5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Showreel

Screenshot from Natascha Hort's Showreel

It can be difficult to know the dos and don’ts of creating a showreel, but there are some key mistakes you should avoid. Read on for our top tips! And, if you’re interested in getting a showreel created by us, please get in touch.

1. Montages

Montages are one of the quickest ways to make a casting director skip you by. They show nothing of your acting and are just a waste of precious seconds where you could be demonstrating your talent. They might look cool, but they don’t belong in your showreel!

2. Overly-Long Clips

Whether you have one clip or several, your showreel should NEVER be longer than three minutes. And two minutes is even better! Ideally, you want to have 2 or 3 clips of a minute or less each. That way you can show off your acting without boring the casting director or agent watching it.

3. Unfocused Content

There are three main ways of falling into this trap. Firstly, by making it unclear who you are in the clip: is the image blurry, too dark, or are you lurking somewhere in the background? Casting directors have enough to do without the extra work of figuring out who they should be looking at.

Secondly, how much screen time do you have compared to others in the clip? Do you appear for 5 seconds amidst 10 minutes of someone else acting? No casting director is going to wait that long for you to appear in your own showreel!

And thirdly, what are you doing in the scene? Is there good, focused content of you acting? Or are you standing staring out of the window for half of the time? Make sure you’re showing the casting director something useful.

4. Monologues

You might think that a monologue is the best way to showcase your acting without anyone else ‘stealing’ screen time away from you. But you’d be wrong. Think of all the films or TV programmes you’ve watched recently. How much time do the actors spend monologuing? And how long do they spend interacting with other actors?

Exactly.

Casting directors want to see how you react and respond to other actors because, 99% of the time, that’s what you’ll be doing on screen.

It’s the same principle for scenes where you don’t say anything at all. Silent scenes are fine on their own, but they don’t do you any favours in your showreel.

5. Irrelevant content

If you’re going for an acting role and you send in clips of you singing, dancing, stage combatting, or something else that the role doesn’t call for, you’re wasting everybody’s time. If your showreel includes a small amount of such things, that can be fine. But if you want to get into different types of work such as stage combat, presenting, or music, then you should have separate showreels for each of those specialities. Don’t cram it all into one place because, chances are, casting directors won’t spend the time trying to find what it is they want to see – your acting.


We hope this helps you on your path to creating a high-quality, effective showreel that will get you cast. If you’d like to chat about making your showreel, please get in touch for a no-obligation meeting.