A show reel or demo reel is a snippet of content that showcases the best bits of any creative business. It's particularly appropriate for a visual camera operator such as myself as it gives productions companies, agencies and businesses a taster of my experience and the quality of my work. Whether you're a make up artist, sound mixer, actor or director of photography these tips will apply to you all.
I usually update my showreel every year. This is because content, technology and my kit is advancing so fast that to stay current and relevant I like to showcase my latest and greatest work. It's too easy to get complacent and forget to update these things. I've heard actors in the past moaning about having an out of date reel and never getting round to sorting it. I think if they did there's potential for new jobs to come through.
Here's my latest showreel for 2018 featuring TV commercials, branded content, live events and short films.
Some tips for creating a showreel
1. Make the first few shots count - Your viewer has a short attention span and you're asking for a portion of it. Make the first 10 seconds highly appealing so they stick around.
2. Music - I'm a big fan of good music both personally and professionally. I'm also a fan of cutting to the beat. It's more pleasing to watch and shows an attention to detail. I've seen a big trend in hard core dubstep being used for showreels and I'm even a culprit myself once upon a time. Whilst I enjoy it personally I suggest that for professional content maybe going for something slightly softer and watchable in a work environment. Some people add in camera sound so that it's not just a visual flare piece (I chose not to do this but I don't think it's a bad idea)
3. Length - I suggest a length of 60-90 seconds long. That's plenty of time to show a variety of your work. Anything longer than that and the viewer may get bored and click away missing the most important and final detail...
4. Contact details - Include your name, website and contact information in the reel. Whilst people may be watching the video on your website and you feel an email address isn't necessary. They may be watching it straight out of a video platform such as vimeo or youtube and therefore your contact details might not be so obvious. You want people to reach out to you so make it easy for them.