Why An Acting Showreel From Scratch Is A Good Idea
A lot of actors delay getting a showreel done from scratch, because they want to do it ‘the proper way’. The proper way being: to build up a body of great footage through projects they’ve been cast in over numerous years.
This is a good idea in principle, but for an actor at the beginning of their careers – and by that I mean, in the first ten years of their career, this is very difficult to achieve.
The first thing an actor needs to contend with is actually getting material back from filmmakers. The sad truth is, when it comes to short films, actors only ever see the material from about 1 in every 4 short films they do.
And when they get it back, how good is the material? This is the problem that an upcoming actor has – the quality of material they have at their disposal is often light years BEHIND their current skill levels.
This leads to one of two thoughts in an actor’s brain. 1) “I’ll wait for one more piece of special footage before I make a reel”, or 2) “I’ll just keep auditioning and someone will pick me for a great job”.
What they often fail to see is option 3: taking the initiative and getting a showreel built from scratch.
What does this mean? This means having a bunch of scenes written distinctively written for you. So rather than being cast as ‘the girlfriend’ or ‘the guy in the cafe’ in a bad short film; we get to craft scenes that suit you individually, that show you doing what you can do.
And that is essentially what a showreel is: showing people what you can do.
You can wait another year for a good short film to come around, or I can write you something and we have it shot and edited in a matter of weeks.
A new showreel, just like a new headshot, won’t guarantee anything – but it’s one of the key steps in taking control of your career. In making sure you have all the tools at your disposal which make it easier for a casting director or filmmaker to see you as the right person for their project.
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