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Creating A Showreel & Why It Matters

Your acting reel is your commercial. With it, you are creating a response that encourages the producers/directors to hire you. Having only a headshot to show is not going to cut it. Create your profile and have a showreel. Directors and producers want to see more than just a pretty face.

The ‘I played character X in this and that film/play’ or ‘I directed/edited Y and X’ is also not sufficient. It can mean the difference between booking an industry job or not as it shows how important you are with the industry.

Since you only get one chance to make a first impression, make sure it’s the best you’ve got. I am going to give you three tips to help you make a good reel. Before that, I must stress that as an individual you can’t do everything. You want to give directors/producers a sense of who you are and it is important to have an identity they can look for.

Actors, in particular often try too hard to show they can do everything before they’ve shown they can do something. Be specific.

Remember, your showreel is your resume. These following tips might help in creating the best reel:

1. Best Work Only
Including your best work is crucial to having a great reel. If something is kind of old, out of date or just not as good as your other work then leave it out. Think quality over quantity. Remember bad stuff always sticks in the mind.

2. Make Sure You Feature More Than Your Scene Partner
A reel where the other actor is pulling more attention than you is not good for you, obviously. Don’t give your director/producer any reason to not be focusing on you.

3. Leave Out The Montage
Overall, montages waste time. It should show what you look and sound like on-screen and your acting ability. Cutting straight to the point with your best scene will serve you well.

Here 3 examples of good showreels to give you an idea:

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