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Video FAQ:

(For Actors & Other Awesome Artists)



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Video: FAQ

The Process: Reels

After you contact us,
  • we'll set up a time to meet up in person (or to do a video chat after you've sent us your materials) to go over your footage together, and discuss how to put it together, as well as give you a more specific estimate of your final cost;
  • within the next few days, we will post an online draft for your review;
  • once you have given us any notes, we will make any final revisions and output your reel in final format.
We don't have a fixed cost because every reel is different, and we don't believe in overcharging people whose editing needs are simple (or undercharging people whose editing needs are complex). Your final editing charge will be based upon several factors.

That being said, they usually cost between $150-300. And if you're also getting a Scene Grab, we'll cut you a deal!
Some of these factors include:
  • How well you know your footage. Before our meeting, you should know which clips you want to use, and exactly where all of them are (where in the runtime, what chapter of the DVD, etc.). If your clips are on youtube, you should have the links readily available, etc.
  • What format(s) your footage is in. If all of your clips are ready to go in Quicktime Video on data DVDs, your cost will be lower. If your footage needs to be captured, downloaded from the web or ripped from DVDs your costs will be a little higher (simply because it will take longer to assemble and convert all of the different formats).
  • How much cleanup we need to do on the footage. Sometimes we can improve the look and sound of a clip (if you want us to do so).
  • Whether or not you want us to re-edit any of your scenes. We can often tighten scenes to make sure the focus is on you. We can change the look of a scene, from color to black & white, from video to film look, from standard definition to widescreen…we've even changed drama to comedy. All re-editing is done on a case by case basis, and only with your approval.
  • Whether or not we need to do extra drafts before finalizing your reel.
Best case would be QuickTime Video on a data DVD or hard drive in the highest resolution you can get (HD if possible). We can also work with DVDs and MiniDV, plus we can usually even pull down video from youtube, vimeo and many other online sites.

If your footage is in some other format (or is in PAL or another international format), contact us. If we can't convert or import it, we'll put you in touch with someone who can (at a reasonable rate).
We can. But to be frank, VHS video does not look good. And it tends to look very dated. So we may well advise you against including it in a reel.

That being said, it's your reel, we'll include whatever you want. And hey - you've got to work with what you've got!
Absolutely. We can do our initial consultation (and any follow ups) over Skype or iChat, and you can either send us your materials via FedEx or over the internet using (or a similar service). If you send us your footage electronically, you will be responsible for any data transfer charges (they're generally quite reasonable). If you send it to us via FedEx, you will be responsible for shipping costs both ways, and we will not be held responsible for footage lost or damaged in transit. (Insure it - and if possible, make a copy before sending your footage.)
On average, we try to post our initial edit of your reel within three business days. Once you've contacted us with any revisions, we will usually post those within two business days (or sooner). If you need it faster, we will do our best to accommodate your needs, but additional rush charges may apply.
We will provide you with four (4) versions of your reel.
  • An HD, upload-ready widescreen version (suitable for vimeo, youtube, et cetera);
  • An upload-ready version for actorsaccess (in their preferred format);
  • A mobile version suitable for iPhones, iPads and AppleTV; and
  • A full resolution HD master (for archival/editing purposes).
You need the formats because people watch your reel in different places, and none of them use the same format. To an extent, they can all convert your video to their format, but often with a significant drop in quality.

We know all the tricks to make sure your reel meets their specifications, without compromising the look of your video.
We can (for an additional charge), but we don't recommend it. Reels are pretty much all online these days.
If you just need to do something very simple, and your footage is already in the correct format, and you have a lot of time to spend learning how to not only assemble your reel, but also output it in all of the various formats you will need, and put on appropriate titles, then sure. You could do it.

But wouldn't that time be better spent working in class, or meeting with casting directors, or setting up mailings with agents?

Plus, as professional filmmakers, we bring an objective eye as to how to best present your footage - visual storytelling is what we do. We can recut and tighten scenes, add background sounds and scoring to enhance unfinished footage, and most importantly, figure out the best way to give viewers the full picture of YOU.

And we already know how to output your final reel into every format you will need (always in the correct aspect ratio and in the highest quality possible). Don't know what that means? You don't have to (but you're always welcome to ask).
Think about the shape of an old-school standard definition television (SD, 4:3, almost square) to a modern HDTV (HD, 16:9 widescreen, rectangular). Most television and film today is shot for the modern, widescreen look. But older footage (as well as anything new that is emulating an older style) is shot in the old-school aspect ratio.

The problem is when you put together a reel from footage with different aspect ratios. It is crucial that your editor present each piece of footage in the aspect ratio it was shot in - otherwise everything will look distorted (If you present SD footage in an HD aspect ratio, everyone looks stretched out - heavier. And if you present HD footage in and SD ratio, everyone looks warped and too thin.) On a modern, widescreen reel, this means you'll have black bars on the side for any old fashioned, 4:3 footage (this is known as pillar boxing), and you will not have any black bars on your HD television footage, since it is broadcast in the same 16:9 ratio. However, some bigger budget movies are shot in a "wider" ratio, so they may display black bars at the top and bottom of your footage in some cases (this is generally referred to as letter boxing).

The exception to this is reels that are output for actors access - which still uses a 4:3 aspect ratio. In that case, pretty much everything ail have the "black bars".

We're putting together a video which will explain this visually. In the meantime, here's a more in-depth article about aspect ratio.

It's a personal pet peeve of ours when we see reels that have been output by professional editors that do not display their clients' footage correctly. There's simply no excuse.

At ActorFusion, we take pride in doing it correctly.

The Process: Scene Grabs

Contact us as soon as you know when your episode or movie will be airing, along with a description of your role and scene(s), a jpg of your headshot, and if possible approximately where in the program you expect your scene to be (maybe just the page numbers for your sides). Note, we will tape the whole program, but due to copyright restrictions, we are only able to give you copies of your individual scenes. We will use the information you provide about your role to find and extract your scenes after we have recorded your show.
Our rates are based upon the length of the program. Payment must be received in advance.
  • scene(s) from 30 minute program: $50
  • scene(s) from 60 minute program: $60
Commercials - as you know, it is difficult to determine when commercials will air. But if people tend to see your commercial during a typical time slot (on a specific network), or during a specific show, we can run a scene grab from that program.

[what should I do if a commercial or scene does not air? Partial refund? what if we recorded their show and had to turn down someone else?]
We're only charging you for our time spent editing and outputting your footage. Once your episode is aired, we will extract your scene(s) and output them in full HD.

We will then edit and output three (3) versions of your scene(s). This way, as soon as you get your material, you can immediately (a) post it online, (b) submit it to actorsaccess, or (c) update your reel. You'll get:
  • An HD, upload-ready widescreen version (suitable for vimeo, youtube, et cetera);
  • An upload-ready version for actorsaccess (in their preferred format); and
  • A full resolution HD master (for archival/editing purposes).
Because we always want you to look your best.

Not only do you need the high-quality HD for editing and archival purposes, we want you to have your scene ready for immediate upload to actors access and breakdowns (as well as youtube and vimeo). We will output your footage to both meet their requirements and still make sure your footage look as good as possible.

And don't worry. We label all of the clips to make it all as easy and intuitive as possible.
It is definitely the best option. When working with video (especially when it will ultimately be viewed on the web) you want to start with the highest quality image possible, so that when it is compressed (in the case of video, reduced in size) it will still retain the highest image quality possible.

A high-quality standard definition recording is also acceptable, but you want to make sure that whoever records it outputs it for you in full quality.
We do have a backup system, but please note - in the event that we have to use a backup recording, the master will be in standard definition,. However, we will still optimize it so that it will look as good as possible (and in that case, we'd charge you $10 less).
If the power and/or cable goes out, there's nothing we can do, and we will refund your money. If you're going to be on tv, we recommend that you also set a DVR yourself, and ask a couple of friends to do the same thing. Better safe than sorry.
Possibly. But it will be considerably more expensive, as we'll have to charge for travel and setup time, as well as output and editing.
Possibly. Give us the details and we'll let you know.
Assuming your episode, film or commercial is airing in NYC, yes. We can either ship the scenes to you via FedEx (for an additional cost) or send them to you via yousendit or dropbox (or a similar service). If there is an additional cost for the online service, you will be responsible for it.


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