I’m really enjoying creating showreels for up and coming actors in London. I’m realising now that my years of writing and directing low-budget short films has given me the perfect experience to be able to offer actors a useful and affordable service.
The sad fact is that too many great actors are struggling, especially at the beginning of their careers, to find footage which showcases their talents. That’s the problem with working with students and amateurs; they may have great ideas, but they don’t always nail them. So you end up being a veteran of 20 short films, with hardly anything which you feel you can show people.
I write scenes that are between 1 and 3 pages; that are perfectly suited to what actors need, what they feel they can play. It’s helping stretch me as a writer; because I think sometimes with my films I have gotten a little too comfortable in writing quirky rom-coms, whereas when actors want showreels they want a far bigger range and really want to be able to show their talents in a variety of ways.
That’s what I’m enjoying most about the showreels. Even though it is a business venture and I get paid to do it; I find it very creative, too. I get to push myself to write better and better each time, and to shoot the scenes in different ways.
For example, one of my favourite scenes is one I wrote and directed for East 15 Graduate Aiste Gramantaite. You can see the scene in the video below, from 1.09-2.29. We had problems with the location, and the sound had too much echo; but there’s a real truth and honesty to the scene, and the conflict jumps off the screen!
I shot it handheld, documentary style; but it works! The rawness of the scene along with the great performances from Aiste and Catherine Rowney makes it gripping!
The video below has some more examples of my showreels. All scenes are written, directed and edited by me.