"


Whatever format you have available to you, try to get a copy in that format after it airs. Even if you have to take a VTR with you down to the place where you cut. For instance, if you only have DV available to you at all times, bring a DV Deck to the shop with your own tape and ask to make a dub.

I used to purchase my own BetaSP tapes and make copies of all my stuff onto 90 minute stack reels.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

Now editing "Good Eats" in HD for the Food Network

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


Return to posts index


Bob Cole
Re: Demo reels
on Oct 31, 2005 at 2:36:43 pm

[Chaz Shukat] "a very clever, unique open on my reel, but unfortunately, a lot of the shots look pretty crappy because they originated from VHS dubs"

Probably not appropriate for your use, but just a couple thoughts:
- Since it's the open, you could just put that footage in a small window, or many small windows across the screen. Perhaps you won't be able to play it at full length, but that would tend to make the quality appear better.
- Degrade it further and make it look like a piece of film trailer, again, briefly as an opener.



Return to posts index

james bannfield
Re: Demo reels
on Jan 21, 2006 at 2:33:38 pm

I got an idea about hoe to send demo reels.

You can get a cheap flash drive copy files in quick time or windows media to the drive. If you can find someone that could put your logo and address info on the outside of the drive you will be sending them a constant reminder of your work after they have long erased your material, i know its not cheap but its a promo expense.


James B.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]