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Old Jan 5, 2011, 02:03 PM   #1
AWalkerStudios
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Check out my new cinematography reel



Thought I'd share my reel of work I completed over the past year. 2 feature films and 20 or so short films as Director of Photography. All DSLR work. I made an online edit using Avid Media Composer 5 and colored using a combination of Magic Bullet Colorista and Looks.

Let me know what you think!
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 11:55 PM   #2
matteusclement
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looks great. shows some great shots, has a great beat and shows a little bit of everything.
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try this:
take an empty pop can, place it on the floor, smash it flat, now try to pull it back to how it was.
see how it looks like crap? that's called compression
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 12:01 AM   #3
Tyler23
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Looks great. I'm jealous, DoP has been my dream job for years now..
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 01:18 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I'll be shooting a couple more features in the coming months. I hope to start work directing my feature within the year.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 12:13 PM   #5
Kees Braam
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It looks really good. Some shots really have the look and feel of 35mm film. Nice work!
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 01:40 PM   #6
Policar
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I think some of this is good, but it needs to be cut down and reorganized substantially. To be honest, you have an okay eye but the lighting is at times sloppy or technically poor (and at times good) and there are no scenes that are long enough to sustain interest and prove you can block and cover a scene properly. As someone once complained about my reel, which is probably worse than this, "it's like an mtv greatest hits montage; I would never hire based on that." Also, this would work better at half the length with some stuff cut entirely. Some of this looks great, though, and I'm sure it will get you work. But it would get more work if it were re-edited so the opening stuff was stronger (though the first shot looks awesome) and it was shorter and more focused overall.

With that out of the way (and it is pretty good overall), I'm wondering if I could PM you about how being a freelance DP is working out for you. I'm considering giving it a try but I can't figure out what day rate to ask. Thinking anywhere between $80-$150 with camera and lights, not sure if that's outrageously high.

Last edited by Policar; Jan 6, 2011 at 01:54 PM.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 04:50 PM   #7
THX1139
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Originally Posted by Policar View Post
I think some of this is good, but it needs to be cut down and reorganized substantially. To be honest, you have an okay eye but the lighting is at times sloppy or technically poor (and at times good) and there are no scenes that are long enough to sustain interest and prove you can block and cover a scene properly. As someone once complained about my reel, which is probably worse than this, "it's like an mtv greatest hits montage; I would never hire based on that." Also, this would work better at half the length with some stuff cut entirely. Some of this looks great, though, and I'm sure it will get you work. But it would get more work if it were re-edited so the opening stuff was stronger (though the first shot looks awesome) and it was shorter and more focused overall.

With that out of the way (and it is pretty good overall), I'm wondering if I could PM you about how being a freelance DP is working out for you. I'm considering giving it a try but I can't figure out what day rate to ask. Thinking anywhere between $80-$150 with camera and lights, not sure if that's outrageously high.
Well, I wasn't going to say anything to rain on the dudes happy parade - after all, he wasn't asking for crit. But since you took the lead, I might as well add a few of my observations.

I agree, the piece is too long and repetitive - I kept reaching for the stop button, but was morbidly curious. There isn't much of an overall message - it's more of a random montage without meaning, had I not known ahead of time, I wouldn't have known what I was watching. The OP would have been better off to introduce each film he did with some kind of titling, and then show 5 or 6 SHORT clips from each. Another thing that really bothered me was the quality inconsistency between each shot. Some had too much noise due to camera gain/high ISO and they looked terrible - should not have made it into the reel. Only put the best of the best!! Some shots were decently lit, others not so much. Some shots were out of focus so slightly that it looked like a mistake. The OP needs to fire his focus puller! Lock down the focus or throw out the footage. I'm okay with some stuff being out of focus for artistic reasons, but you really need to give the viewer something to lock their eye onto. And finally... a lot of repetition going on there. Once a scene is shown, never come back to it later unless it furthers the message. Anything beyond that comes across as filler. Oh, wait... there's more! Watch pacing - there should be a nice rhythm with the edit. Some stuff fast... others slow, but always with rhythm. Nice music by the way... was it original? If a person is creating a reel to market themselves, they really must use original footage and sound. If not, it looks amateur and film-student like.

Okay, I'm out. Keep shooting.

Although the following link is more for motion graphics, it will give an idea of some decent quality reels.

http://reelroulette.net/

PS, anyone who is considering hiring out as a DP should go by a "Day Rate" (instead of hourly) for your talent, and then charge equipment rental on top of that. If the project is being done on the cheap, then just charge a bit higher day rate that includes the equipment.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by THX1139 View Post
PS, anyone who is considering hiring out as a DP should go by a "Day Rate" (instead of hourly) for your talent, and then charge equipment rental on top of that. If the project is being done on the cheap, then just charge a bit higher day rate that includes the equipment.
Yeah, the trick is that if I get hired no one wants to rent additional lights and I'm stuck with a couple lowels or something and I get stuck with bottom of the barrel work that looks bad since, well, no lights. My background is in lighting specifically.

I figure if I rent a full dSLR kit (lenses, filters, tripod, etc.) with a set of fresnels, a kinoflo four light, a 1.2k hmi, reflectors, c-stands, flags, etc. for $100 a day I'll have to get work. The difficulty is affording that stuff in the first place.
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Old Jan 7, 2011, 02:15 AM   #9
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While I have to say I appreciate the feedback, if you can't tell the difference between ISO noise and film grain I'm not sure how to take it.

Let me start out by pointing out, only 4 of those shots had anything but available light in them. The shots that did have lights were lit by 2Ks on risers and a couple tweenies. For the rest you are seeing stock emulation coloring and multiple grain passes to please the clients.

As for the cutting style, anyone who thinks labeling shots and letting them play themselves out is a good idea will never get an agent. You need to sell yourself, and this is a very superficial business. Fast, quick and flashy usually does it, but I'm more of a slower cutter so I went for a hybrid. Just enough to tease. Also, the need for original music isn't paramount. I know this from experience considering the fact that I've gotten representation through this reel. Oh and just have a look at Vincent Laforet's reel. Longer than mine and with non-original music.

Really, it all boils down to relativity. To some, it may be too long and not good enough. In my case, the right people think it's just what they're looking for.
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Old Jan 7, 2011, 06:48 AM   #10
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I loved it, very impressive work.
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Old Jan 7, 2011, 10:12 AM   #11
Policar
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I was being nice, I thought the majority of this was mediocre and I guess the shots with natural light were those I thought were well-lit.

Time lapse: looks good.

Second shot: too flat and muddy (better shot another time of day), camera shakes during tilt down, axial cut doesn't work, but the third profile shot of him running looks nice. The next scene with the windows in frame looks good but doesn't convey anything visually beyond looking okay and you can see the sensor skew altering the fast motion rendering. Seems like a random shot that happened to look cool, totally out of context. The guy falling after that looks cool (and nicely lit; I guess it's natural light, my bad) but he falls out of focus in a way that looks...not intentional. Next shots are shaky beyond the realm of what's excusable with a skewy dSLR, poorly lit. Past that point I didn't even want to keep watching, but a few clips did stand out as nice, mostly the exterior stuff.

So you've got an eye, maybe slightly above average, but no apparent technical skills and no skills covering scenes, using camera moves to convey meaning and emotion, which should be your job. Every seen that looks "lit" is lit poorly. If you think learning how to emulate film grain makes you a DP, you are wrong. The job is about using camera movement, lighting, filtration, and collaborating with the director on coverage patterns to tell a story visually and for maximum emotional impact. There's not a lot of evidence of those abilities here. And Vincent Laforet is a hot-shot photographer, not a DP. There are better people to model your reel off of.

You still get the last laugh since you have representation and I'm still dreaming of doing this job years down the road. And, again, you do have a good eye, both in terms of composition and color work. Congrats on the success but sorry you're unwilling to take constructive criticism.

Last edited by Policar; Jan 7, 2011 at 11:02 AM.
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