Actors ShowreelThe showreel is an integral part of your marketing package. Once you’ve built up an archive of work you’d be proud to show off, it’s time to get a showreel made. These will include short clips of scenes from the various productions you’ve been involved in. Choosing the right scenes to showcase the spectrum of your ability is your goal.

Getting your agent’s opinion on what is included is key as they’re usually the one’s marketing you and your reel to casting directors. But don’t feel rushed to put a showreel together for the sake of having one, wait until you have some moments caught on film that truly showcase your ability. Showreels are an advantage.

Why would I need a showreel?

Some casting directors nowadays will only consider a performer for an audition if they have first seen them demonstrating their skills in a showreel. A CV and headshot give some indication of your potential, but can only provide a basic summary.

What should I do if I don’t currently have anything on film?

It is advisable to get one professionally recorded and edited if at all possible. Showreels help you to promote yourself, but a casting director may be put off by a poor quality one. It is also worth considering work on student films. Students are usually willing to let you keep a copy of their film and casting professionals would consider this acceptable.

How long should my showreel be?

We would recommend no more than three or four minutes. Casting professionals receive thousands of CV’s and showreels and do not have time to watch every actor for 10 minutes each. This is why we suggest you do not send your showreel out with your CV, but instead mention in your cover letter that one is available.

What should I use in my showreel?

Rather than one long excerpt, it is more beneficial to demonstrate your versatilities with a number of different clips. Focus on your strongest characters to enable the casting director to picture you in the roles you play best.

The first 30 seconds are the most important in your showreel, and can be the only part a busy casting director or agent has time to look at. You may wish to start with a brief montage summarising the clips that are to follow, or with a headshot of yourself so they know who to look out for.

The focus should be on you, not on the other actors, so close up shots ought to be included. You should be speaking most if not all of the time. A visual contrast is good, whether this means filming in a different location or setting, or changing your outfit. You should avoid well-known scripts in order to prevent drawing comparisons between yourself and previous interpretations.