This is What a Director's Sizzle Reel or Mood/Tone Film Looks Like: Joe Carnahan's 'Daredevil'
One way a professional director increases their chances of being chosen to direct a commercial or feature film is by creating a sizzle reel or mood/tone film. Directors will often read a ton of scripts for features but when they finally decide they want to pursue a project, they’ll put together a short trailer using clips from other movies that helps to convey their vision and the mood or tone (hence the name) of the film they want to make. I actually got to work in the office next to Joe Carnahan during my time at Ridley Scott & Associates and was lucky enough to see his mood film for his latest movie, The Grey. While his take on Daredevil may never see the light of day, we get to see exactly what his vision was for the movie, and in the process get a rare glimpse at the quality and scope of a Hollywood mood/tone film.
Thanks to Stu Maschwitz for the link. There are two versions, with the second being a bit more mature in content:
This sort of thing has been discussed on NoFilmSchool before, when our own Ryan Koo created a lookbook for Manchild that incorporated clips from other films. Though that particular video was a bit different from the typical mood or tone film, it still utilized movie clips in much the same way. The other difference is that he wasn’t auditioning for the job (since it was his own script and he was already attached as director), but it was still helpful for potential producers to get a sense of his vision for the movie.
While it’s unfortunate that we may never get to see the final product after getting a look at Carnahan’s sizzle reel, it’s important to see how this sort of thing is done in the professional world. I’ve seen quite a few of these reels, and though most of them were for commercial jobs, they all were done in a way that reflected the pacing, tone, and vision of the director. A standard reel can only take you so far, and if you’ve got a job that you’re competing for in the future, consider putting one of these together, as it’s a relatively cheap way to get your ideas into a physical form.
Link: Prolost – Stu Maschwitz
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