Getting A SHOWREEL FROM SCRATCH? Insist On These 3 Things!
1. Original Material.
This is the most important factor! I’ve seen showreel companies that rehash scenes from Shawshank Redemption, and it looks awful! And I’m sure you’re a good actor, and I’m sure you could be better than Morgan Freeman, but do you really want to go up against him in his best movie; armed with the help of a cheap looking prison set and a showreel director?
I’ve seen about fifty showreels that duplicate scenes from ‘Closer’, and it looks ridiculous! The actors don’t know whether to develop their own characters or to just recreate Jude Law and Natalie Portman.
Copying scenes from Hollywood doesn’t really work, and it really isn’t necessary! You need original material, that’s perfectly suited to your skills.
That’s the one thing I’m most proud of with my showreels. I write unique content for every single actor; and you should insist on that from whoever you use!
2. Real Locations.
That’s another thing which showreel companies have a tendency to do. They film everything in a studio. So your bar scenes and cafe scenes look like they’ve been shot in a college studio.
It works for theatre. The characters can pretend they’re in a restaurant, or on the beach, and the audience buys it. But in screen work, reality is essential. You want people to think, “they’re in a house,” not “they’re in a house-set in a TV studio.”
3. References & Reputation.
Find out who will be writing your scenes, who will be directing them and who will be editing them. What are their credentials? Who else have they produced showreels for? Have their showreels helped actors reach the next level?
Some showreel services are just a money grab. There are thousands of actors out their desperate for work. And they think showreels are the answer. And of course, they are a big part of the answer, but only when they’re done right.
I create a lot of showreels — as well as writing and directing my other projects. I’m constantly learning, constantly trying to better myself. The showreels are a thing of pride; I want my work to shine and I want to see the actors I create reels for succeed.
When you find a showreel company you’re considering using — don’t just go by the showreel on their front page. Do some research, see what the others look like. If you can, contact the actors they used, ask if they were happy with the reels, find out if it helped them!
Feel free to EMAIL ME with any questions.