Community Critique: Creative Reels


(Bri Castellini) #1

Hey guys! Trying something a bit differently, since I just made a producing reel that I’m not overly sold on. Below is the reel I made of the three projects I’ve executive-produced, which I’m considering my producing reel. I’ll need to add at least one more show before the end of the year, and I’m wondering if this how a producing reel should work? It’s a full scene from my short film, then the trailers for Brains and Relativity.

Do YOU have a reel and want feedback on it? Link us below and we’ll all help each other out! A TRUE community critique!


(Bri Castellini) #2

@avincie @rjlackie @Monica_West @HackettKate @hermdelica @thembob @movieguyjon @naje.tv @JasonRyan @SnobbyRobot

Any advice you and others have would be so welcome! Never had anything to make a reel out of before and I’m not sure this is working yet. It’s extra hard because I’m just showing projects I’ve been involved with, not ones I act in or exclusively ones I directed.


(sam lockie-waring) #3

i think it might be too long, since it’s only three projects, but it’s but i’ve never made a reel so i could be wrong. don’t love where you put the laurels either- i dunno if they’re even necessary.


(Bri Castellini) #4

Yeah I’m not sold on the laurels there either. I just felt like I needed something in there to indicate that I didn’t just work on these things- they did legitimately well to an extent. You know?


(Jason) #5

Unfortunately I am not very knowledgable about this. I don’t have a reel myself, which I admit is both bogus and sad, and every time I sit down to try to plan out one I immediately abandon it. So with the caveat that I am in no way qualified to judge:

I agree it’s maybe a tad long. Maybe instead of going from project 1 to 2 to 3 you can bounce around a bit? Treat it more like a trailer in terms of pace. Have a joke from one thing here, a tense moment from another thing here, etc. You can keep the lower thirds explaining what each thing but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that linear. Think about the viewing experience from an outsider in terms of pacing, etc.


(Bri Castellini) #6

Haha fair enough. So you don’t think I should separate them by project? I guess I worry it won’t make sense that way… and also I guess I don’t know what the point of a reel is, aside from showcasing I’ve done some things? From an acting perspective I get it, but I’ve been asked for a producing reel before and I guess I dunno what they’re really looking for.


(Jason) #7

Not sure what wouldn’t make sense about it. Movie trailers aren’t cut in linear order. There could be a joke from literally the last scene that opens it, etc. To me, if I was looking for a producer I’d just want to see in their reel a demonstration of what they have put together. Does it look good? Can I trust them to find a good DP? Is the acting good? Can I trust their casting sensibility? I would personally look just for what their overall “brand” as a producer is. Is it full of punk music with lots of cuts? That’s probably a good indicator of their vibe, what energy they bring. Is it a reel full of classical music with lots of clips of British people drinking tea in a garden? That might not match up with the crazy horror film I’m looking to produce, etc. I’d think of it as selling yourself and your sensibility more and not worry so much about making narrative sense. If somebody wants to watch your projects to make sense of them then they will.


(Bri Castellini) #8

That makes sense! I’ll look for that.


(Radium-Media) #9

Bri, is that you in the second one?

I think it’s a bit too long, but def on the right path!!


(Bri Castellini) #10

Hahaha yes indeed it is! We didn’t want to bother casting another person to act, for free, in every damn episode, so my director was like… “you know you wrote this character as you, right? You do it.”


(Kallum Weyman) #11

I would say two minutes is a nice tight time for your show case, also displaying a lot more of you own direction and such keeping your producing stuff in but focusing on your own visible style might help. But I liked it. Nice variety of work which all looked great.


(Bri Castellini) #12

Thanks! I actually only directed one of these projects (and I guess one episode of Brains, but 1 out of 30 isn’t super impressive lol) but I like having 2 minutes to aim for as a goal :slight_smile:


(Kallum Weyman) #13

I see, well I would like to see more of your direction. Good luck with it.


(Jonathan Hardesty) #14

Last year I had a somewhat similar predicament in that I needed to lump all of my skills into one reel and get across how much I actually did. Here’s that reel:

https://vimeo.com/156777039

It’s a bit cheesy, and I don’t really care for the song much anymore, but the structure of the song really helped me figure out how to best display what I did, and it ultimately nabbed me two jobs (one of which I’m in now).

I would say find a song that a) gets you excited, and b) has a good pace. If you want to showcase a scene like your first one, that might work better in the middle during a lull in the music, or come at the pause in a song before the chorus. If you’re concerned that you don’t have enough for a longer reel, you can either shorten the reel or be funny with some of the more intangible stuff like laurels.

In the example of my reel, I am a podcast host, but that doesn’t easily translate to a video reel so I used graphics assets I made for it, as well as just random footage of myself from something else and kind of doctored it to look like I was just pulling from the video component of our podcast, which at the time didn’t exist.

And for stuff like writing, I would say break those out and find the one line or two that are your favorites.

Generally the 2 minute mark is good, but if you base your reel on a song, it’s easier to forgive a longer reel because we naturally want to hear the song through.

Just some unorganized thoughts from me. I like the reel and think it’s funny. I think if you get a little bit more visual/humorous with the laurels and accolades and some of the more “non visual” jobs, it will grab our attention and stand out more.

Hope that helps!!!


(Bri Castellini) #15

This is really helpful, thanks for sharing your example!!


(Erik Urtz) #16

Funny I feel the exact same way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around a producing reel.

I think, and this might not be for you Bri, I would approach it as a YouTube Channel. Obviously you are not going to own and have uploaded every project you worked on, but you could include them as playlists.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen people do this, but from a film / production stand point I think a Youtube channel would be far more beneficial than linkedIn profile.


(Bri Castellini) #17

Haha fair enough. Thanks, Erik! I do have playlists and whatnot, but yeah I had a potential gig recently ask for a producing reel so they didn’t have to watch all 30 episodes of Brains/all 3 orders of Relativity, etc. I think I’m gonna go with @movieguyjon’s idea with @NerdsOfTheVerse’s 2 minute goal and see where that takes me.


(Melissa Malone) #18

Hey!

So I’m super late to the game but JUST found the community critiques section and am playing catch up! lol.

I think reels are super important. I know a producer, when looking to hire people (cast and crew) having something tangible to see as far as their work is concerned is REALLY helpful. I do think it’s a tad bit long- I think if just the first scene was cut down it would work. Maybe try to cut it down to closer to 30 seconds (the first clip). Something closer to 2 minutes would be ideal for getting people to watch the whole thing and not just skim through. I know with acting reels now, 1 min is the most requested (oof) so that can be tricky.

Also wondering if you should maybe add a form of contact on the title screens. Email address maybe or web site?

I like the laurels! I mean, they are given out for a reason, right? Might as well use them. :wink: I also like the placement of the three clips and love the way the music moves along the first clip. Got my attention right away!


(Bri Castellini) #19

Thanks! I just shot a fourth project so now I gotta figure out how to work THAT in… totally forgot about this thread haha.

Also… a 1 minute acting reel?? Seriously?? That’s so short!


(Melissa Malone) #20

I realized it may be useless to post so late in the game but what the heck! :wink: I think with 4 projects you can go closer to the length you have now and make it work! Yep, 1 min is the standard. I have a 1 min and then a longer cut which is like 2.5 mins in case they want to see it. Wishful thinking!