Director Joe Carnahan (The Grey, The A-Team) revealed yesterday on Twitter that his “idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke.” He was talking about his take on a Daredevil reboot, and you can read the political details of why it’s not happening here. He then did something really cool — he posted two different “sizzle pieces” that he created to pitch Fox on his gritty, 70’s exploitation-style vision of the movie.
This is a rare glimpse at the working product of a director courting a project. There are tons of ways to create dynamic visuals to accompany a pitch, but the “rip reel,” where you build a trailer for your hypothetical movie out of shots ripped from others, is perhaps the most effective.
As you can see, it’s possible to convey a great deal of authorship and directorial intent by mixing and matching pieces stolen from other movies.
A director between projects (or prior to their first) takes a lot of meetings, reads a lot of screenplays, makes a lot of notes — and, every once in a while, goes all-in on a visual presentation to convince a studio to hand them the reins of a movie. In the past two years, I’ve made four of these. Maybe someday I’ll be able to share them as well.