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August 12, 2011 at 1:26 AM #46144BlakeParticipant
Here is my Cinematography Demo Reel for 2011. Comments and critiques would be appreciated.
August 13, 2011 at 5:07 PM #190573
Ok, Blake, great effort. Can I be Simon Cowell for a moment – you want the truth? Here it is. The sound was powerful – where did you get that sound track? it had the suspense and the sit on the edge of your seat feel. But in a matter of 30 seconds, I am saying – what is the story? I am begging for a story here – action, thriller, motion, events – something, anything to match the music. It wasn’t there. No action. No people, no movement that corresponds to the music. if you used a gentle piece, such as a Violin (Meditation from Thais) with this, it would be better.
Like the way you did your Blake Larson sequence. But only once, not twice. Where is the title?
Go shoot it again and toss in a lot of action to match the music. Shoot it 10 times until you get it right. Keep this up and you will do OK, my friend
August 13, 2011 at 7:37 PM #190574
Some smooth moves, good static shots, shows a diversity of angles, but not really anything extraordinary or edgy or “out there” in any overwhelming creative matter. I’d remove the shot where you went from sky to street because using the auto exposure doesn’t imply a professional cinematographer. The music, supposing your reel would be used for acquiring shooting gigs, is not relevant, nor the cutting or building of it, so I don’t see any relevance to DF’s remarks focused on the music or A STORY. I wasn’t left “begging” for a story. I was left with the overall impression that you shot some solid shots, steady moving sequences and wondered about who and how you acquired the aerial shot. On the overall content, I suppose, if I were needing someone who could handle a project where the well-framed, steady shots and movements were highly important, I’d be convinced to try using you. If I was looking for CREATIVE or edgy out of the box I’d probably look elsewhere. For sure don’t make your demo reel any longer than 2 minutes.
This is a case where you’re wanting to showcase your cinematography skills, I assume, not yours or some other person’s editing prowess, or directorial ability. So david-forrester, I believe you probably are taking a equally assumed tact with your reply.
August 13, 2011 at 9:19 PM #190575BlakeParticipant
Thanks so much for the advice. I have never done paid Cinematography gigs so this was just something put together of stuff that I’ve filmed. As for the aerial shots, I was on vacation in Hawaii and happened to go on a helicopter tour and being who I am I brought my camera and tripod and just filmed from out of the window. These comments are so helpful as I am only 13 and am still developing my shooting style and still figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
August 13, 2011 at 10:27 PM #190576
Awesome, Blake, if I can be of any help on any aspect of video production just fire off at me. Glad to help, encourage, critique or comment. The VM forum is a great source for information, insight and opinion about a myriad of things … mostly all to do with video production, marketing and business. You’ve got a good eye, judging by the accumulation of visuals you put together. It’ll only get better, but just know that you will ALWAYS get opinions that are not ALWAYS objective, so take what you can use and file away the rest. All my best, Earl
August 14, 2011 at 1:19 AM #190577Luis Maymi LopezParticipant
The music is EPIC, but the video not so much. I agree with David-forrester “…what is the story? I am
begging for a story here – action, thriller, motion, events – something,
anything to match the music.”. Take some time learning how to craft a good story and go shoot again with your story in mind. Here is a great resource just for that:
August 14, 2011 at 7:07 AM #190578
13? Holy cow batman! That is incredible. I had to make a commercial for my product that I make to help sell it – an electrical device. I went through 8 scripts over 9 months and kept tossing them out. The story did not work; too long; too boring; irrelevant; lost attention etc. When I finally made it, that commercial, it was shown to 3 or 4 large chains (Fastenal, Canadian Tire, Do-It-Best) and these billion dollar companies bought into my product within 2 minutes. They loved it. The story sold instantly.
Earl is right 2 minutes – you can stretch it if you can hold the viewers attention – and that takes skill. I find that when I have a story to tell, the rest of the film making is so much easier. You need a plan – like a blueprint for a house. The greatest stories win Oscars or money or both. Titanic, ET, Star Wars 4-6. Story is king whether it be big or small.
But you know what the trick is to making a great video. Shoot, shoot , shoot. Shoot everything. Find a story and go get it. You will make a lot of crap at first. James Cameron did, but before long, he had ideas and with experience under his belt, pitched an idea of an alien to a group of investors. They bought in. The rest is history. Now he makes the most expensive movies in history and grosses the most in history. He hammers this point home – story is king.
August 14, 2011 at 11:02 AM #190579
A demo reel for a guy trying to show his cinematography skills and professional applications is not intended to tell anything more than he knows his way around a camera. Unless I am misinterpreting Blake’s purpose here, he’s not focusing on storytelling, editing or other skills, only wanting to show that he can shoot footage that looks right. Right? Blake?
When I look for a shooter I want to know that the shooter knows how to shoot, not write or develop a script, tell a story or even put the footage together in a storytelling or other meaningful manner. When I’ve requested reels or samples from shooters to asses their value to my project I’ve had NO interest in anything other than their camera handling skills. Period.
August 15, 2011 at 6:48 AM #190580
Earl: You win! Good points. I guess if you are looking for a good camera guy, this will do it. It all depends on what Blakes purpose is. I was imagining something deeper — camera work, composition, story told and how effective he was at doing that, getting and keeping the audience’s attention and on the edge of their seats (not an easy task), good editing.
When you look at Reverie by Vincent LaForet, he told a bit of a ‘story’ in 2 minutes that started the Canon 5D revolution. Fantastic choice of lenses, all night shots, action, adventure, close ups, thrills, an understood and universal story line, good music – it is all there. From that 2 mins, his life changed around. Wealthy dude now. In 2 years. Now that is a good video
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