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What goes into a rec.'s reel?


Edmond Smith
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How about asking your show's assistant editor to make you quicktimes of all the "Boom In SHOT" outtakes?!

A demo reel is always what no budget producers ask me for right before they say nasty words like "defurral" and "the next one(s) will have money"

Stick to your resume, better yet link your IMDB

Eric

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This year, I'm thinking of making a demo reel..  I'll stand in front of the camera with boom pole in hand, and it will go something like this.. "This is me holding my boom pole.. this is me leaning in for the shot.. ".

When producers ask me for a demo reel.. This is my reply.  "Sound Guys (or Girls) don't have demo reels, we are NOT performers, we are engineers and problem solvers on your set."

Take this as ONE red flag on your interview.  Too many red flags.. means get out ASAP, a waste of your time.

-Richard

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I agree that reels are useless, but your resume should be longer than one page (including credits)  or a producer will assume you are inexperienced.

I like the one-page resume.  It is often the advice of many articles written about job searching, and I think it applies to this business too.  You can list your "best" or "most recent" credits and then offer a link to your IMDb or state that additional credits and references are available.

I am curious what others do.

Regarding a reel, I agree with all of the above.  Sound guys don't have reels, so if you are asked for one, state that it is not common for sound mixers to have a reel, but you would be happy to offer some post-production references.

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One more for the "no reels" hat.

The only people who have ever asked me for a reel have turned out to be greenhorns or bullshit artists who have no idea what they're doing.  Generally offering low/no/deferred pay.  Any film with a proper budget is going to go through some form of post-sound before it gets printed, and generally the production sound will be almost unrecognizable next to the finished product.  So even if we did have reels, they wouldn't be showcasing OUR work.

Best thing, after a resume, is personal references.  Someone asks you for a reel, give him the phone number of a satisfied producer/director/post-sound guy you've worked with, instead.  Obviously ask permission, first.  Hearing about how great and professional you are on set or how much time and money you saved post by getting great-sounding stuff is a lot more likely to make him hire you than anything else you could do.

For my resume, I have my "most visible" credits listed.  Things that have done festival runs, been on TV, stuff you can go to blockbuster and rent, etc.  Basically the stuff that's most likely to be verifiable.  If it's not on imdb and it's not on DVD, how's whoever is hiring supposed to know you didn't just make shit up?  That's how I look at it, anyway.  I try to keep it to one page usually, although the current draft is closer to 2.

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I have a reel of sorts at my web site that is simply a YouTube playlist of trailers and raw clips posted by the director of "City Island". It's there because I want to have interesting, innovative stuff on my mixer web site, and that makes sense to me.

Nurse Jackie Season Three Trailer

Nobody has ever asked me for a reel. If someone were to ask, I would definitely take that as an experiential red flag.

I've stuck with the one-page resume, naming one category (since I've been doing this long enough to be able to say this) "Selected Feature Films". My limited television and documentary credits do not allow such a designation.

There are two other resume pages I've created but not yet sent out that are #'s and emails of references, and a collection of reviews culled from hand written thank you notes, emails, and blog posts.

Recently included a short paragraph at the end of the one-page list of projects that summarizes my gear outlook and goals and I tweak the carts.

-- Jan

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I do production sound, not post, though I would not automatically panic if I got a mass potential crew email saying "send a link to your reel" from a producer, but if they specifically asked for a sound reel, then you know they are green (and should proceed with caution! (or run away)).

They should know the sound you capture, and mix, on set is probably molested a lot before the final product is released. If they are asking for raw recordings from location, they are probably green enough to freak out because it doesn't sound like the movie they watched the previous weekend.

I also agree with the one page resume of your most recent, or best, credits. Link to a personal website and/or IMDB. Personal website is probably better because some things will never show up on IMDB (commercials, etc). You can also list equipment, or some other sort of bio that might sell you to the client.

Have something on the bottom of the resume saying "references on request", and have some ready from producers etc that will speak well of you. Newish producers love an excuse to call experienced producers, and you just gave it to them!

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  • 7 months later...

I have to disagree, the showreel page on my website is one of my most viewed pages according to Google Analytics. I have had many people comment on the reel which would indicate that they have watched it and the time spent on the page indicates that most people watch all of it. So much so I am updating it again this new year.

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I have to disagree, the showreel page on my website is one of my most viewed pages according to Google Analytics. I have had many people comment on the reel which would indicate that they have watched it and the time spent on the page indicates that most people watch all of it. So much so I am updating it again this new year.

I just went to your showreel page and even without playing it, I see why many people like that page. <g>

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Websites (and resumè pages therein) have all but replaced actual physical resumès... that said, a creative site with video images can be an effective tool in landing gigs -- ultimately, I think a potential client is going to make a decision based on a # of factors -- probably summed up into a general overall 'feeling' as to what one might have to offer his/her production and at what cost.

I have video content on my site, but am definitely not so naive as to think it puts any indication of my particular skills as a Mixer into the mind of a potential client. It's there purely for the sake of having some variation of content and perhaps to keep someone visiting my site longer or more frequently.

Let's face it, we work in a fairly nepotistic industry -- to a large degree, it's who you know. Network, network, network... and then network some more : )

~tt

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" they have watched it "

but have they listened to it ?? ???

First of all it is Internet sound, so not for audio snobs .. :(

and is it all raw production tracks ?? ???

If not, what does it demonstrate?? That your tracks are fixable :wacko: ??

Granted it is internet sound and as I also look after post on a lot of the projects I am on, I indicate that with a super for each clip. I think more than anything it gives someone you haven't worked with before confidence in seeing the type of productions you have been involved with.

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FWIW, Çhris, I think it's a nice addition to your web site. Even if it doesn't showcase your actual raw production tracks, it still lends credibility as to some of the types of jobs you're hired for.

+1

It also shows a level of dedication to your craft -- that you would take the time to build a more elaborate site and promote yourself in a variety of ways. Every little bit helps, right?

~tt

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That's funny John,

I was actually just visiting your site 30 seconds ago... there's a lot there! You'd need a little time on your hands to tackle that, for sure. Websites have to be a labor of love -- kinda like an old Porche... I had an English Prof. tell me once that you never really finish a written work -- you revise and revise and revise, until the law of diminishing returns kicks in and you simply give up on it and move on -- I've noticed this applying to several aspects of my life -- websites included. In any case, good luck if you decide to tackle it -- I don't envy you for the countless hours you'll no doubt be forced to spend building and tearing down, re-building, tweaking, gnashing teeth... I'm sure it will be a great site whatever you decide.

~tt

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