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What every NEW actor needs to know about showreels in 2021

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What every NEW actor needs to know about showreels in 2021

Every new actor needs a showreel. But it can feel stressful, can't it? How do you make a showreel with no experience? You may even wonder what is a showreel? Also called a demo reel sometimes.

Showreels for Actors are made up of short sharp dramatic clips showing off their work in a very short space of time. These are then uploaded or sent to casting directors as a submission for casting consideration for and upcoming TV or Film or even Theatre project.

But how do you make a demo reel with no experience?

Perhaps you don't have enough quality clips yet? Or even no clips at all..? And maybe you don't know how long should a showreel be...?

A headshot lets a casting director see your branding in an instant, a showreel answers deeper questions, can you sustain a scene, what's your range, your branding? 

A CD can discover your showreel on a casting site, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or loads of  other sites where your reel might be located, and call u in to audition.

It’s an essential part of being an actor today. But how do you get the best results?

Here are some Acting Reel Tips

Your Clips

If you’ve got a lot of clips ready to give to a production company, that’s great, but what happens if you don’t?

Perhaps you're still waiting for your clips? Not enough footage, or haven’t filmed enough stuff yet? Answer...

Create a showreel ‘Shot from Scratch’.

Lots of showreel companies now offer this type of service - they create a showreel  in consultation with you - you decide the material...you choose and build it together. Actors showreels from scratch are a foot in the door.

What You Need To Ask The Showreel Makers!

  • Who is editing? Is their background in film, TV, docs. All 3? what? Does this match with what you want? Your branding? (have you seen my videos about this kind of stuff)
  • Can you talk to them through the various stages of the creation?? This is a useful and valuable experience? and if they say no...why?
  • Will they upload your finished showreel to social media sites for you?
  • Do they give you printed disks and digital formats ? So you can personally email them to CD's and online sites etc?

Generally, this kind of material looks best shot outdoors - as sets are expensive and lighting  adds costs.

Getting Your Reel Out There!

Get ALL appropriate media formats for the various types of sites out there, usually mp4 files or .mov files, but check with each provider first.

Get it up on YT and Vimeo, and your FB page and on your website!

You do HAVE a website right?

Here's what every new actor needs to know about showreels.

Want to see some actor demo reel examples?

Come and join us for free on Facebook and just ask to see some examples - easy peasy.

You can join now for free by clicking here

 The video on You Tube

The main pointers:

  • Your reel needs to move fast - 2-3 mins max.
  • Think movie. Start with a bang. End with an explosion.
  • Material should all be on YOU not others.
  • Finish on your own or your agent’s contact details.

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How Reels Have changed recently

1. Acting Is More Important Than Anything.

Used to be you’d prove your self by showing yourself acting next to huge TV stars. Now everyone has a reel. What makes you stand out, is good acting. No zappy edits. No graphics. The key to a good showreel for actors is good acting.

2. A Dead Montage is a good Montage.

 A fast paced zappy cut montage tells us NOTHING about you. Nothing. Boring. Not anymore.

What is powerful — YOU. That's it.  Authentic. You.

3. Showreels are now a heck of a lot Shorter.

No filler on your showreel. No Padding out. No wasted time. Good acting and go. Start with a bang . End with an explosion. Get out fast. Directors watch actors showreels on their phones nowadays. Pop.

4. A Showreel from Scratch Is Now Cool

No scripts from previously produced TV shows/films. Don't use a poor showreel company that suggests this. They always use bad scripts in a poor setting with low level low budget lighting. Useless. Am i clear enough? ha ha x

Work with a passionate writer/director or company who will craft scenes that NAIL your lead casting type. A good showreel from scratch can literally transform your acting career – Make sure the scripts are ORIGINAL!

5. Your Casting Range is now a heck of a lot Smaller

Hit them hard with your lead type. 2-3 30 sec scenes showing you as a hard ass lawyer. 1-2 scenes showing you as a girl or boy next door. Get the idea?

Spotlight : On Showreels 


FAQ's About Showreels

Tired of facing ANOTHER rejection from Casting Directors? Learn the 7 ways you are really ruining your Self Taping results.

Act Now

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