11 ‘DIY’ Tips to Create an Engaging Showreel

Jun 25, 2019 | Blog

If you’re serious about building a career in Screen Acting, then you’ll know that creating a professional showreel could be the difference between getting your next big break or not. A high quality showreel will help you get signed with the best agents and land auditions to those all important career-building roles. It’s vital that you think about how best to showcase your talents in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd.   

While we always recommend against a DIY showreel, we want to make sure you’re getting the right advice if you do plan to create your own. Especially as there are many tips in the market that can be misleading. Here are eleven DIY tips on how to create an engaging showreel that stands out and increases your chances of bagging those career-building roles:

1. Keep it short and concise.

You will get different answers when you ask casting directors how long a demo showreel should be. However, there is one aspect that is obvious: keep it short. 

An acceptable showreel length should be 60 to 90 seconds. If possible, do not go over 2 minutes. Don’t worry about not being able to highlight your complete acting prowess. If you work with a professional video editor, they should be able to help you tell a clear story, in a small amount of time. 

2. Make your reel specific.  

Directors, producers and casting agents expect professional actors to possess multiple skill sets. So, when applying or auditioning for a certain role, make sure that your reel speaks to these skills. If possible, make your showreel targeted specifically to a distinct role, function or skill. 

Athough this means you might need to create multiple showreels, you will benefit in the long run. This is because people who are looking for talents often have a limited amount of time to watch reels. They will prefer seeing samples that are ideal for the position they are looking for. In our Showreel Course we not only develop you as an actor but also professionally support students choosing and producing the right scenes that best represent them as an actor today.

3. Highlight your best work.

In some cases, the old adage “Save the best for last” may be applicable. But for your showreel, you need to avoid doing that. When creating a showreel, make sure you feature your best scenes that showcase your strongest traits at the beginning. If you only have three seconds to capture someones attention, what will you lead with? Impact moments aren’t always necessary to hook your viewer, high quality shot scenes in intriguing spaces will do this equally as well.

4. Show your personality.

Use your showreel to showcase your true personality. Do you have a wild sense of humour? Do you think you are a bit edgy? Regardless of who you think you are, do not be afraid to include a bit of YOU into your work. This way, people will have a better sense of who you are as an individual. 

Screenwise Show Your Personality Showreel

5. Dialect and language.

Consider the dialect you’re using in your scenes. Think about the roles that you want, can you or do you need to show an American accent in your reel? Keep your future in mind and build a showreel that has global potential, if that is what you want.  

Showreel Dialect And Language

6. Tell a story.

Tell the story of your career and leave an impression. By taking the viewer on a journey you have the chance to capture their attention. Bring them on a journey of your career, which leaves the viewer with a feeling of “I want more”. 

How to make a showreel tell a story

7. Make your showreel accessible.

If you want your showreel to be easily accessible by industry stakeholders, you should get it online. Create an account on video-sharing sites like Vimeo or YouTube. The goal is to let people conveniently view your showreel at any timeFor example, if a production is urgently hiring for a certain position, you can simply send a link without having to leave the comforts of your home.  

make your showreel accessible

8. Optimise your online videos. 

Add a description of your showreel using keywords that are relevant to you (including your name and anything someone might search to find you), this could increase the number of video views. Also, make sure your online profile is up to date with professional images, contact details and a detailed description about yourself.  

9. Put short descriptions in your showreel.

One way to best describe your involvement and roles in your clips is to write short descriptions. For example, if you’ve made an appearance on an episode of a certain TV series, mention your role in your reel. You can say that you played a supporting or guest role. 

By doing this, industry professionals will know about your involvement. At the same time, viewers will have a better idea of your abilities. To know how to make and add descriptions in your showreel, you can use video editing tools such as Final Cut Pro Editor or Adobe Premiere Pro.

10. Focus on your impressive clients.

If you’ve worked in a major film or television production, use it to your advantage. Working with big corporations, television networks, and popular flicks will really make you stand out. We recommend you use those scenes in your reel.

11. Include your contact details.

If you haven’t been signed by an agent, you should include your name and contact details at the beginning and end of your reel in a tasteful manner. Be sure to use your basic contact information, including your name, email address, website, and contact number. Although the person you’re in contact with may have your contact details, the person your showreel is shared to may not.

These tips are just the start, we have many more insights for you on our Showreel Course. Here we offer a toolkit for professional, and support in creating your state-of-the-art showreel that is required to meet the demands of today’s film and television industry. 

Take control of your career and build a showreel that inspires, delights and excites.  

To apply for the Showreel course apply here today or call 02 9281 4484 for more information. 


Next Showreel Course audition dates:

19th NovTuesday 19th November @ 2pm: Book your audition

A Screenwise staff member will email you further details about your 'Audition Requirements' prior to your audition at our Screenwise Studios in Surry Hills, Sydney.

Audition Requirements:
- Prepared Film/TV monologue 30 seconds in length (Applicants choice).
- Prepared Film/TV scene (Screenwise choice).
3rd DecTuesday 3rd December: Book your audition
5th DecThursday 5th December: Book your audition
Feb 2020Additional audition dates may be held up to the commencement of the Showreel Course - Subject to class availability.

Showreel Course Commences: Book your audition
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