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Re: The value of a proper editing reel

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Boyd McCollum
Re: The value of a proper editing reel
on Jan 1, 2008 at 8:02:38 am

[mark Raudonis] "Explain to me the difference between drop frame and non drop frame time code. "

would that be semi-colon vs. colon :-)

Just to add a perspective to this thread from a different pov, I would ask what the hiring supervisors are doing to make things better? It's all well and good to give advice on the importance of a reel, etc. and I think many editors applying for positions can do better. I've seen on a variety of forums, including here on the Cow, folks putting up reels, looking for feedback. (Not to mention the other advice I've heard from many folks that their reel never got them their jobs, but it was through their contacts. Heck, even one of the posters above recommended that approach - the "taking an editor out to dinner" type of thing.)

But each time the generic hiring supervisor receives something that doesn't quite make the cut, or could have made the cut, do they give feedback to the editors that were applying? Like saying "hey, your reel pieces are too long" or "your music montage should have been only 60 seconds instead of 2 minutes" or "sending us to You Tube is unprofessional," etc. The point I'm making is, some of the feedback needs to be given from the people hiring directly to the persons they are rejecting with specific reasons. Or else the person doesn't have the opportunity to improve their reel in a practical sense.

It also doesn't seem particularly hard to do that, just a simple "thank you for applying, your one piece reel bored us after 20 seconds and there were still 12 minutes to go and, oh btw, your You Tube screen name of Dips**t28 turned us off and scared our cat, so we threw it into the trash."

I would also suggest that even if a person's reel was one 12 minute piece, and the first minute kept you engaged, then it demonstrates that s/he can edit. If you can tell in 30 seconds or less that someone doesn't have it, then you can tell in 30 seconds or less if they do. In fact, it would seem the length of the reel (too long or too short) is really irrelevant. And as someone who does long form editing, seeing a 2 minute music video or a graphics heavy piece doesn't tell me anything about someone's storytelling.

Hiring supervisors could also make it more clear as to what they are actually looking for in a reel - long form, quick cuts, spots, graphics, etc. Part of the problem I think is vagueness on the part of the people hiring to clarify what exactly they are looking for. For instance, if reels are important to you, and you know what you are looking for in a reel, state it. For instance, say the reel should have a 60 second or less music montage, followed by "x" number of spots that demonstrate the following "whatever your requirements are". (for any decent, motivated editor, revising their reel, if necessary, to fit a specific request shouldn't be that big a deal.)

OTOH, even though I've never seen Walter Murch's reel, I'd hire him, even if he didn't know the difference between drop frame and non drop frame timecode. That's why I'd also hire Sean Cullen to be his E2 :-)

Happy New Year!

BTW, I think threads like this are necessary and helpful for editors, at least those who care, to make stronger and stronger applications each time out.

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