Actors Get Your Shit Together! #AGYST
The showreel is essential. The actors who have a reel get cast, and the actors who don’t don’t.
Of course, it isn’t as simple as that. There are lots of variables. But as a general rule, it’s true. These days, there’s no excuse for not having a showreel. If you have no money, shoot it yourself. Borrow a friend’s camera and show what you can do.
The showreel is absolutely essential. It’s how you show people who you are. I can hardly tell anything about you from your headshot, or the fact you did a Shakespeare play in 2009. What I want to see is YOU, acting! It’s really simple.
Here’s why people don’t have showreels.
1) They’re waiting for footage from a film they did two years ago.
2) They’re not very proud of their acting so far.
3) The footage is terrible.
The problem with number 1, is that this excuse lasts for years. I know actors, talented ones, who have been waiting three years for ‘a couple more DVDs’ to come through. The years pass by and they continue to miss out on opportunities. And when they finally get the DVD footage through, they realise everything else is out of date. Their hair has turned grey now and now it’s a whole different ball game.
Laziness. That’s the killer. People think they’ll be the one actor who is so special that Spielberg will hire them without even needing a showreel. They don’t realise what a showreel is, and what it does. It’s a video document that shows your growth as an artist. You have bad footage? Don’t worry, we all do! It’s part of the journey. Don’t try and pretend everything you’ve done is perfect — because nobody will believe you.
There are showreel services out there that can give you the footage you need in a matter of days. Have a look at this list on Casting Call Pro. Heaps of organisations that put together showreels. Take a look!
(I have not worked with anyone on this list, so ask around for opinions on the different services!).
And of course, part of the reason I’m writing this is to promote what I do. When I work with an actor, we discuss who you are, what kind of acting you want to do, and what characters would help you fulfill this.
And then I write the scenes.
When I’ve written the scenes you’re happy with, we get some actors together to work with you, and we film it!
Why wait two years to get footage back from a student film? Why fret over the poor quality of what you’ve been in so far? I can write you scenes TODAY! We can shoot them THIS WEEK! within a few weeks, you’ll have fresh HD footage showing precisely what you can do.
“It was thanks to your showreel that I got the Ricky Gervais job!” -Hana Minett, who had a role in ‘Derek’, written & directed by Ricky Gervais.