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Corporate Sizzle Reel

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Erin RakestrawCorporate Sizzle Reel
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 4:10:29 pm

Hey there,

I have a corporate sizzle reel I am cutting and was just sent over the VO which is about 30 seconds long. However, the reel is 2 minutes long. Is it better to splice up the VO or just have it in the beginning and have the rest of the video montage continue? Any advice would be awesome!


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Mark SuszkoRe: Corporate Sizzle Reel
by on Feb 21, 2012 at 4:42:08 pm

Shorter is better.

Laying down audio, then cutting picture to it, works, and is commonly done for things like news reports. The advantage is that it is fast and easy to organize.

But the disadvantage is, it doesn't maximize the power of integrating image and sound and playing them off against each other. Sometimes, narrative should lead image, and sometimes image needs to set up the frame, before you inject narrative. Ideally, you know your footage and then craft the copy around it, in order to leverage that power of montage. It is what separates real editing from simple cutting.

I can't tell you if cutting up the audio and distributing chunks of it thruout the 2 minutes will be effective, without seeing the copy and the footage. I would say that if you choose that route, that you're going to gave to get creative inserting music, sfx and other audio bites in those "lulls".

Finally, you have two minutes of footage, but who's to say you must use every frame of it? Sometimes (I get this a lot) you fall in love with your footage so deeply, you insist the audience must see it. All of it. But remember: they don't know what you have and have not used. They only go by what you actually let them see. They don't, in the slightest, care that you cut out a scene you found really riveting. Because they don't know you cut it.

If the product can stand on the footage you've left them to see, and it fits the overall message better, then killing the piece you loved is the right thing for that audience. If only George Lucas could learn that lesson! ("I COULD add ten minutes of better character and plot arc development here... but no, I'll jam in 20 more minutes of irrelevant but flashy spaceship battle sequences instead...")

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Erin RakestrawRe: Corporate Sizzle Reel
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 5:16:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, because I got the Voice Over after sending them a cut, it was a little more of a challenge. They were supposed to construct a VO from the cut footage. However, because it's a pretty short and generic VO I can't decide if the images work in the same order. If you wouldn't mind critiquing this piece, I would greatly appreciate it. Because they are on a budget, I don't know that I can rework the entire thing.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Corporate Sizzle Reel
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 9:15:55 pm

I commented in the other thread just now. The tent ending is wrong; that's assembly, a beginning, it should go towards the front and go with narration about understanding how a good event is "built from the groind-up". END with the logo again. BIG. And a phone number and email or URL along the bottom.

The line about their philosophy translates as: "our philosophy is that we're the most experienced". That's not really a philiosophy. Script really needs a re-write.

Collapse it all down shorter, is my overall advice. Lose the boy liking the food or at least cut the useless "and it's free" part, that doesn't help anything. The guy testimonial: "We couldn't do it without them", DOES work. he needs an identifying lower third to give him more credibility with your key audience.

The pretty wide shots and crowds, you're too in love with. Montage them down much tighter, a second or two per shot. Leave them wanting more.

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