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Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?

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Tayla Blewitt-Gray
Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?
on Jul 16, 2015 at 3:52:59 am

So I've gotten news that I should be applying for a job as a video editor, I've tried contacting the company to find out their personal response but have yet to receive a reply.

I have created a couple of videos that have involved using existing material i.e. news broadcast edited all together, disney girls/women from different movies put to the Mulan song "A Girl Worth Fighting For."

In most cases I would never think about using this type of stuff but since the job involves editing videos such as gameplay and short films I feel it would show off my editing skills.

_______________________________________

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Mark Suszko
Re: Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?
on Jul 16, 2015 at 2:12:01 pm

It isn't ideal to have only that kind of stuff in the reel, but I wouldn't say to*never* show it. However, it has to be really, REALLY good.If it's just showing you can cut to a beat, that may not be enough. If it shows unexpected, yet effective transpositions or really creative re-purposing of a shot, that's a better example.

Have you seen any of the online demos of movie trailers re-cut into completely different styles? Like "Must Love Jaws:, or, the "zombie" version of "West Side Story"?



























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Tayla Blewitt-Gray
Re: Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?
on Jul 17, 2015 at 5:53:57 am

Thanks Mark,
I do in fact have a range of other films and videos that I have completely created from scratch, you have definitely answered my question though it now leaves me with a new dilemma after beginning the real. There seems to be a real split down the middle between videos that would work well with one music piece but then I am left with others (such as the videos created from existing material) that really need their dialogue and/or music to work. Any chance you could any this too?

Also yes I have seen those edited videos, I think my favourite is The Shining made in to a RomCom.





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If it makes you nervous, and excited, go do it.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?
on Jul 17, 2015 at 2:31:34 pm

If I understand your question, you want to cut all your demo footage to one music track. I don't think you *need* to. In fact, it could be detrimental to what an editor's demo reel should convey.

If I was looking at demo reels to pick an editor, cutting something to music is way down on the list of skills I'm looking for. Microsoft made a "robotic" edit program a couple years back that could detect a beat and make cuts in source footage, unattended. I can set up a plug-in in FCPX or Motion that automatically cuts or adds an effect on a music beat. That's no longer a major editing skill today.

I'm looking more for how the edit tells a story, and if the editor has a proper sense of montage theory; that is, does the way they combine footage a and b create a new meaning, "c", that wasn't there before? And That is why the recut movie trailers are good editing demos, IMO. They are deliberately re-shuffling sound and image to tell a completely different story, create a new and independent reality. That there is Kuleshov and Eisenstein territory, the fundamentals of our trade.


If you re-sequence your clips to all fit a music track, you've "broken" whatever ordering or structure those sequences originally intended. Demo reels are targeted to feature different things, so that if you are selling your ability as a cinematographer, showing a wild mash-up of "looks" you can deliver makes complete sense. But that makes a poor "editing" demo. As does just random footage you have no relation to, cut to a beat. If the footage tells a STORY while being cut to a beat, NOW it's an EDITING demo. I'd rather see a short multi-angle dramatic scene, or a comedic scene, cut together to convey mood, character, and plot, than a montage of unrelated clips cut to a beat.


One other point: these days, editors are called on frequently to be a jack of trades and also do compositing, color-correction, sound design, graphics composition, etc. A demo that shows a split screen or wipe between "before" and "after" examples to show raw and finished shots, can be a useful addition to the reel, especially if it shows how you can solve a hard problem, save a "ruined" take, create a believable scene out of nothing, etc.


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Tayla Blewitt-Gray
Re: Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:33:50 pm

Thank you yet again and I have think you have now fully answered all my questions.

_______________________________________

If it makes you nervous, and excited, go do it.


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Tayla Blewitt-Gray
Re: Can a demo reel include content that you edited using pre-existing material?
on Jul 18, 2015 at 8:03:53 am

Also if it helps to know for others, one thing that helped me get a sense on how to edit clips with multiple music piece was music video demo reels and checking out the different way they've used transitions. Definitely set me in the right direction.

_______________________________________

If it makes you nervous, and excited, go do it.


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