Is there enough good for a demo reel.

 In Projects

Not every project we saw the other night was a success. At least not from my vantage point in the executive producer’s chair. Does that meant the projects were wasted endeavors? Of course not. When you are working at 4381 Productions, your goal should be developing a demo reel and getting paying jobs in the near future. So, with each project, ask yourself “Do I have five to ten seconds of quality here?” If you can get enough material to start building a reel, then each project was a success. The sad fact about life in the reel world is that people don’t want to see your entire projects. They want to see enough of several projects to gauge your level of expertise. Five to ten seconds is all you need. Festivals and contests want to see your whole project, potential clients and employers want to see a little from a lot. The more styles you have and the more quality you have; the better off you will be. Also, almost nobody cares about your GPA. Each project should get you enough material to replace the weakest material on your reel. There is a saying about work in the freelance realm, “It’s for the meal or the reel.” You will take jobs to get food on the table and a roof over your head. You will also take jobs that get you no money but new material to market yourself. Everything we create in 4381 Productions is for the reel.

With that in mind, I cut together something from everyone. I’m still not happy with things and that is my own burden to bear. So, with that unhappiness in mind, I cut two versions of a demo reel from the Inspired by Song projects. One is to the music of Grant Lee Buffalo. They were an incredible band in the 90’s that never got the exposure they deserved. Their lead singer, Grant Lee Phillips, a member of the Creek Native American tribe, had a four octave vocal range or damn close to it.

The other video is the same footage and edit put to the music of Tame Impala. They came around after I was already an old man and I lacked the passion and the time to learn more about them (him, actually as only one guy does everything).

I started the edit with and even slower and more down tune called “Oh, the Joy” from Trixie Whitley. She’s got an amazing voice and you should give her a listen. You should also check out her late father, Houston native, Chris Whitley. The man could play a guitar and sing like you can’t imagine. Drugs derailed his career, fans resurrected it and tragically cancer took his life way too soon.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Josh Garfield

    Since we didn’t have a chance to watch everyone’s projects last night in class, I do not know where all the scenes in the demo reel come from. However, I really liked the shot at around the 0:21 mark in both videos, where Gabe is looking at his poster of Eminem on the wall. I like the way that half the room is illuminated while the other half is dark, showing his conflicting emotions towards Eminem.

    Another shot I like is at the 0:48 mark, where I’m throwing the ping pong ball across the table. The way the camera refocuses on to the cups is a nice touch, one that I didn’t notice last night as we were watching.

  • Gabe Theis

    My favorite shot of the video would be the Alyssa’s Jack Daniel’s shot. Adding a unique perspective to a scene can provide a lot of insight, and it felt like the Jack Daniels bottle is a character unto itself.

  • Jimmy Joseph

    I liked how all clips from the projects made their own transition to the next footage, flowing well with the song. The shot of the beer shots with Alex coming into the frame the next shot, I thought that was brilliant with the lighting as his head lays drunk. On the “Happiness” track, with the slower pace of the song, the shot of Gabe at 0:22 I thought that was well lit, I liked how that footage fit in with the song. I also liked the shot of Cervando fighting with Guillermo and Ruben, with the tight close up of Alex’s face. The framing of that shot I liked a lot as it shows Alex’s face in focus, while the back action is blurred. And to end it all, the lighting and old school feel to the shot of the guy listening to his headphones while eating, I liked that shot how it is framed as well with the head room as the gestures of the actor go with each songs flow, the lighting really fascinates me of that shot.

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