What do people feel about video showreels for composers?

Discussion in 'Working in the Industry' started by Nite Sun, May 11, 2019.

Video showreels - yay or nay?

  1. Video is the way to go

  2. Stick to audio

  1. Nite Sun

    Nite Sun Member

    Dec 17, 2016
    I don't see a huge number of them around...

    What is the general consensus - have a snappy video showreel or stick to audio?
  2. Bansaw

    Bansaw Member

    May 12, 2018
    If you can afford video then add video for impact. Some people are very visual, not just auditory, and would be able to associate with your music more if they have appropriate visuals.

    The trick would be to add video in a way that enhances the experience of listening to your music, and not to take the focus away from it.
    Nite Sun likes this.
  3. OP
    Nite Sun

    Nite Sun Member

    Dec 17, 2016
  4. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    I only include a video on my website if it's something I actually worked on. Otherwise, I wouldn't create one just for the sake of demo reel.
    brenneisen and Nite Sun like this.
  5. X-Bassist

    X-Bassist Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2015
    Yes, and guess what kinds of people are visually oriented?... directors and producers. So make sure they visuals are interesting... or funny... or exciting... while your music is HELPING the visual, just as it should on any film. They will be looking to see how well the music improves the visual, so pick your scenes well. I think most people in the business prefer watch a video over listening to music files.
    brunodegazio and Nite Sun like this.
  6. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007

    I think that anything that extends the audience's attention span beyond, say, seven seconds, adds value. Either video, or even photos that fade in like a montage is possibly better than nothing.

    I don't actually think those making hiring decisions always listen carefully to what we do anyway; one of my first breaks consisted of the following interview:

    Producer: "Who's your agent?"

    Me: "[established agent]"

    Producer: "Where do you live?"

    Me (thinking ???): "[my neighborhood]"

    ...end of interview.
    richardt4520 and Nite Sun like this.
  7. X-Bassist

    X-Bassist Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2015
    Crazy huh? But I have to believe you were a reference from someone first (or they just loved another project you did). MOST jobs come from a reference. The producer is looking for a composer and a co-worker or someone they trust replies “Contact John, he can do the job”. Then the producer just has 2 questions “Is he a pro?” (Agent question) and “Can I stop by easily to review the progress? “ (Where do you live question).

    But I agree, most clients don’t have time to listen to a lot of music (except those few directors that are music lovers). So they will take a reference from someone else over their own listening skills any day. That goes for DP’s and sound post as well.

    Just hope you don’t live too close. ;) Pop-in’s are a creative/time killer!
    Robo Rivard and JohnG like this.
  8. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I get your point, but honestly I think your interpretation of the producer's questions is very generous.

    I think possibly the reason the questions stopped after the first two was that I live in a more expensive neighborhood. Which .. I don't know what to think about that.
  9. WaveRider

    WaveRider Member

    Mar 17, 2019
    Video can work against you if it's cheaply or poorly produced. I've seen some really bad ones, like a string of stock video clips strung together that had no meaning. If someone is cringing at your video, they're probably not listening to the music.
    ka00 and Robo Rivard like this.
  10. GtrString

    GtrString Active Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    Not sure if video can be a win with music. If the music is good, a poor video will ruin it. If the video is great, the music will look like second fiddle. Video seems like too much information (principle of redundancy), when the only information you want considered is the music.
    musicalweather likes this.
  11. X-Bassist

    X-Bassist Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2015
    This sounds good in theory, but which of your favorite movies does the music seem like second fiddle? If you are looking to get hired by a film or video producer, you always ARE second fiddle, but the job is to improve the experience of watching the video, and this is what filmmakers notice. Believe me, they know if the video is good or bad, and YES, badly shot or edited video will hurt you. They presume you’ve done this before and have good clips you can show. If you don’t, then you need to come up with some.

    But look at the teaser videos Spitfire or Orch Tools puts out. You could argue drone shot landscapes or computer generated cityscapes are random shots not related to the music, but it works. It engages your thoughts about the music, and somehow makes the listening experience go by quicker. Which, to a film or video producer, translates to good music for film or video.

    Of course the feel and style have to be right for their project too (that is always a hit and miss thing) but your sense of timing (with picture) and picking appropriate music for the scenes should never be under-rated. They notice.

    That’s why your best clips strung together or picture that your scoring to or even video cut to your music will always be played more that a soundcloud link. They are visual guys who enjoy sound and music together. They are looking for a partner that can pull off the music and make their (hopefully) visual masterpiece (?) become something more. :)
    Nite Sun likes this.
  12. Ned Bouhalassa

    Ned Bouhalassa Senior Member

    Sep 30, 2004
    I hope to get more people to listen to my soundcloud collection by making a video! Well... i also hope to get some work!
    Fresh off the presses:

    chuck.dallas likes this.
  13. X-Bassist

    X-Bassist Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2015
    Nice reel! Good variety of styles and the smooth blurred crosscuts are working well. Perhaps have a link to your personal page (if you don’t own nedbouhalassa.com or nedbmusic.com you should! Hosting can be simple and inexpensive nowadays). It helps to have a custom page that summarizes your background and accomplishments, some clips, maybe shots of your studio/gear (surprisingly this can help get new gigs), plus giving solid contact info. Some projects will come without you every having to submit anything, It’s just getting this demo reel out there. I know it will help mucho, mucho. Congrats and all the best on your future projects, -XB
    Ned Bouhalassa likes this.
  14. VinRice

    VinRice ... i am a robot ...

    May 20, 2017
    The UK of Englandshire
    I think you have to be very careful/smart about this. Although we all know what a pain and a craft it is to sync music and mood to picture, directors/producers really don't care - it's just assumed you can do that. All they are looking for is something to elevate their masterpiece/piece of shit and to inspire them. The problem with syncing to any kind of narrative clip for a demo is that the narrative completely swamps your attention, which is exactly what you want in a project but exactly what you don't want in a demo reel. Video is of course a powerful tool but I think abstract imagery that enhances the mood of the music, rather than the other way round is the way to go.
  15. dgburns

    dgburns splunge

    Nov 4, 2012

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