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Building a Great Demo Reel

12:00-1:30 p.m. -- 9th Fl. Room #C937

Whether you have no credits or need to update your current reel, a demo is a must-have in this digital age. Learn from video editors Joe Gressis and Wayne Rawley and casting director Rick Pagano how to make your reel go from good to great.


Joe Gressis

Joe Gressis is the two-time winner of the best reel editor award from Backstage magazine and is a three time Emmy-nominated editor and producer and an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter. He has edited and produced pieces for the likes of Cale Boyter (A History of Violence, Elf, The Butterfly Effect, and many more), Mark Wolper (Penn & Teller Bullshit, Helter Skelter), Angus Oblong (The Oblongs), Spike TV, Comedy Central, and National Lampoon's Comedy Night School.

He has edited made for TV films (In The Net, The Movement, Skin Complex) that appeared nationally on PAX TV and on selected ABC stations. He has also produced short and feature documentaries for The Children's Defense Fund, The Library of Congress, Time-Warner, and the Issues Channel. Most recently he ran Planet Video, a successful post-production company.

Rick Pagano
Since 1985, Rick Pagano has worked as president and CEO of Pagano/Manwiller Inc. His company has cast more than 70 feature films, including X-Men 3, Hotel Rwanda, Rudy, Drugstore Cowboy, Alien Resurrection, Point Break, Say Anything, and most recently 88 Minutes, Stardust, Nobel Son, and Bottle Shock. His company has also worked in television, casting such hit shows as 24, Picket Fences, and Chicago Hope, winning two Emmys for casting.

Pagano/Manwiller has also cast more than 100 productions for theatre around the U.S. — including at the Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, and Lincoln Center — and on Broadway, including the original Tony Award-winning production of Big River. As writer-director, he has directed his own plays — including Goose Amid the Revolt, My Italian Café, YBGd?, Ten Tricks, Eldon Corvet's Karaoke and Career Counseling Weekend Retreat, Hanging Alice, and Sex and Work — Robert Litz's Mobile Hymn and Rope of Smoke; J.D. Johnston's All Good Horses; Eugene Ionesco's Exercises De Converation… with the playwright in residence at Stages L.A.; and Hedda Gabler at the Odyssey Theatre.

He also directed a film adaptation of 10 Tricks and is currently developing feature film versions of My Italian Café, Hanging Alice (to be produced by Richard Donner), and Sex and Work. He has a B.A. from Middlebury College and completed his doctoral studies in dramatic literature at Columbia University. He has taught at UCLA, NYU, Columbia University, and the National Theater Conservatory in Lodz, Poland.

Wayne Rawley
Wayne Rawley has been weaving his own particular brand of Avid magic since before the turn of the century. As the promotions producer at KCTS television in Seattle, his talent was quickly recognized, and he began helming the national on-air promotion for PBS documentaries. Campaigns included the critically acclaimed Faith & Fear and The Videogame Revolution.

He was also responsible for executing the national on-air promotion for the hourlong CBC, PBS, and Showcase series MythQuest, which was then turned into a successful series of books by Random House. Since his move to Los Angeles three years ago, he has been a consistently sought-after force in the editing world. He has done postproduction on Season 2 of the Showtime and Lionsgate series Weeds.

His demo-reel work won the award for best union comedy reel at the 2006 Reel Actors Film Festival. His talent in editing reality and narrative shows have helped sell pilot presentations to Bunim Murray and others. He also the creator of the Web series What the Funny?, seen on the Caution Zero Network, premiering March 2008.

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