Actors Guide To Making An Actors Showreel

Actors Guide To Making An Actors Showreel

by Silvertip Films, posted 16 June 2015

Every single actor should have a showreel. It’s as simple as that. It’s your calling card, your introduction to casting agents, managers and talent scouts. Without one…how will anyone know you’re out there as an actor?

A showreel really needs to be short, snappy and to the point to capture peoples attention immediately and showcase you the best way possible.
 
Opening with your name on a title card, followed by a montage is a good start – a number of short soundbites of you, in different looks, from different productions to grab people’s attention. Backed with some music that suits your personality of course!
 
Then, move into a number of short clips from your work, where you feature predominantly on screen. Three to four clips should suffice here. End the reel with your name, contact details and best headshot. Bring it all in under 5 minutes for the best results.
 
A showreel should feature your best work and showcase you in a range of styles, to show your versatility but without veering too wildly from one extreme to another. If it looks like you can do everything from Taxi Driver type roles to Ace Ventura slapstick, it might make it hard to cast you initially as people won’t know what they’re getting with you. Excel at comedic roles? Focus on that in your reel and drop in something more serious to show your range. Is drama your strong point? Showcase your best dramatic roles and lighten it up with some comedy if you have it.
 
A showreel like this can be edited either sitting with the editor and working through the footage or remotely, by sending your DVDs etc to the editor alongside the timecodes for your scenes. You might ask here, what is a timecode?! This is the time IN and time OUT of the scene you want used on the reel. Having as clear an idea of what you want in your reel, before submitting to or sitting with, the editor is invaluable. It means the process is quicker and more efficient and gets what you want on screen. A montage can be edited with or by the editor, using your pre-chosen selections, if you don’t want to specify a running order for it.
 
Another option for a showreel is the filming of special scenes for inclusion in the reel. This is a good idea if you want to show yourself in a specific style but haven’t yet had the chance to take a role like that or if you need to add more to the reel if you are short on material.
 
For example, you might be performing in a number of plays but if you want to move into TV or Film, you will need a showreel to promote yourself as not every acting agent will be able to get out and see you and a list of stage credit’s, however impressive, won’t cut it the same way a reel will with an agent.
 
Also if you are just starting out on your acting career, a specially shot and edited reel could be just what you need if your other featured roles are limited and won’t be enough to comprise a reel.
 
Silver Tip Films offer a number of options for the editing or shoot and edit of your new showreel, so get in touch to talk further with us.
 
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