5 Frequently Asked Showreel Questions

Screenshot from showreel scene

So you’re about to make your first showreel, but you’ve got a lot of questions. We’re always happy to help if you want to contact us, but we’ve also included the answers to some of the most common questions here.

1. What is a showreel?

A showreel is your video portfolio. It’s a short video with a few clips demonstrating how well you can act and what characters you can play. It is an absolutely vital tool for anyone wanting to pursue acting as a career.

2. Do I need a showreel?

If you’re an actor with any serious ambition to do it professionally, then YES, you absolutely need a reel. Casting directors and agents come across hundreds and thousands of actors every week and there’s no time to meet them all and audition them in person. So your showreel is a way of showing what you can do and of making an impression. If you don’t have one, you will be passed over for most, if not all, possible castings.

3. How long should my showreel be?

Short! Showreels should never be longer than three minutes, and a more ideal length is closer to two minutes. Remember that the people looking at your reel aren’t movie or TV audiences but professionals who want to quickly and accurately get an idea of whether you have the right look and the necessary skills to take on an acting role. They won’t be watching your entire showreel, so you need to be concise and focused in what you do. Take a look at our guide on 5 Tips for Your Showreel.

4. How do you make a showreel?

While you could, technically, set up your own camera and film a clip of you doing a scene with a friend, chances are that you will get low-quality, amateur material. Do you know where you should be standing, can you edit, do you know how to colour and do sound post?

For the best results, you should hire a professional to create a showreel for you. Not only will they have the best equipment and skills available for you, but a good showreel creator will also have knowledge of the industry and be able to offer you advice, direction, and guidance to make sure that your showreel is exactly what you need. You can take a look at the services we offer here. It might be a big expense for you, but a professional showreel is much more valuable to your acting career than a homemade one.

5. How often should I update my showreel?

As often as you need to. As your career progresses, you will get more footage of yourself and you can use this to update your current showreel. You won’t necessarily need to have a brand new reel each time, but can replace old scenes with newer ones. Saying that, you don’t want to add new scenes just for the sake of it. Make sure anything new is still of a good quality and shows your performance well. You may also need a new showreel if the way you look has changed significantly. A casting director wants to know who they are inviting in for an audition. If they’re expecting curvy and mousy-haired and you turn up super-skinny with purple hair, they won’t be very happy! Take a look at our guide on 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Showreel.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or to sign up to our newsletter and be the first to receive updates and new blogs. You can also get in touch with any questions or if you would like to talk to us about making your showreel.

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