Graphics Reference
In-Depth Information
may be just the right counterpoint to lead into your
next fully rendered clip. For a video artist, use your
selections to create an umbrella narrative arc, with an
opening, a couple of rhythmic changes, and an impres-
sive closing piece to bring it all together.
Keep each piece of content just long enough for
the viewer to get the gist of the action. The mix of
types of work should be as unpredictable as possible:
Jump as quickly as the material allows from one clip to
the next. It's often better to use different parts of a single project as glue over the
course of the reel than to graft long pieces together. If you have a great long piece,
you can graft a few cuts back together as a mini-trailer segment, or use pieces of this
work as a thread throughout the reel to support other material that may not be as
exciting but that illustrates an important skill.
Once you have a sequence in the rough stage, play it through and examine it
critically. It's unlikely that you've nailed your sequence at first try. Treat your clips
like playing cards in a game of solitaire: Swap them in and out for the best visual
Each cut, each frame, has to be
really tight. It's a little subjective,
but when you watch the reel in
front of a class, there's usually a
consensus: That cut is 10 frames
too long and it hangs a bit.
—Terrence Masson
Music and timing
In many ways, music may be the most important single element in your reel.
Every director from Hitchcock on down has demonstrated how critical sound is to a
movie experience. It's likely to be a major contributor to your portfolio reel as well.
The right piece of music will provide you with a mood or attitude that perfectly cap-
tures your work's personality.
Music also helps you through that critical last point after sequencing: timing.
One of the most obvious failings in a reel is clips dragging on too long. And in a reel,
too long can often be measured in fractions of seconds. The rhythm and punctuation
of music gives your clips a structure to follow. Music is a form of narrative, with a
convenient beginning, middle, and end. Combine a brilliant flash of light with a sud-
den, crashing guitar chord and both effects are amplified. Because music has phrases,
clips can be cut at exactly the point where one phrase
ends and another begins. Your end result is stronger,
more dynamic, more magnetic.
That being said, music is also a potential red
herring. Because it can smooth over rough spots and
create enormous energy, it's very easy to gloss over
deficiencies in your reel simply because you don't see
them…you're too busy bouncing along with the beat.
You can only hope that your audience is, too.
Music is tremendously important
to me. It can be mood setting and
moving and really tell you a lot
about a person. I personally put a
lot of time and effort into the type
of music, the track, the timing or
the pacing. It can make a huge
—Terrence Masson
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