Creating an Acting Showreel – Actor Hub Tips

What No-one Tells You About Showreels
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The way video is watched nowadays has changed. Most casting directors will probably watch your showreel on their pc, at their desk, as they grapple with an M&S Sandwich! They want it to be online, they want it to be quick, and they want it to be relevant.
When I started in the profession all my footage was on bulky VHS cassettes. To show a casting director your work you needed to send them the video tapes. You wouldn’t send them 4 or 5 separate tapes so you would get someone to edit together your best scenes and make a ‘showreel’. You could send them your ‘best bits’ on a single VHS tape. Then along came DVD which was cheaper to post and quicker to make.
Well, in the words of the Dylan song Oh, The Times They Are a-Changin
The point of the reel — or, better yet, the clip — is to showcase you, not the show.
SAG Foundation Realities Of Casting Seminar
Today most video is watched online, and nearly all showreels are viewed directly online from your Spotlight CV page. Nobody sends out a video tape anymore – I doubt anyone still has a player! Very few people bother sending out DVD’s anymore.
Online showreels are the future, they make the casting director’s life a lot easier.
Common place in America is to use clips instead of reels. These make life so much simpler for all involved. Each clip is self-contained and lasts about 30 to 60 seconds. Using clips means that there is a large variety for the casting director to choose from, and they can easily pick and choose what to watch and what to send on to their team.
Making sure these clips are labelled correctly helps enormously. If the casting director is casting a comedy they can quickly see:

Clip #3 “Comedy – Sitcom – My Family – BBC”
Clip #4 “Comedy – Sketch Show -Harry & Paul – BBC”

if they are casting a drama they easily access:

Clip #2 “Drama – Utopia – Channel 4″
Clip #1“Drama – Feature Film – Trance – dir: Danny Boyle”
Casting Directors can choose which clips to watch something they are much more likely to do, knowing they only have to view a short, specific clip as opposed to slogging through a whole reel.
SAG Foundation Realities Of Casting Seminar
Making clips instead of reels is more useful to the casting industry and also works out cheaper for you. You don’t need to pay to have a new reel made each time you need to add a clip. If you are an actor without a lot of film or tv experience then clips are perfect for you. If you only have one or two bits of footage then just get those clipped and have one or two clips online.
Find out more about our clip company at