View Full Version : THE PERFECT REEL

02-11-2005, 05:26 AM
Hi, I want to start this thread for everyone’s benefit. I’m sure if we all get our head’s together we can come up with the almost perfect reel (if a thing exists)
Of course we don’t all want the same reel but we are Directors so what ever information we get I’m sure we will interpret it in our own way. I also recognize the fact that it does depend on the quality of your work/arena you’re trying to aim for.

Let me start.
I want to work directing drama/comedy for television. I also work on the occasional music video (I can really let loose and try new things) my ultimate goal when I have done the ground-work/developed enough is to work in film.

I tend to use DVD format. At the moment my reel includes.

First play comedy warning message “Feel free to copy/distribute this showreel”
The Tribe (Caveman comedy) full 24min film+2min trailer
Unlucky (Tarot short) full 5min film
I-remain (Music video) full 5min (showing my editing skills)
Heroes 4 Hire (feature/pilot) x2 4min scenes
All or Nothing (romantic drama) 4min scene (project not completed)

Original music (from films) across various menus
Lightwave director’s intro
Stills (production/directing)
Contact page
Heroes 4 Hire (feature/pilot) extra 3min scene

Things I have but not included.
The Electric Company (future feature film project) – possible posters/music/story boards
Exercise videos x2 1hr
Big corporate client management modules montage
Splats films – 5-20min films made by children under my guidance
Live event – Dance show
Sure got other stuff but can’t think of anything at mo

I’m thinking of loosing my first play warning message (cut straight to the films) also loosing Tribe full film. At the moment the disc is packed with lots of stuff/menus thinking now of going for one menu leading straight to everything.

What have you guys got on yours? Tips please.
J.P. :-X

02-11-2005, 07:22 AM
This brings up an interesting question. I've never made a reel for directing, I've only made editing demo reels. For an editing reel if I started with something that was 24 minutes long, I'd never get a job. I find that editing reels should not be longer than 5 minutes for everything you want to showcase. It's true that you really can't display your talents in 5 minutes, but I find that people hiring editors want it short and fast to make a decision. Does that same rule apply to directing, or do people hiring directors realize that you need more time in a demo reel?

Good thread J.P. Hopefully some more experienced people will post and we can all learn something.


02-11-2005, 09:24 AM
Director's reels come across my desk on a daily basis. The library at my company holds thousands of them, from Hollywood guys like Michael Bay, John Woo, Tim Burton to big commercial guys like Joe Pytka and Evan Benard to relative newbies like Kohl Norville...here is my advice: Keep it short. Show only your best. Never put a full movie, put either a trailer or 2 minute clip. Don't put incomplete projects. Don't put something just to "show off your editing skills" (because if you director TV you WILL NOT edit). Don't waste your time on "extras" because people simply won't watch them, same is true for a bio. Keep the reel to your work and simple contact name.

Use 3/4" or DVD, 3/4" is dying unbelievably quickly though.

And one more thing I'd advise. Send your reel to reps and production companies. TV shows and music video productions of any notable caliber won't even consider you, let alone find you if you aren't rep'd by players in the industry. If your work is *really* good, I'd focus on getting representation. If your work is OK (and by OK I mean pretty darn good) I'd try to get a job as a receptionist, a runner, an assistant producer, any entry level position at a production company and prove yourself. This is simply the way the business works.

I admire your dream to direct for TV. Get ready for a wild ride though.

02-11-2005, 09:38 AM
Thanks nato2b good advice. Knew I had gone over the top so I will go back to simple/best stuff.
J.P. :-X

J.R. Hudson
02-11-2005, 02:31 PM
Here are some good sites on what the Pro's are doing



I'd probally try and mimic that.

02-12-2005, 03:41 AM
Short and sharp. Thanks for the links John (Got a few ideas)
Mainly commercials, anyone got a link to drama reels?
J.P. *:-X

02-25-2005, 09:15 AM
I noticed the Union Jack. I shoot out of a production company in London, are you shooting out of London? Are you with a production company, or a rep, surely they would help you to put your reel together. Are you putting a reel together to get into a production company?