Making Sizzle Reels

In today’s fast paced world, most directors attempting to pitch a project create what are referred to as pitch reels, or sizzle reels. They serve as a trailer for the film with the goal of quickly establishing tone and atmosphere. A pitch reel is usually constructed with repurposed footage from films with a similar tone.

Are you directing a film about a masked axe murderer who kidnaps a small child? Then you’d use re-contextualized footage from Halloween and Home Alone. Maybe your Dr. Loomis character is intended to be an homage to John McClane, so you include footage from Bruce Willis’ previous films. The footage you use should quickly communicate tone and atmosphere.


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