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Sean Azze

Director's Reel

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So, I get the sense that from a dp's reel, you have to present a montage of varying shots that look pretty and demonstrate your skills with lighting and composition. But for a director's reel, how do you decide what shots from your work to throw into the mix?

 

I have mainly music videos and commercials on my reel, so I don't have a collection of scenes that I can throw together had I a repertoire of shorts. So where does that leave me? What should the pacing be when laying these shots out?

 

Thank you to everyone for your time...

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What you may want to do is create a 30-60 second montage of images, then put your best stuff in as whole pieces or as parts of a whole. When looking at a director's reel, it is of no value to just see a "montage". That doesn't tell me anything about your directing skills. For some types of dp reels (narratives and docs come to mind), that isn't good enough either.

 

I would suggest putting in your spots in their entirety - they're short at only 30 or 60 seconds each. Depending how many you have, limit these to 3-4 of your best. For your mtv stuff, it's up to you. Maybe have your best one, that showcases your strengths as a director, in it's entirety. Then you could take 30-60 second sections of other ones that add something new to what we've seen. Try not to duplicate what talents you are showcasing. It's similar to writing, where each scene carries the story forward. Each piece in your reel should reveal something new about you. You might want to put together a list of what makes a good director and then a list of what your strengths are and then match those up with your footage.

 

I would also add in whether you were the writer and/or editor on any of these pieces - even as a lower third as the piece is playing.

 

The standard demo reel suggestion of front loading the reel with your best stuff stands. You could have a statement at the end that the viewer can request complete pieces and that you have additional samples available. And don't forget to put your name, position, and contact information at the beginning and the end of the reel.

 

Good luck!

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