Question about making a demo reel.
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Topic: Question about making a demo reel.

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    Default Question about making a demo reel.

    When it comes to apply for filmmaking jobs, people often ask for a demo reel. Most filmmakers seem to make a demo reel by taking a lot of their best clips and putting them all together in a 60 second reel, and putting some music overtop, leaving the clips themselves, silent when it comes to sound FX.

    However, most of the projects I shot so far, include very dialogue oriented scenes, and sound is half of getting the story across. So I wonder if I should have a demo reel that is mostly dialogue, or should I have music, since that is what is traditionally done, it seems? Plus they say to edit to the music, but I'm not sure how to do that with a lot of dialogue footage. What do you think?

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    Last edited by ironpony; 12-05-2017 at 04:04 PM.

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    Pro Member   Question about making a demo reel. Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the fact that most of your work is dialogue based pigeon holes you as having a lack of variety. Yes demo reels are usually music behimd the footage... but not always only. Here is a demo reel from Kevin Hale (associate editor of The Grey). It uses well edited footage that incorporates the music with dialogue.


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    Okay thanks. I've seen a few demo reels like that. However, I feel that you don't really get a lot of from it. It's just a bunch of very brief glimpses of images.

    I guess that's good, but mind is mostly dialogue based so it will just be shots of actors saying lines, that will come off as random on their own. But I guess that's kind of what is happening in some of those clips as well. Do you think it shows that I have a lack of creativity though? I just liked choosing dialogue heavy short films, and avoided shooting movies that have action scenes in. Could that be bad, especially when applying to edit movies that are mostly dialogue driven anyway?

    Another thing is, what about projects I did where the footage already has music already in them? In those projects, I handed the edits over the audio engineer/sound mixer, then got the final mix back with the music already in them.

    So should I have all one music track over top, if some of the clips already have music in their mixes to begin with?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-06-2017 at 12:15 AM.

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    Pro Member   Question about making a demo reel. Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    Thats definitely bad to show such a limitation in film making. You need a more broad spectrum of styles to make you a desirable hire. From what you describe of your films, you lack the material to make a good demo reel at this time. One suggestion is to take that dialogue and edit it together to create a story.


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    I don't think I can really create a story from three different short films though. I mean they might as well just watch one one of the short films if that's the case.

    What about how their is already music in the scenes though? If I cut back and forth between a few shorts, it will be cutting back and forth between completely different musics.

    Basically this person who was hiring gave me her card and told me to send in a demo reel. Should I send in four separate projects instead, of trying to force them all together in a reel maybe?

    Here's a rough cut I made that includes some footage that is not dialogue oriented, mixed in with dialogue footage, but is this rough cut anygood?



    Basically each scene has it's own music, so I can't really put one main music track overtop, cause each scene has their own music, unless I silence the scenes entirely of course. What do you think?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-06-2017 at 01:05 PM.

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    Pro Member   Question about making a demo reel. Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    Have you stopped to think that you have not created enough films to make a demo reel? You may be way ahead of yourself. Broaden your scope of films before messing with this. You do not have enough material, much less the right material.

    To answer your question though, maybe its just me but I dont delete my footage after I edit a film. Since there is no way you filmed with a musical background, you should have all those scenes without music. If not, you screwed the pooch and made a huge error.


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    Well I figured I had enough for a demo reel as long as I keep it short. I made it shorter if that helps:



    Normally I don't delete my footage but in film school we edited on mac computers, with mac software. Now that I am done school, I have still have a PC at home, and premiere pro projects of the edits will not work on the PC premiere pro. I could recut the entire projects all over again, but in order to apply for an editing job, they want a demo reel sooner than that. But I do not know much about sound mixing, and would have to find a sound designer to remix the foley into the scenes all over again. I have the original foley and sound effects but it all sounds very dry, unless someone with experties does the mixing.

    The only mixed products I have of my scenes, are ones with the music. If I recut the scenes, I will have to find someone to remix them properly.

    The demo reel you showed me in your example though, switches musics throughout the reel. So is it okay if I do that as the music switches in between scenes?

    Would it just be better if I sent them the original short films, instead of a reel then? I have a total of seven projects, so I can send them links to those if that's better.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-06-2017 at 08:00 PM.

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    Senior Member   Question about making a demo reel. Question about making a demo reel. Question about making a demo reel. Walter B's Avatar
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    Your problem isn't mac vs PC.
    It is you using CS5.5 from 2010 and your school probably using CC2015 or 2017.
    Using the same version (or a newer one) works perfectly across platforms. I do this a lot without any problems.


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    Oh okay thanks, I was told that the new version would not work with PC, if I edited in a mac, by one of the classmates. If it does, then great! Thanks.


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