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Meet Thomas Fico of Reel Deal Demos in Stevenson Ranch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Fico.

Thomas, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started working in the entertainment industry in 1995. Prior to starting Reel Deal Demos, I worked for Marvel Entertainment and Walt Disney Feature Animation. At Disney, my first position was in recruiting, which is where I learned how to review artistic demo reels and get an understanding of what the studios were looking for.

My second position at Disney was as an Audio and Video Technician. This position gave me the technical background and skills needed to be proficient in many areas of video production.

After working for Disney for about eight years, I decided to start my own demo reel editing business. In the beginning, artist reels were the better part of my business due to my background, but over time I started doing actor reels, host reels, sizzle reels, and stunt reels.

Honestly, when I started the business, I never realized how many people really needed a reel, so I was amazed when I started getting calls from dancers, musicians, stylists and more. It’s great because nowadays I am always working on a different type of reel, so every job still feels new and exciting.

Has it been a smooth road?
Looking back over the years of being in business, I would say it has mostly been a smooth road. I learned early on that I had to be patient and let my clients spread the word about Reel Deal Demos. Just like any other business, nothing is better than “word of mouth”.

The struggles along the way have been on the technical side of things since technology has changed so much over the years. We went from multiple tape formats to DVD, then to Blu-ray, and now Digital Files, which I like to say “come in multiple flavors”. To be honest though, these are all still day to day challenges since I get a variety of media formats for just about every reel.

Another challenge is staying on top of the multiple formats needed for posting your finished demo reel online. Websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, IMDB, Actors Access, LA Casting, and more, have different specs for the type of digital files, the size, and format they accept. There really isn’t a standard when it comes to technology, so these specs are always changing.

However, on the positive side of all of these changes, technology has allowed me to work remotely with clients all around the world.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Reel Deal Demos specializes in editing actor reels, artist reels, host reels, sizzle reels and more.

A demo reel is a representation of you and your talent. It should be professional and consist of your best work. It’s the tool to show your skills and experience to potential agents, managers, casting directors, recruiters and other decision makers in the entertainment industry. At Reel Deal Demos, we understand the importance of your reel and what potential employers want to see. We create professional, affordable and effective demo reels for all of our clients.

We also create websites similar to the way we edit demo reels, a professional presentation focused on you. We make sure the site is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. We all know attention spans are very short these days, so you really need to keep things straight to the point.

As a company, I am most proud of the returning business. It truly shows that our clients are happy with our services and that their demo reel is working. I really love getting to know everyone on a personal level, seeing how they have grown over the years, the new projects they have worked on, and the new skills they have acquired.

I truly think what sets us apart from other companies is the fact we edit every demo reel like it is our own. Every frame of footage matters and it is extremely important to keep the reel short, straight to the point, and entertaining. The reel should also be focused on you, so for actors it is very important to do what I call “in-between editing” which means shortening a scene by editing out some of the other actors’ lines or even sometimes removing a third actor completely as long as the scene still makes sense. Even if an edit only saves a second, we do it because it keeps the scene moving and it keeps you in the spotlight. We believe in the famous quote “every second counts”.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
As far as starting out goes, this is kind of a tricky question because it depends on if I am answering it regarding actors and hosts or visual effects artists. In general, I think we can all agree that Hollywood really isn’t Hollywood anymore due to production companies leaving and following tax incentives, but at the same time, Hollywood still has some magic, so I believe it is a good starting point.

I am still hopeful that more work will return to the LA area. I know Netflix recently made the decision to move productions back to LA, so fingers crossed other companies will follow. I believe California is slowly improving on their tax incentives as well, so hopefully these plans keep moving forward and get better.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
reel_deal_demos_2: Edit Session
reel_deal_demos_3: Thomas Fico with wife Katie Fico at The Advanced Imaging Society Awards.
reel_deal_demos_4: Thomas Fico with wife Katie Fico at The Oscars.

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