Shiraz is a multi-talented filmmaker based out of Victoria, BC who runs Made You Look Media and recently dropped his “Some Years In The Life” demo reel on YouTube. After watching it, LYFSTYL met up with the creative professional and asked him to describe his work.
“The demo reel is something pretty much everyone in the film business has. For me it’s so much more important than a resume or client roster because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re filming Jay Z or your little brother’s upstart rap duo that’s never going to make it, if you filmed some shit that looks awesome and put it together in a cool way, that’s all that matters.
Demo reels are a ton of work but I love-making them. Getting to pick through all these projects I’ve worked on, some that never got released, and finding the most compelling imagery. I made this reel after coming home from what was going to be a four-month trip in Southeast Asia with my wife that got cut in half due to a cancer diagnosis in the family. We got home in December, the worst time of year for video work, with not a lot of spare cash and no projects on the horizon. I was half expecting to have to start handing out resumes and give up the video dream. Luckily, the downtime gave me a chance to take on the massive task of sifting through thousands of video clips from old projects and about a thousand from the trip itself, to find the stuff I wanted to put together.
Slowly I chipped away at it all and eventually finished up a demo reel set to a song I had made. I invited my friend Jesse, who is peppered throughout the reel, and sat him down to show it. As it played, I broke out into an embarrassed sweat. It sucked. There were some cool shots but it was frantic, jarring, and the song was garbage. I decided I needed to focus on the imagery and forget about trying to score the thing myself. So I grabbed a few songs, decided on Amadou and Mariam’s “Sabali,” and more or less finished the new reel that night. I think that the most important thing to making good stuff is always being able to get embarrassed and hate what you made. It sucks because I more or less think every video I’ve made is garbage. Sometimes I go back and watch them and I’m pleasantly surprised by how they look because in my head they’re just absolute dog shit. It’s the only thing that can motivate me to work harder and make better stuff. Having said that, I’m pretty happy how this demo reel turned out… For now.”