Showreel Surgery

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The actors showreel is as important as their headshot, but it is not always created in the right way or updated regularly enough. Here are my top tips for a showreel:

#1 - Content

Make sure that the opening shot is you. Casting Directors don't want to be left wondering who they are meant to be looking at. Open with your best work, that shows you off in the light you get cast in.

#2 - Montage

Don't, just don't. A showreel used to see how you perform on screen, not a look at all the things you have been in. If a Casting Director wanted to hear a song from The 1975 with random clips over it then they will search youtube. No music, no montage, just scenes.

#3 - Length

So it has been said that a Casting Director will look at only the first 20 - 40 seconds of your showreel so there is no need to have a 5 minute epic. Keep it to 2 minutes and you can even upload it directly to Twitter (pin it to your profile is my top tip here). It's a good idea to have your first scene around 25 seconds, then straight into your second. This way a Casting Director will get to see you in two different scenes. Keep it short and sweet, make them want more.

I am often asked how to get a showreel together (especially as I came from a Musical Theatre background) and my answer is this. Get in some student films (use Casting Call Pro), get in independent shorts (network on social media), write yourself a scene and get a friend to film it. It will take time but it will be worth it. Paying companies is great but they are expensive, branded and also look a bit naff. There are many editing softwares you can use to keep it updated, I use Adobe Premiere Pro.

Spend the next two weeks over the holidays updating your reel as on January 11th Kate Marie Davies is running #ShowreelShareDay on Twitter. Pop your showreel on Twitter (needs to be 2 mins or less to be able to upload) and get it seen by hundreds of Casting Directors and Directors. Just don't forget to retweet other actors showreels too as support really counts here.

Here is my showreel, I would love to know your thoughts and see yours too.

Hope you are having a great week.


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