What makes a good editor’s reel?

3 Aug

Just got an email from Anastasia Shepherd, teaching up in San Francisco. Let’s see if we can help her!

I’m an SCA alumna teaching editing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and I want to show my students some killer editing reels. Anyone feel like sharing theirs with me?



Josie’s Opinion:

I create different reels for different jobs. I have a short form (i.e. sizzle/music video) reel, a comedy reel, a documentary reel and a dramatic reel.

I post my reels to vimeo because it’s easy for clients to share with other producers. I also like to put jumps to the different sections of my reel (which you can see if you go to the actual vimeo page posted below). I think this really benefits me more than the viewer because it allows them to only view the part they do like and ignore the parts they’re not as much into.

I personally don’t put slates that say what the project is that they are watching in the video – it’s listed on the vimeo page. I feel that it biases the viewer to see “Student Project” or “TRT – 05:04” before a cut when it doesn’t look like student work or doesn’t feel like 5 minutes. 🙂

I also usually repost the reel to Vimeo with the client’s/director’s name attached so they know that it has been specifically tailored to their project. I don’t know if any of this is good/bad/kosher, but I did have a producer tell me that he appreciated it.

How do you organize your reels, Editors of USC?


3 Responses to “What makes a good editor’s reel?”

  1. Norman Hollyn September 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    I see a lot of people with web sites that separate out the various reels, depending on what the client is looking for. That way you’ve got a way of submitting doc reels to doc producers, etc. But they can always explore more if they want.

    Of course, they can link to Vimeo reels or to places on your own site if you host it. Personally, I think clients are more invested when they see that you control your own site, rather than giving out YouTube or Vimeo links.

  2. JJ October 13, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Howdy Josie! I love your comment about student films – I totally agree with you. There’s no need for someone to have their opinion tainted because you’ve explicitly stated “STUDENT FILM” – because in terms of the quality of your work, it isn’t even relevant.
    JJ 🙂

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