Demo Reel Production
- How do I come up with my characters/scenes?
We encourage you to speak with your representation first and foremost, or your trusted teachers/mentors/acting network. You’ll need to do a little homework on your specific casting and the shows you’re targeting. Make sure you’re on the same page as your reps so that you can help them market you appropriately. We’ll need a simple premise line that tells us the character, the situation that character is in, and to whom you’re speaking. A simple yet specific sentence will do. For example, “Smarmy lawyer tells opposing counsel he’ll do anything to win the case.”
- Can I bring in my own scenes?
We write your dream scene. Why recreate something that wasn’t written specifically for you? Each scene is written to show off your strengths. You are in control of telling us the EXACT character and situation you desire, we write it, and we can tweak it until you are satisfied. Due to legal and copyright issues, we are unable to shoot something that has been previously produced or written by anyone other than our writers, and we require final approval of all shooting scripts at least 72 hours prior to the shoot.
- Can I improv the lines?
No, treat this shoot as a professional day on set. You should be memorized but flexible. The scene was written specifically for you and what you requested. Know the lines, know the character, but be fluid in the event that the director tweaks or refines the scene a little once it’s up on its feet.
- Can I go to my coach to work on my scenes before the shoot?
Sure. That said, we will try the scenes many different ways to explore and play, and our director will work with you to provide a fresh perspective and options.
- How many scenes can I do in one shoot and which days do you shoot?
Generally a 5-hour time slot is good for up to three scenes. If you’re doing more than three scenes, we can arrange a custom time for you. We work five days a week in our NoHo Arts District studio. Saturday and Sunday session times are 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday session times are 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. All scenes must be shot in one session or the pricing scale goes back to the beginning for any additional scenes shot on a different day.
- Do you have a wardrobe department?
No, you are responsible for your character’s wardrobe. Similar to a headshot photo shoot, come with a few selections in case something doesn’t work for camera. Remember, we normally shoot waist up or tighter, so keep it simple. We trust you know what that character would wear, and we understand if you want to wear the entire outfit, shoes, etc.
- Do I need to bring props?
The actor is responsible for any specific props, but only if the scene dictates. Keep it simple. Nothing extravagant. Again, it’s not about the props.
- How does the shooting process work?
We usually take approximately 30 minutes to prepare the set. When the DP feels the lighting and framing is perfect, we’ll have you do a few takes, then watch on the monitor (no audio) and get you to sign off on your visual (hair/makeup/wardrobe). Then, running your scene exactly as you have prepared, we’ll do as many takes as necessary to get three or four solid, usable takes. Once that’s achieved, the director will work the scene by providing adjustments and direction. Again, we shoot as many takes as necessary to get three or four solid, usable takes. Once we’ve gotten 8-10 excellent marked takes for that scene, we’ll move on to the next scene. We have no limit to the amount of takes we shoot or the amount of time we spend.
- How do I pick my takes?
After all scenes have been shot, we’ll sit down and begin the review process. We’ll only watch the marked takes, which generally between 8-10 takes per scene. Everything you see will be takes our director thinks could be on your reel. On first pass, we’ll have you write down your gut reaction on each take. We’ll then review again, and begin the process of elimination. The crew will review with you and share their opinions, but the ultimate decision will be yours.
- Should I bring someone to play opposite me?
Yes. Bring a friend to be the “dirty” shoulder/back of head in your scene. Sometimes makeup artists are also willing to stand in. We are happy to provide an adult male for an additional $20 per scene. If you require a female or a child, please bring that person. Some scenes may be shot “clean” (to vary the look) without another person visible, but that is normally at the discretion of the director and DP. Please do not bring any unnecessary persons to set. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.
- Can you refer me to a makeup and hair person?
Yes, we have a great girl we’ve worked with previously whom we love and trust. Her rates are separate from ours and you will make arrangements with her directly. You are also welcome to bring your own trusted artist to set. You will have about 45 minutes prior to shoot and in between each scene to make hair and makeup changes or do touch-ups. You do not need to arrive to set early for makeup, but please let us know if you feel it will require more than 45 minutes prior to your first scene. We can make arrangements accordingly.
- I LOVE what you guys do, but I want to write everything, set up the shot, lengthen the scenes, and edit it myself. Cool?
The work on our website is likely what brought you to us in the first place, and those scenes are professionally written by our writers and tweaked until you’re happy; framed and lit by our award-winning DP, directed by our award-winning directors who offer over 15 years of experience and shoot until you’re happy; and edited by our skilled, professional editor who has been making films using this technology for years and has a great eye for what works. We have an outstanding team that provides you the whole enchilada for one cost, and we get your approval at each step of the process.
- Is there a deposit required to hold my shoot date?
Yes, we require a $200 non-refundable deposit payable on our site via Google Secure Checkout. By paying this deposit, you agree to our cancelation policy, which states that if a client cancels or reschedules after 12:00 noon six (6) days or fewer prior to the shoot date, the client will forfeit their deposit. No exceptions. If the client wishes to reschedule, full payment for the session (new deposit plus balance) will then be required in order to hold a future shoot date. If rescheduling within the policy period, client must notify us IN WRITING by noon six days prior to shoot. Clients may reschedule once without losing their deposit. A second reschedule will constitute a forfeiture of the deposit, and full payment (new deposit plus balance) will be due to hold any future shoot date. If a client has paid in full prior to the shoot date and cancels or reschedules within the policy period, they will also only be allowed to reschedule once, after which point they will forfeit their entire payment. If a paid-in-full client cancels or reschedules outside of the policy period, they will forfeit their entire payment. CYR highly recommends a client BOOK OUT with representation to avoid any conflicts.
- I'm shooting on Saturday and just decided to pull an all-nighter on Friday. Can I cancel/reschedule at the last minute?
That’s a big NO. Would you blow off a Grey’s Anatomy shoot because you were hung over? Or too tired? We ask that you treat this as a paid booking: be prepared, be professional, be punctual. It’s also probably best to BOOK OUT with your representation so you can avoid any further conflicts. See cancelation policy in #16 and Terms & Conditions.
- When is the balance due, and can I pay with a credit card?
The balance will be due on set the day of the shoot. We accept cash or Visa, MC, and Discover. We can provide a receipt for your cash payment if requested.
- When do I get to see a finished product and what if I decide I don’t like any of it. Can I re-shoot?
Our editor will color correct, sound engineer, add appropriate music, and post your reel privately for your approval in up to five (5) business days. Editing can be expedited (24-hour turn-around) for an additional fee of $25 per scene. It’s unlikely that you’ll be unhappy, but if it’s a faux pas on our end, (a boom in the shot, etc.) yes, you can re-shoot without charge. Everything else will incur a charge. If it’s your acting you don’t like or you’re not happy with your hair or how you look on camera, that’s out of our hands. We are relentless at making sure you’re happy throughout each step of the process from your approval of the writing to your signing off on the scene selections and shots on the day of the shoot. If you haven’t communicated any concerns to us throughout this process, there’s not much we can do to help you at this late stage of the game. If you have an issue with something after we’ve wrapped, please give us a call and let us know, and we’ll do our best to make you happy. See Terms and Conditions for further information on reshoots.
- How long do you keep my footage once editing has been completed?
We will store a backup of your edited reel, but your unused footage is deleted after 60 days from the day editing is completed. If requested in writing within the 60 days, we are happy to burn all your raw footage to a disk for your files for $100.