Want to make a showreel that'll catch people's attention? Perhaps make your dream agent sign you or casting directors bring you in for auditions? Then follow these tips.
1. Make it Look Professional
This is easily one of the most important tips I have. If it doesn't look professional, people in the industry will overlook you. If the work you have isn't up to scratch, create something! Get some actor friends together along with a good cinematographer and film something. This can be unknown scenes from films or TV Shows or something written for you. If you don't know how to edit the scene or your showreel professionally, get someone experienced to do so. You can find people on Fiver who will do it for cheap as well.
2. Have Footage That Matches Your Brand
If you have footage in your showreel that matches the kind of roles you are aiming to get, it makes casting director's and your agents' jobs easier. Having so many different kinds of roles in there can get confusing. Yes, in some cases you can do it all, but in most cases, you won't get cast for everything even if you can act it. If you're a comedy actor as well as a dramatic one, have two different reels. One that showcases your overall ability and another for comedy.
P.S. If you can't work out your brand, send your headshot to friends, family & people in the industry. They'll be able to tell you off the first look at it what they think it is. Chose the most common and there you have it!
3. Don't Have the Same Kind of Scenes Repeated
Seriously, don't. If you have a crying clip, don't have more than one. Casting directors will know you can cry from one of the clips so they don't need to see it more than once. You should also avoid having clips that have the same "ark" in them or about the same topics. For example, two clips about abuse should not be on there, unless one is from being abused and the other from being an abuser. Trust me on this. It'll be your best chance of showing how strong you are as an actor.
4. Put it in the Correct Order
Having your footage on your showreel in the correct order is crucial. Your strongest footage should be the first thing people see. Catch their attention with your ability. If casting directors aren't interested within the first ten seconds, they'll turn your reel off. Next, it should show your range and end with a "bang." Something they will remember you by. The scenes, especially the first one, should start with the camera being on you. Don't put someone else first, especially if they look similar to you, it'll just confuse who's watching.
5. Keep it Under Three Minutes
Your showreel should never go over three minutes. It should ideally be around 2 and a half minutes. Pick the best parts of your scenes and put them in. Make it sharp and snappy. There's also an option to do a sizzle reel, which is an extremely short reel, around a minute and a half, which showcases your acting while music is also there. It's meant to be more entertaining to get attention than showcasing your ability as an actor.
6. Include Well-Known Films & TV Shows (if you have been in any)
This one doesn't apply to everyone. But f you have worked on something like a well known TV-Show, such as Neighbours here in Australia, definitely include that with the name of it. Put it more towards the beginning if it's a strong scene. It'll help get you ahead of everyone else.
And finally, please don't include horror, alien, or any other kind of special effects scenes in there. Unless it's something from a huge movie like Jurassic World. But even then, the name will be enough.
And that's it! My top tips.
A showreel is SO important so make sure it is professional to give yourself the best chance in the industry! Hope this helps.
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