Screen Hustler

How to Impress Recruiters With a Killer Showreel

A show reel is typically a montage of all your best work. They’re used to showcase your talents to the people who might potentially hire you for a job. Showreels are great for directors, cinematographers, motion graphic artists, actors and video editors because their work  is highly visual. A showreel is a portfolio of work, but more importantly it’s a marketing strategy – it’s designed to showcase your skills and services in the screen industry.

Screen Hustler spoke with Creative Scotland, BBC, Spotlight, and ScreenSkills, about what makes a great showreel. Here are five tips to to make your showreel as powerful and as impactful as possible so that you can make a good impression and get as many clients as you want for your work:

Keep it short

Your reel should be about 45 seconds to 2 mins long, get rid of that fluff in the reel and only include the very best shots. The reality is when someone is watching your demo reel, most people are not going to make it all the way through to the end, so if they’re going to watch a little chunk of it, make sure your absolute best clips are at the beginning of that reel. You want to make sure to get a good first impression, that first impression is everything, it’s going to be the judgement that they make of you and your ability to deliver for them right out of the gate.

Reflect who you are as a creator

Your reel will be different depending on what role you play within the industry, if you’re a director your reel is going to be a little more story driven, maybe you carry the reel through with a dialogue of a specific scene or something that you wrote but all the shots kinda align with some kind of story. If you’re an editor your reel might be a little more flashy and flexible on the whole edit thing, if you’re a cinematographer the goal is just to communicate that you can produce beautiful images.

Showoff what you want to be hired for

Starting out your career in screen, you typically do a lot of types of work, maybe you’ve done some commercials, some short, some real estate shoots, some wedding shoots, and you want to show off everything that you’ve done. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make, because if you have a website that has too many different things on it, it’s going to make it harder for your client to know what you’re really focused on so you have to give your clients the confidence that if they hire you, you will do an amazing job, and the way to get that confidence by seeing a consistent track record of quality work.

No more broken links 

If you’re trying to get clients to pay you high prices for your work and get premium clients who are going to work really well with you, you have to show off a professional side and show that you are someone who has attention to detail that makes things look nice.

Having a personal website with a custom domain is very important. It improves your name recognition, increases credibility, and gives you a more professional and polished look. Having a personal website, you can give your showreel to your clients front and centre so they can find it immediately. By using a personal domain, you make a strong personal brand statement in favour of your skills and services. 

To wrap up

Your demo reel is what clients will ultimately look at to determine if they can trust you to be able to do the job that they want you to do for them. It’s one of the most valuable pieces of marketing that you have. Post your reel out on your website and social media as a reminder to everyone that you’re still crushing it and still making really good art. Email it to potential production companies or directors that you would possibly be working with, send it over email with a brief little introduction of yourself and a link to your reel on your websites.