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Jeff's Jots: What’s the deal about Acting Reels?

What are they?

Showreel, Demo reel, video audition

What are they for? Casting Directors, Agents, Producers:

How you look and act on camera…

See if the Style of acting is useful for them

Demo: Snapshots of productions you’ve been cast

Show reel: Scenes showing how you cast yourself

Video Auditions: Specific material for specific projects (auditions)

Why are they necessary or are they?

Can convey your acting "season" and how well suited you are for a role

Agents/managers can see your work if they are unfamiliar with you

Casting directors become familiar with your technique and presence on camera

Demo (only): Who you’ve worked with what shows you've been cast

If they are good they can be useful but there are many factors to consider

1) Show reels: Sometimes overproduced and not a showcase for you

2) Demo’s: Best work at the top of reel. 2-3 minutes total.

3) Both: You have cast yourself well for you NOW. The Material is perfectly suited to your present castability.

4) Show-reels: Well matched partner/specific uncomplicated scene/

5) Demo: Having a Scene with a "fancy" actor is always helpful

How to decide what is best for you:

Reverse engineer your steps for creating a reel: Showreel or demo?

Who is it for?

Is it worth the time and cost? Editing/producing

How are you going to use the reel/demo?

An excellent video audition submission is often better than a show reel

Sometimes it is better to wait until you have enough material rather than create something that looks manufactured

Final thoughts

This is an important tool for the industry. Done right, it can open doors and accelerate a career. Poorly done, it can leave a bad impression of where you are in your career and set you back financially.Take time to think through the purpose of your video and whether you will move ahead or spin your wheels because it does not achieve what you need it to do

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