Atomic Demo Reel 2012

Andrew Posts: 378 Enthusiast
Well, with the start of the new year I've created a retrospective of our work over the past 18 or so months in the form of a new demo reel. Check it out and let me know your thoughts!
It's been a really interesting and fruitful time for us as filmmakers lately, and we've been very grateful to have you guys (more from the end of things) as both an audience and support through the adventure. Thanks!


  • Nuwanda
    Nuwanda HamburgPosts: 177 Enthusiast
    edited January 2012
    Very impressive. Kudos to you!
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    Good stuff. Nice variety of clips in there, and the song works brilliantly. I'd say that the Drink Parodies actually kinda stick out a bit, because they're so similar to the parody source that it prompts a brief disconnect while you try to figure out why the shot is so familiar. Which in a lot of ways is testament to the excellent recreation of those shots, but I do wonder whether in a showreel, out of context, some people might be confused.
    Otherwise, though, very nice stuff.
  • budwzr
    budwzr Posts: 655
    edited January 2012
    That was GREAT! Nice retrospective, the audio was perfect and awesome.
    The actor at 39 seconds, what's his name? I saw him in a film recently about a white guy that dumps his wife and goes out looking for an exciting life and ends up as this actor's "bitch" in a prison cell. Great movie! Can't remember the name though.
    OK, I found it. It's "Edmund". Awesome film.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2012
    I was surprised not to see more stuff I wasn't familiar with. The only thing that stands out to me right now that I didn't recognize was the shot of Chase (or is it Reese? I can't keep track of your actors, damnit) with the black eye. What's that from?
    I was also a bit surprised by your choice of music, because I fully expected it to be a hip-hop track. Well played, sir. :)
  • Max
    Max Posts: 53
    This is a good reel. First thing I like about it is the choice of music. Now, I love Nick Cave, so I'm biased, but I feel that it's much more appropriate than any of the music you've used before. With this reel, you manage to give all your stuff a dramatic edge, and it helps to unify the content. There's not a lot I can think to crit, I think it works, makes me excited to see some new films from you guys.
    So yeah, good work.
  • Evman
    Evman Posts: 19
    Great reel. Really shows your guys' style has coalesced into something quite professional. Have to agree on the choice of music being very appropriate - gave you that epic scope without really lapsing into cheesiness (cause the visuals support it). And this is coming from someone who hates demo reels. I feel like they never accurately represent anything other than technical acumen, which is a shame, because they're so relied on in these attention deficit days.
    Is most of this stuff unreleased? I haven't seen you guys advertising these individually.
  • Andrew
    Andrew Posts: 378 Enthusiast
    Thanks for the comments guys! As always, we all really appreciate the viewership of the FXhome perspective and gang over at the Atomic office.
    It is true we've had a range of projects over the past year or so- and it's been difficult to exactly pair down how to illustrate and adequately represent that without seeming too silly and comical or, on the flipside, too cheesy and over-serious. Took quite some time, but I really like the track I landed on. Nick Cave's work on The Assassination of Jesse James score is absolutely sublime, and one of my favorite compositions- so it just seemed fitting once I recalled the track 'O Children' again in a second viewing of Harry Potter 7 Part I and found out it was a Nick Cave song as well that I use it. And here we are.
    Surprised to hear Aculag that you've seen much of the works shown in the reel, since (I think) 4 of the projects in this aren't anywhere online yet. The other things, yes truthfully, we've pretty heavily promoted and you should know them well haha. :D But not everything. The black-eye shot of Reese is from a dark comedy project we did last year called 'It Only Gets Worse'. It came out really uneven, and I was working on retooling and editing it when my harddrive failed last year, and I lost much of the footage from it (save a few clips, which are pretty much in this reel).
    As for your question Evman, about 60% of the stuff shown in this has been pretty widely released by us in the past 18 or so months. The other 40% is a mixture of festival, unreleased, and client work that we haven't adamantly featured, but that you (might) see in the not-too-distant future.
    Thanks again guys! Any questions about any of the material you might have- I'm always here to answer, as well!
  • Andrew
    Andrew Posts: 378 Enthusiast
    Anyone else care to check this out? We'd really appreciate your thoughts!
  • Hey guys, great to see you around again! (As I've not been around :P)
    I really liked this reel, and just to echo everyone else, the music was really fitting.
    I agree with Simon on the point about how the parody shots make you think, "where have I seen this before?"
    I liked the fact that you've got a new style though, which seems to be a slight exposure/offset and everything's nice and soft. It's quite a nice style that you guys can pull off.
    Really hope you guys are doing well, and by the looks of it you are!
    Keep it up!
  • Arktic
    Arktic Posts: 52
    Pretty damn sweet!
    Music works very well, good pace, good variety of shots and styles - but in a way that works together, and doesn't feel to disparate. Awesome :)
    The only things that don't work for me are the opening two shots after the graphic. The first one isn't particularly impactful, or emotional, or interestingly composed or... anything really. Especially set against such strong lyrics in the soundtrack ("... put that on hold... pass me that lovely little gun" - what, no shot of someone with a gun?!) and the musical swell. It just doesn't work as an opening shot for me. Put your BEST stuff at the top of the reel, you guys know that. Something that grabs you by the neck and screams "THIS IS WHAT ATOMIC IS ALL ABOUT". A slow, static shot without any emotion really doesn't do you justice.
    The second shot, for my taste, is too 'video'. The depth of field is very deep, which stands out against the more cinematic, shallow DOF from the rest of the reel. The move also feels a bit amateur to me, not quite sure why, but it feels vastly cheaper than some of the other stuff.
  • Andrew
    Andrew Posts: 378 Enthusiast
    Thanks guys!
    I wouldn't say we've really 'changed our style'- a big gear of mine and Ben's efforts are to keep consistency with the visual language of the work we do- and have done for several years. This reel, however, sort of references all of our HD work- funny enough since the first time we got our T2i in 2010 (which was the first HD camera we've owned)- so that shift might be a matter of difference in the overall look of our work.
    We try, as always, to keep it very green and contrasty. ;)
    And I agree Arktic, the shot from Release in the opening isn't as cinematic as some others, but it's emotionally significant in the scope of our work, and something I thought needed to be in there. I tried opening the piece with a shot pulling out of the barrel of a revolver from our short Zero Hour (which I used near the end of the reel), but it felt over-serious, bordering silly, at least to start off the piece- so I went with the most iconic shot I could think of from our Drive parody (which I think to be one of the best-orchestrated shots we've ever got.)
    I see the argument and understand the qualms, though, definitely. Hopefully, as a whole, the slow-burn weighty dramatic tone works throughout without feeling silly.