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Editing Demo Reel

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nateboston
Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 9, 2007 at 3:34:12 pm

I'm trying to cut a demo reel to highlight my editing skills, but keep running into the same problem - should I mix images from things I've already cut to music (like a music montage), or should I cut together short clips from work I've done, putting titles before each piece? The work can stand alone, but I feel like it would jazz things up a bit if it looked like a music montage.

I guess what I'm asking is, should I let the things I've cut play for themselves, or should I cut something entirely new from the work I've already done? Keeping in mind that the goal here is to land a better job.

If you were going to hire an editor based off of their Demo Reel, what would you be looking for?




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Shane Ross
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 9, 2007 at 6:52:54 pm

You cant' tell how good an editor is if all you see is a montage cut to music. Let the cuts play. THAT is how people determine your storytelling ability. If they wanted someone to cut Music Montages, then you give them a music montage. But if they want a storyteller, show them your stuff.

The only people I have seen with montages and music only are DPs, Production Designers, set designers, costumers, makeup...stuff where what you see is what you get. Directors, editors, actors, producers...full scenes.


Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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Chaz Shukat
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 10, 2007 at 12:26:04 am

I agree with Shane 100%. That being said, in addition to my "reel" of excerpts from shows I have cut, I have a musical montage style promo of me on my website as well.

Chaz Shukat
Author of "EDITING REALITY"
http://www.chazmoedit.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 10, 2007 at 6:18:58 pm

I open my demo with a short 30-sec montage...then move into the full scenes. Gotta give the feeling that not only did I edit A LOT, but a lot of good stuff.



Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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nateboston
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 11, 2007 at 5:36:41 pm

Thank you Shane and Chaz. I want to do some combination of music montage with selected video clips. Opening the entire reel with a :30sec montage sounds good. But what do you think of Intercutting the two idea's together? For example, the piece starts with a :15sec montage, but on the last video clip the music drops and all of a sudden you are in a scene from a fully edited video? As the scene comes to a close, you fade to black then quickly back to another short montage. The next montage would preface the next fully edited video clip (so if the next clip was about sailing, the montage would be a bunch of sailing/ocean images). Then back to black and so forth.

I have a number of great edited pieces, but they are corporate work and not very fast paced. I like the look/feel of a fast paced demo reel, so I'm trying to incorporate both together. My general feeling is that a demo should feel quicker than it actually is, and it should leave the audience wanting more - in this case wanting to employ me :-) I also want to highlight some graphic/3D skills I have, so I'm thinking of dropping in some of that work for the montage sections.

I really like the idea of everything you see in the reel being my own work (from graphics, to editing, to music selection, and in most cases to shooting). First and foremost I'm and editor, but if they ask, "Yes I happened to shoot that as well." You know what I mean?

Thoughts?



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Chaz Shukat
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 11, 2007 at 6:56:29 pm

Sounds like an interesting concept [nateboston] "But what do you think of Intercutting the two idea's together? For example, the piece starts with a :15sec montage, but on the last video clip the music drops and all of a sudden you are in a scene from a fully edited video? As the scene comes to a close, you fade to black then quickly back to another short montage. The next montage would preface the next fully edited video clip (so if the next clip was about sailing, the montage would be a bunch of sailing/ocean images). Then back to black and so forth."

Sounds like an interesting idea, certainly unique I would think. Give it a go!


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 12, 2007 at 4:30:44 pm

As someone who's edited for many moons and now in the process of interviewing editors, here's what I like to see:

Your creativity. What did you bring to the picture. Are you a great technician/button pusher that always needs a director or can you be thrown a script and elements and make it all sing? BE HONEST. My new interview process involves showing somebody the edit desk, toss them a tape & script and give them 2 hours to wow me. Seasoned pros will look at a script and tell me what's possible in a given time before even touching the computer; I can learn alot about file management, interpersonal skills, time management, and their real knowledge of editing.

This is the age when you need to wear many hats, the more skills you have the more marketable you are. I will never hire just an editor - you should know graphics, compositing, some audio manipulation, authoring, compression, shooting, something... not masters of all, but a solid knowledge of how they work together.

That being said, and with the capability of DVD and chapters there's no reason for a whimpy reel - show me a demo reel with a 'knock my socks off' montage as 1st play, then a menu of differing styles of projects - corporate training and sales, spots, sports, whatever. Cater to me/my industry. We don't have a generic demo used to sell prospective clients, each one is customized to show "we have experience in your type of project." We produce mostly corporate stuff, so trying to wow me with all music videos tells me you didn't research what type of company you are applying to.

Way back when my personal demo reel had not only the final versions of projects as guided by a director, but also my "editor's version" that had my personal versions as I would have done.

Hope this helps.

Steve


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nateboston
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:27:09 pm

Steve thank you! This is exactly what I've been looking for. My only concern is that I'm working on making a demo reel for my website, so I want that one to be a little bit of everything. On the site I'll also include a bunch of other works, but the demo should shine on it's own.

I really like the idea of the full feature DVD, opening with a killer demo, so that is what I'll be working on.

I'll keep you all posted as to when I finish it, because I'd love real feedback.

Thanks again!
Nate



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Steve Kownacki
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 19, 2007 at 5:50:47 pm

Even on a website, still wouldn't be bad to have the montage-y thing as a separate clip from your longer-context stuff. If you want it as all 1 demo, I'd keep the flashy-edit stuff as a transitional element around :07-:10 with a few text items and cool shots that transition to your longer stuff. Whole demo would only need to be 3-4 minutes and cover lots of ground. Even when we (meaning the industry) edit for clients we're trying to sell them, a product and service in :30. YOU are the cient/product in this case - sell yourself in :30.

Steve


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nateboston
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 20, 2007 at 3:56:40 pm

The goal of the website is to show all the other stuff you can't fit into the 3-4min demo reel. Sort of like the "show me all you've got" dvd you had talked about. I like the idea of creating a seperate montag-y thing for the site and the DVD, leaving it out of the actual demo.

But that makes me wonder what direction I should take the demo? Currently I work for a small post house who's clients are generally corporate or inudstrial. The stuff I've edited is just that - corporate and industrial. It's also not very exciting (good edits, but the subject matter is kind of slow). Do you think this matters? I know a good edit is a good edit, but I'm looking at this demo reel as a way to sell myself in a short period of time - and I only get one shot to make a good impression.

So is slower, maybe not as interesting stuff worth showing, as long as it's good? Or should I just focus on flashier, faster stuff to keep the attention of a possible employer?

Nate



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ben
Re: Editing Demo Reel
by
on Aug 13, 2007 at 7:36:47 pm

you totally know aaron and the boys at 118 fanueil street, don't ya nate!!!

i love running into people on the cow!


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nateboston
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Aug 15, 2007 at 6:32:58 pm

aaron who? i don't think i do know you...or do I?

i know i'm not familar with 118 fanueil street in boston though.



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grinner
Re: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 13, 2007 at 2:47:22 am

when I view reels for consideration, I look for their ability to edit, typography and graphics and if like what I see I ask em how long a look took em and on what software. Creativity has to b evident from the get-go... starting with the label/packaging. I need people who can finsh a show... mix audio, have a good for design and who are fast. My turn around time per project is usually less than a day. It otta look good but it has to go out by a certain time.
Your reel must state all of these things in 30 seconds... that you are capable, creative, different and well worh your asking price.



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nateboston
UPDATE: Editing Demo Reel
on Jul 30, 2007 at 6:21:04 pm

Hey all,

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions thus far. I have just fnished uploading a copy of my demo reel for everyone to view. I know there is a demo reel forum, but I thought I'd let everyone here know it's up as well. If you have any feedback, please move on over to the demo reel forum and comment there.

Thanks again!
Nate

http://www.postofficeeditorial.com/movies/nate_reel.mov



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