6 Tips for Better Showreel – How to Get the Jobs You Want

In the following article, I put together 6 helpful tips for making a better showreel. Read on to find out how you can use the current home quarantine to produce a better reel for your filmmaking business.

Image credit: Jakub Han

The current situation around the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic spreading around the world has already affected many industries including our filmmaking industry. Many colleagues now have to spend time at home isolated as lots of jobs have been canceled or postponed.

To look on the bright side, there are always things that can be done even during the home quarantine – make sure to check our previous article on the topic Coronavirus: 7 Things Filmmakers Can Do While All Jobs Are Down. One of the tips my colleague Jeff mentioned, is working on the new reel. Making a new showreel is something many filmmakers are putting off – I am definitely guilty of that. Now that everyone has some spare time, it could finally work out. Let’s take a look at my six tips on how to make a better reel.

1. Only Include Relevant Shots for the Type of Work You Want to Get

This is a very important thing to realize before you start putting the reel together. Answer yourself the question – who do you want to impress and what kind of work you want to get with the reel. Then include only the shots which will get you there. If you want to work as a DP on feature films, include well-lit scenes from a narrative piece you shot. If you want to shoot automotive commercials, include well-executed shots of cars. If you want to work as a colorist, don’t forget to include before/after clips of grading examples.

Image credit: Jakub Han

2. Shoot Spec if You Need Extra Footage

For a reel, you can even shoot spec stuff if you really need to. Simply put, spec is a personal no-budget project where you have a high degree of artistic freedom and you can showcase what you are capable of. For instance, if you want to shoot cars, but you didn’t get any jobs from that segment yet, just do a spec project and include the desired shots in the reel.

3. Keep it Short

Keep your reel short. You should not be afraid to throw away shots if they are not relevant and don’t fit in the reel. Be ruthless when editing. I think, on average, a good showreel should only be around one minute long.

Even when keeping the showreel short enough, don’t cut too fast. Also, don’t just jumble shots together. It is better to rather throw away some shots, than shorten all of them just to keep them in the reel.

Image credit: Jakub Han

4. Catch the Viewers’ Attention at the Beginning

It is important to catch the viewers’ attention in the first few seconds. The first moments will decide whether people continue watching further or not. Include your best work at the beginning. Many professionals say that the first 5 shots should tell everything someone needs to know about you.

Usually, it is good to include very good shots at the end as well. I would include the best ones at the beginning, the next best ones at the end, and the rest in the middle – don’t forget to choose/adjust the music accordingly to match the pace of the reel. If possible, try to group the shots so that they go well together and form a little “stories”.

5. Pay Attention to Audio as well – Fitting Music and Sound FX

This one depends on the focus of the reel. For some roles, like for instance a DP, this is not as important as other factors, like lighting in the shots. Good sound design, however, always makes the reel more interesting. The least you should do is choose a fitting music piece and edit in the visual images in harmony with it.

For a production house offering videos as finished products, complete sound design is quite important in my opinion.

Image credit: Jakub Han

6. Get Feedback from Friends and Colleagues to Improve the Reel Before Publishing

After finishing the first version of the reel, make sure to send it for a review to a couple of good friends or colleagues from the industry. They might give you a few useful hints and tips on how to improve the reel even more. Don’t be too lazy not to adjust and improve the reel before finally sending it out and publishing it. The reel will then be useful for you for quite some time, so make it as good as possible.

One last thing – do not keep your previous reels online once you release the new one. People should only be able to find your latest showreel.

When was the last time you updated your showreel? Are you planning to do it now in the upcoming days? Do you find my tips useful? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

The post 6 Tips for Better Showreel – How to Get the Jobs You Want appeared first on cinema5D.

Skillshare Announces “Join for Free” & “Stay for Free” Options

We’re in this together, and we want to help.” With this bold statement, the well-known learning platform covering all types of creative classes opens up their doors widely, not only to those who would like to join for the first time but also pledges to help those in need.

Skillshare - Explore Your Creativity - Many Free Options (Credits: Skillshare)

Skillshare – Explore Your Creativity – Many Free Options (Credits: Skillshare)

Skillshare currently contains 69 different categories of lectures and training classes from the area of “Creative” theory and practices and many more courses from other fields such as “Business”, “Technology” and “Lifestyle”. Whether you’d like to deepen your knowledge in the domains of your choice, just like “Cinematography”, “Video Editing” or “Storytelling” or if you’re up to expand your capabilities towards new frontiers, now might be a great time to do that!

Skillshare – What’s in it for me?

Skillshare now offers four solutions on how to join for free or stay for free even if you already have an account!

  1. Students with .edu or .k12 email addresses from colleges or high schools (16+ of age) are eligible for two months of free “Premium Membership”. Link: Skillshare – School Verification
  2. For educators, teachers or staff members of respective educational institutions that are looking to set up bulk memberships for their students, Skillshare is available at sfteducation@skillshare.com for further consultation and setting up a group account.
  3. Any first time user with a credit card but without making commitments and an anytime cancel option may instantly get access HERE.
  4. There is yet another option for anyone, even current members of the service. Skillshare offers two free months of memberships to a limited amount of people if they have to endure hardship during COVID-19 and apply HERE. Anyone can apply daily through March 2020, and the team decides within 7-10 days from the date of application based on the needs.
Skillshare - Find What Fascinates You - Photo & Film (Credits: Skillshare)

Skillshare – Find What Fascinates You – Photo & Film (Credits: Skillshare)

Impressions & Encouragement

Since I know that many people around the world are reading this these days, I’d like to point out, that although this might be a tough time for many, it is also a time for hope, opportunities, and options to grow. Any educational platform, just like MZed, Masterclass.com, Udemy, iversity, Khan Academy or The Great Courses Plus and others are not only generally but especially currently a great way to use the time and prospects effectively, purposefully and vigorously.

Why not setup a class yourself as a teacher on Skillshare, if you have a proficiency in a particular given field – and earn money with it? Why not learn something new that will help you prosper – even from the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship or marketing – that will help you in the future?

I never spoke to a wise person in my life who said, “I shouldn’t have spent so much time in my life with learning!”

Rather the opposite. Most great teachers will admit with pleasure that they learn a lot at the same time when working with their students.

It seems as if Skillshare tries to reach almost anyone from the age of 16 onwards – especially those in need. Many students from other countries – just like my home country Germany – do not have prevalent .edu or .k12 addresses, though, and they might be from other countries such as Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland and so on. I hope that the Skillshare team will still help those students, whether it would be through option 4, or if you reach out to them and explain that you’re from a country where these domain endings simply don’t exist.

Time of Change – Closing Notes

Now is a time of change, and the cinema5D team is with you as well – I can feel that daily through many ongoing conversations amidst the cinema5D writing crew about how to support and encourage our readers – our filmmaker family.

We’re continually looking for great opportunities for you, especially during these times. Feel free to reach out to the staff if you stumble across news and ideas that can substantially help our community. We’re in this together!

Let us know in the comments about your experiences, needs, and how Skillshare and others could or did help you!

Skillshare Team – Blog – March 18, 2020

The post Skillshare Announces “Join for Free” & “Stay for Free” Options appeared first on cinema5D.

Accusonus Releases Free Weather SFX for World Meteorological Day

Editors, take note – we just had World Meteorological Day, and Accusonus is celebrating by releasing a free weather SFX pack for everyone stuck at home.

Accusonus free weather six pack

Accusonus is more commonly known for their user-friendly audio plugins, making audio restoration and cleanup simple. You can read our review of their software here. Broadly speaking, Accusonus targets filmmakers without the budget to hire a sound guy. Their ERA bundle is for those who need their audio software to work, and work well, on a tight deadline. So while app development may be their day job, you can be assured they are no strangers to quality audio recording.

What’s in the Pack

The Weather Sound Effects pack, then, contains a multitude of weather conditions, at varying levels of intensity. The run time of the total package comes out to around an hour, and includes the following:

● Rain : Calming, Light, Medium, Heavy
● Thunder : Deep, Distant, Rolling, Crackles
● Wind : Winter, Howling, Strong
● Ocean : Ambience, Distant, Slow

I know that I, personally, am always looking for high-quality free recordings that I can add to my personal library with little effort or cost. This is a no-brainer, and you can bet I’ve already downloaded my copy. This offer is available for one month, expiring on April 23rd, 2020. To download the free weather SFX, just visit Accusonus’ website.

What other audio packs do you use frequently? If you could ask for one free audio pack of anything in the world, what would it be? Let us know in the comments!


The post Accusonus Releases Free Weather SFX for World Meteorological Day appeared first on cinema5D.

100 Comedies Edgar Wright Wants You to Watch

Edgar Wright wants you to laugh through all of this coronavirus business with these movies.

What I love about Letterboxd is that you can network individually with filmmakers and see what they watched and what they like. In these crazy times, I am running out of things to stream. Lucky for me, Edgar Wright wants to keep me laughing.

He went on Letterboxd and wrote, “To get you through these tough times, please enjoy a generous helping of SOME of my favourite screen comedies that I’ve enjoyed over the years. I could easily do another 100 so don’t say ‘Where’s so and so?’. Just sit back and enjoy the movies. Let us know below, which ones you raise a smile. (NB: No, I’m not so immodest to put my own on here. x)”

So without further ado, check out his list of the best comedies!

100 Comedies Edgar Wright Wants You to Watch

Here’s a small selection of the titles he included below, but to get the full list, head over to Letterboxd.

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Sheltering in Place: The Independent Film Community Faces the Coronavirus Shutdown

It was February, 2020. At New York’s Steiner studios, the largest studio lot outside of LA, people were busily prepping Lin Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated directorial debut, Tik, Tik…Boom! The movie was set to begin shooting in two weeks, and Jessie Pellegrino, a seasoned assistant prop master, paused her work to sit through a mandatory Netflix HR meeting. Near the end of the session, one of her colleagues raised his hand. “What’s Netflix’s plan for us if coronavirus forces our shoot to shut down?” The HR rep responded the best she could at the time. They were working on it; […]

Netflix & Youtube Reduce Streaming Quality

With a large number of shelter-at-home, shelter-in-place, self-isolation and movement restrictions in place, there is now a larger demand for bandwidth on internet infrastructure around the World. Netflix announced last week that it would be reducing the bit rates of their streams to save up to 25% in network traffic in Europe and other parts … Continued

The post Netflix & Youtube Reduce Streaming Quality appeared first on Newsshooter.

How to Create Great Self Portraits While at Home

How to Create Great Self Portraits While at Home

While stuck at home, self portraits are a great way to practice photography and editing. So watch this video by a grand master of those two thing, Brooke Shaden, for some insight and a glance at her workflow.

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Nat Geo: Those Viral Animal Photos You’ve Been Seeing on Twitter are Fake

Over the past few weeks, as people the world over were asked (or ordered) to stay home and isolate, you probably saw more than a few viral photos of animals reclaiming habitats that humans are being forced to leave alone. Sadly, almost all of those photos and videos are fake.

In a report by National Geographic, writer and editor Natasha Daly set the record straight on at least three hoaxes, with some help from a few mythbusting Twitter account accounts and official sources.

The elephants that got drunk on corn wine and fell asleep in a tea garden?

Fake, according to the local forestry and grassland bureau in Yunan province.

The dolphins swimming through the Venice canals?

Also fake. The video in the tweet above was filmed in a port in Sardinia, where you have always been able to find dolphins.

And the swans and fishes that have suddenly “returned” to the canals in Venice now that the water has cleared up (which it has)?

Daly reports that swans are frequent visitors to the canals of Burano, a small island in Venice, and the fish are also always there. Nothing to see here, except over 1 million likes and over 282K retweets.

Finally, a story that popped up after Nat Geo published their fact check: this fake headline about Russia releasing 500 lions to keep people indoors.

This is definitely fake, as is any image you see that uses this news overlay without any sort of network branding. As the popular Twitter account @PicPedant points out, this is a “Break Your Own News” template.

Of course, not all animal stories are fake, but the most “hopeful” or funny or outrageous—the ones that make you want to hit share—all seem to be made up or at the very least misleading. The impacts of human social distancing and the massive drop in tourism on the animal kingdom has mostly been neutral, sometimes bad.

As reported by the New York Times, the deer in Nara, Japan are indeed leaving their home in the park and roaming mostly-empty streets and subways, because the tourists who used to feed them in Nara park are no longer there.

And this video of a hoard of monkeys in Thailand fighting over food also seems to be legitimate:

As tourism to the country’s Phra Prang Sam Yot monkey temple in Lopburi drops, the macaques have been brawling in larger numbers and more violently than normal, because food is more scarce.

The lesson here is one that most photographers learned long ago: you can’t always trust photography on social media. Normally, we report on viral Photoshop creations, or fake “debunking” photos that try to make photojournalists look bad, or fake (and stolen) photos used to send a political message.

Unfortunately, the (dubiously attributed) Mark Twain quote that “a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on,” is just as true of fake photos, and fake photo captions. So while we would love for the dolphins or the drunk elephants to be true, it’s important to separate fact from fiction, lest the public lose faith in all photography, all the time.

Lectrosonics Miniaturizes Its IFB Lineup with New IFBR1B Receiver

A tiny IFB that packs punch.

Lectrosonics has introduced a new interruptible foldback (IFB) receiver dubbed IFBR1B, which has been redesigned to be half the size and weight of its previous model, the IFBR1a.

IFB systems are an easy way for filmmakers to listen to the program audio of a production while on set. You may hear them referred to as “Comteks,” a name that has become synonymous with the functionality. The main differences between Comtek and Lectrosonics is operating distance, power output, tuning range, and cost. Sound quality is debatable. However, the Lectrosonics models tend to offer better RF performance, but usually costs twice as much as Comtek.

Let’s see how the IFBR1B receiver stacks up.

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