Get Out There! – Updating Your 2019 Showreel

January 18, 2019

Dan shares the reasoning behind his new showreel and also gives some tips on when and where to share it for maximum views

Day 18: 25 Insights in 25 Days 2019 New Year Marathon!

Have You Updated Your Reel For 2019?

In this Insight we take a look at how to get your work out there and ensure your showreel is showing off both your grading and your personality to the world.

It’s amazing how quickly your work can change in a year, you may have changed direction or expanded into new areas of grading that you didn’t consider before.

Your Reel Is Your Resume

I am currently completing my 2019 showreel and I feel like this is the first showreel that is truly “me”

That might not always be a good thing but after years of other people at large post houses picking the tracks I use on my showreel, I feel like it’s important that I picked something that made me happy and captured my attitude to grading and life.

The track that I picked worked really well as I graded the music video for it, this allowed me to use some select sync sections for effect in the middle of the reel.

There are a huge amount of colourists out there now. We have gone from possibly a couple of hundred to thousands in the time I’ve gone from an assistant to senior.

That means that while lots of people can do a good job, you need to convince people that you can do the best job!

Think about what you really want to grade in 2019 and make sure you focus on showing off your best work in these areas.

My Reel

I’ll take a look at my reel in more detail in the video below but here is how it’s looking so far

Reel_WIP_2019 from Dan Moran on Vimeo.

In The Video Below

In the video below I’ll talk you through what is in my showreel and why it’s there.

The hardest part of cutting your own showreel is picking the shots that are going to get you more work, not just shots that you enjoyed grading.

If you’ve got any questions, be sure to leave a comment!


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Homepage Forums Get Out There! – Updating Your 2019 Showreel

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  • Jean Paul Sneider

    I am at the begining of my career, no flashy collaboration, and most of time terrible footage I had to rescue. So not many eye catching options. So:
    1) What is your opinion about before/after showreel style?
    2) I got some footage I shot myself, mostly sceneries, so not real jobs. Opinions?
    3) Maybe take something I shot and show different grades options?

  • Pat Inhofer

    Check out a series I did a few years ago on this topic:

    And then be sure to click through to Part 2 where I talk about how to build a Before / After reel.

  • Jamie Dickinson

    Great reel! Lots of good tips there – do you have any advice about choosing music? I once put some music on a reel and had YouTube refuse it because it recognised the copyright, is this a problem often?

  • Jean Paul Sneider

    I missed it, thanks for pointing it out.
    This is my current reel, already seeing a few ways to improve it from your article!
    I am onto it.

  • Nico Wieseneder

    Dope reel, Dan! Mad props. Thank’s for your great tips too. I just finished mine today too (but need to wait for a job to release to post it).

  • Scott Stacy

    Wow, Dan! Your reel just gets insanely better every year. Great tips. What are your thoughts about length?

  • Peder Morgenthaler

    I too am spending some time this month cutting a new reel, so this post was especially timely for me. Definitely changed my approach. This is a great reminder that your reel is about selling yourself, not just showing the stuff you love. Just like a commercial spot, every shot needs to have a purpose.

    Dan, what are your thoughts about doing trim passes, adjustments and re-grades to the shots in your reel? Maybe you want to touch up some older work with newer techniques, or you had disagreements with clients on the look, etc? Do you stick with the material as you delivered it to the client, or do you feel ok making it look the way you want for your reel?


    What if someone is just starting out and has no footage or limited footage for a reel? There are places to get samples of ungraded footage, but they all come with limitations. Blackmagic, ARRI, RED and other stock websites have sample footage but are limited in their use. To get even a 1min show reel created, you would need a substantial amount of scenes.

  • Pat Inhofer

    This is a bit of a hanging curve ball for us on Mixing Light… Check out these two shorts that we sell:

    The plain English terms and conditions for using that footage is here:

    Terms allow using the footage to build your demo reel.

  • Pat Inhofer

    I’ve pinged Dan to get check in on the comments for this Insight… in the meantime, my thought on the question at hand: I am against changing client approved footage.

    If it’s paid work you’re demoing then it’s not yours to change to fit your needs – you’re working for hire and you don’t own the footage, unless you have a written agreement from the client allowing you to modify it for demonstration purposes (I’ll do this with no/lo pay jobs, but it’s an agreement reached *before* we start grading and it’s written into my bid).

    I’ve also negotiated rates down with a client to allow its usage by Contributors here on Mixing Light. But again, the client signs a specific agreement allowing for that usage… and then their discount is applied to the job.

  • Dan Moran

    I 100% do a trim pass on my grades for the reel. I do keep the creative intent with in reason of the original grade, so if the original was B&W I would keep it B&W but happily revise it until I was happy that it worked well.

    The other thing I do is I actually match the shots in my reel. If one shot looks extra milky as the shot previous had dropped black levels I’d to a small tweak to help it flow better.

  • Dan Moran

    Thanks sir! My main advice for people is keep it short and intense. A 3 min reel with all the good shots you’ve graded ever will not be as good as a 1 min reel that only has the very very best of your work in there. I think this is possibly my longest reel ever as it’s a bit of a “best of reel” from all the different companies I worked at + my freelance grades.

  • Dan Moran

    I know that feeling well! I did one job that I had to wait 3 years to post, it’s still not actually in my reel as it finally came out 2 weeks ago.

  • Dan Moran

    Music is tricky. I’ve only ever posted my reel on Vimeo and I actually chop up the music to make it fit the length of reel that I’m trying to make. Not sure if that helps avoid any take down notices but I’ve been lucky (touch wood) so far.

  • Nico Wieseneder

    Wow, that’s insane! Never heard of such a long time period. Fortunately I’m already able to share mine. Would love to get your opinion about it if you find some time. 🙂

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