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Composing : Please help!! Advice needed for my showreel! by Kevin Bullas

Kevin Bullas

Please help!! Advice needed for my showreel!

Hey guys, I want to put together a music showreel, I don't know how these things work, and how I should approach it, would it be beneficial putting my music to video, and if so, can I download content from YouTube (commercials / adverts etc etc) is this legal?! Or do I just use my music only, with a caption of the respective genre? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kevin

Joel Irwin

If you have a soundtrack, you can create either a demo cd with one or more of your works or some people create excerpts in a single track. If you create music with video, it should be preferably from a film/music video that the music comes from and in that case, you need to get permission from the person/company that owns the copyright for that film/video. And if you do, you need to get permission and an understanding what you will do with that video with your music - is it going onto to youtube/vimeo/instagram, a personal web site, dvds/blu-rays you hand out, etc. You can not use any video or music without permission from the copyright owner - in other words unless it is the film you wrote the music for, you will need a 'sync license' from the copyright owner and a 'master use' license from the recording studio/publisher/record company. I hand out demo CDs with full tracks of my music and I fill up the entire CD (80 minutes). For video, I place with permission, the films shorts and music videos with my my music onto my personal youtube account. When someone performs my music, I get their permission before the performance gets put onto my youtube account. There is no music on my youtube account that is not written by me. When you upload a video, youtube WILL scan the video for music and if it finds any it recognizes, it will notify both you and the copyright holder.

Kevin Bullas

Thanks for the info guys, lots of very useful information there, I really appreciate it!

Samuel Estes

You need to ask yourself, what is the demo reel for? Who is your audience, are you trying for one specific style/genre? I see so many demos that are all over the place that show every genre, and all styles, and 90% of those demos are TERRIBLE! Show what you do best, and reflects what you like to write and how well you write in that style. As for youtube, I find it better to have any music to video offline and then submit when you are asked. I find it better to write a demo for a project then to send some random video with some random music.... my 2 cents.

Kevin Bullas

My intention is to pitch my music for commercials etc etc, I was wandering if I should do a reel to show that I am capable of writing in different genres, is this not a good idea?

Samuel Estes

How are you pitching? Do you have a manager / agent? Best thing is to do is make a few a few different demo collections, like up-beat, electronic, orchestral, epic trailer, etc... Then figure out what the project needs that your are demoing for and sending that. If you send in some random set of music, the one or two pieces they listen to may not be the right things... If it's a shotgun approach, that's a bit different - something I am not at all a fan of, but can work to show off overall quality. If it's shot gun pick your best 3-4 tracks and submit that, if they like the quality they will ask for something a bit more specific, or better yet, an actual demo pitch.

Kevin Bullas

Thanks for your info guys, very helpful! So I'm guessing the general consensus is to do a showreel for each genre, as opposed to putting everything on one reel?

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