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Derek Van Gorder

Narrative Reel-- feedback appreciated!

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Working on a new reel and was hoping for some feedback. I'm taking a risk with an unusual approach, and am wondering how it strikes people on a cold viewing.


I'm a young DP and editor working the low-budget scene in NYC. For my past reels I would just put what I thought were my best shots to music, but this time around I wanted to try and better communicate coverage, setting, and establishing mood, while still conveying a range of work in different styles and genres. So I decided to incorporate sound design and emphasize certain moments and scenes; giving short impressions of completed films.



This is part and parcel of me trying to expand the scope of my work. I've found a lot of low budget films expect the DP to be more of a "lighting cameraman;" show up with equipment & know-how, and do the best job possible with limited time and resources. But what I want to prove in a narrative reel is my ability to take an active role in pre- and post-production, helping make key choices in art design, coloring, handling the budget, deciding crew positions, and in general taking more responsibility for the finished product.


This is a work-in-progress, so I would really appreciate some honest feedback. In general, do you think this concept of a reel makes sense, or is it inappropriate?

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Guest Walter Craig

Personal I liked it. You have a way of pressing a narrow depth of field to you dramatic advantage. Your reel is a collection of pensive moments it is a skill you wield well. The nature of a reel is that it only allows us the snip-its of dramatic interpretation. It does make me curious to see how the scenes played out, witch is how I see a story. Good luck in New York, maybe our paths will cross one day.



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