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SHOW REEL EDITING and SUBMISSION TIPS - PART 1

blog reels submission tips Aug 07, 2019

Many stunt performers, be it new or established, still make many errors, when they present their reel to coordinators, action directors or producers.  Reel 'Elevator Pitches', can cast you in a good light, or a bad light.  Below are a few tips in this quick, 2 Part Reel Submission Series brought to you by Stunt Education, from the experience of Award Winning Stunt Coordinator, Andy Armstrong. (click here to view resume)

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • DO NOT MAKE YOUR REEL TOO LONG!
    • With the hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of reels people submit for every show, no stunt coordinator, nor any member of the casting personnel, has the time to watch EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, let alone, watch every single reel in FULL! To think that they will, is naïve. Do the math, do not delude yourself and be cognizant (aware) of the casting personnel's time!

Now, if you are up for a job, one that few are up for, still keep this in mind and submit a shorter reel. However, you may also accompany it with a larger body of work of which the VIEWER has the choice to view more, or not.

  • DON'T PUT ALL THE GOOD CLIPS, AT THE END
    • This again, will probably NOT be watched due to time constraints. So put the GOOD STUFF in the FRONT of the Reel.  Hook your audience in, with a clip that will keep them interested, intrigued or even wondering if another one is coming.  This will increase your chances of the viewer watching your reel in full. If you do not have such clips, put your best skill first and think outside the box.  Don't lead with Stupidity though. (We'll save that subject for a future blog)...
  • DO NOT USE "R" RATED MUSIC! This will DEFINITELY ISOLATE most of your audience.  If your demographic is older, which most established PRODUCERS & DIRECTORS ARE, playing hard core, heavy metal, or hip-hop, or gangster rap, with cursing every second, will probably get muted while watching. When video is muted, it will certainly lessen the impact of YOUR REEL

If you do not believe this fact, try watching your favorite movie WITHOUT SOUND. If you say the film (or reel) has the ‘same impact’, you are being disingenuous or flat-out, intellectually dishonest.  Music is foundational for setting tone, be it in movies, OR IN YOUR REEL!

So again, find strong music for your reel, that is still pretty neutral OR, use the RADIO, NON-EXPLICIT version of that heavy metal, hip-hop or rap song that you want to use.

  • BE AWARE OF COPYRIGHT RULES.
    • That is, when posting your reel to certain platforms! We all have experienced this I'm sure.  But due to Copyright Rules and Algorithms, your REEL may bet flagged and lose its music too.  So, just as if your reel was MUTED, thus causing a LOSS of impact, the Algorithm may essentially, MUTE YOUR REEL.  Now when you send it, it show's up lame!
  • COMMON SENSE TIP: Post your reel on multiple platforms, like YouTube & VIMEO, as to see where it is flagged most and taken down.  Then, stick to the site where it is not flagged.  Different sites have different deals with or different terms of service, so not all will flag the same, specific clips or songs. 

PRO TIP: VIMEO IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Their UI, or "User Interface" and overall technology is far superior AND you are less likely to be flagged due to their Terms of Service!

  • DO NOT CUT IT YOURSELF. 
    • We know, this sounds harsh and seems out-of-step in this modern day, where every computer has an Editing Program.  But, just because you own a football, does NOT make you a Football Player.  Just as those who own an Editing Program, does NOT mean you are now a professional Editor!  Just because you can take a reaction, does not mean you are a Stuntman or Stuntwoman either, right?  – you get the point.

So, from Pacing, to cut length, blending, flow, the art of drawing in your audience, Epic Editing, vs ACTION Cutting, etc., are all things NOT easy to portray within your reel and most people, who are not pro editors, do not understand such things.

NOT ALL REELS ARE CUT EQUALLY!

(...continued on our next blog, next week)

 

To learn more NOW and to dive deeper into many other subjects, click this link: Stunt Coordinator, Monthly Mastermind here.

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