Sizzle reel

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  • Sizzle reel

    As I write up a pitch for a movie, I'm thinking more and more about putting together a sizzle reel for it. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it a waste of time for a screenwriter? (even a screenwriter who has an interest in producing/directing)?

    The only software I know how to operate is Final Draft (I know, pathetic). Does anyone have a preference for favorite film editing software? Preferably low-cost and intuitive to operate.

    Also (this should have been my first question) is it legal to use music and rip shots from movies and trailers, as long as it's solely for a pitch and I'm not selling the content itself? If so, does anyone know where one can download HD movie trailers?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Sizzle reel

    Originally posted by BenJacoby View Post
    As I write up a pitch for a movie, I'm thinking more and more about putting together a sizzle reel for it. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it a waste of time for a screenwriter? (even a screenwriter who has an interest in producing/directing)?

    The only software I know how to operate is Final Draft (I know, pathetic). Does anyone have a preference for favorite film editing software? Preferably low-cost and intuitive to operate.

    Also (this should have been my first question) is it legal to use music and rip shots from movies and trailers, as long as it's solely for a pitch and I'm not selling the content itself? If so, does anyone know where one can download HD movie trailers?

    Thanks!
    Yes, I've heard of writers using them, and more and more often.

    My twelve year old daughter created one for my spec on imovie, which was amazing to watch. She used Tom Cruise (Oblivion), Bradley Cooper (Limitless), and Angelina Jolie. Said those were the only "movie stars" she knew. Too funny.

    My spec is R rated, so she can' read it and only knows the premise, but it's amazing that she got all the major plot points you would want in a trailer spot on. It's a template. It was hilarious. Her's were all stills, but I think you can do it with video clips as well. Think you can lift them right off the internet.

    Do you have access to a mac?

    A quick google turned up this...

    Check out this article, it may help http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217225# check out #4 which addresses what to use to make sizzle reels.

    Best of luck,
    FA4
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sizzle reel

      I've shot a couple of different sizzle reels for my pilot. I've found as long as they are decent quality, that they do tend to help. It helps them visualize the world that you are creating.

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      • #4
        Re: Sizzle reel

        I make shorts/music vids. If you're thinking of doing more editing in the future Sony Vegas/Movie Studio is a good package for about $50. If it's just a quick one-off thing then MovieMaker or iMovie - both free - are just fine.

        As for music/images and copyright, I'm not an expert but if you're not doing anything commercial with them you're fine. This was discussed in a Scriptnotes a while back re: using images in scripts. The worst that could happen is the copyright holder asks you to stop using it.

        I agree with jk's point that they're worth doing if you think it will add something specific. I don't think it has to be super-sophisticated - look at the LOOPER one online - but equally if you're making a really serious movie (think SCHINDLER'S LIST serious) and your trailer is so shoddy it's funny you could do more harm than good.
        My stuff

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        • #5
          Re: Sizzle reel

          Thank you, guys -- this is all so helpful.

          Jon Jay, do you know of any places I might be able to download HD movie trailers to use? HD-trailers.net seems to be a big one, but I'm not very impressed with its functionality.

          And, thank you, FA4 -- if I can't get the hang of it, is your daughter available?? I'd pay 250 cookies for the whole project.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sizzle reel

            RealPlayer can download from YouTube, which I think has 720p - so 'HD' rather than 'full HD' (1080p). There are loads of options tbh, just google 'hd capture from streaming' or similar.
            My stuff

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            • #7
              Re: Sizzle reel

              Originally posted by BenJacoby View Post
              Thank you, guys -- this is all so helpful.

              Jon Jay, do you know of any places I might be able to download HD movie trailers to use? HD-trailers.net seems to be a big one, but I'm not very impressed with its functionality.

              And, thank you, FA4 -- if I can't get the hang of it, is your daughter available?? I'd pay 250 cookies for the whole project.
              Oooo, cookies won't do-- it's gotta be greenbacks or itunes cash. She is twelve...😊
              "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sizzle reel

                I met a few prod cos last year that showed me their sizzle reels for projects they were trying to get off the ground. Guessing anything that helps promote the story is always gonna be helpful.

                I recently shot a trailer for my latest sci-fi script -- taking it to Cannes next week to (hopefully) entice investors.
                Last edited by Garfield; 05-10-2014, 03:55 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Sizzle reel

                  This is all so helpful. Thanks, everybody!

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