Top tips for a successful showreel

  • A showreel should be short and punchy – it doesn’t need to show full scenes, but key moments – although don’t over-edit, give enough space for the characters to breathe and for the pacing to work.
  • Your showreel should represent you as you are now, and reflect your current look.
  • A showreel should include the most appropriate scenes for the type of roles you’re applying for.
  • Include a good contrast of scenes in your showreel, but bear in mind most casting directors are looking for a type, and using material with characters of the same type in your reel is likely to help you get cast.
  • The order in which the scenes play is crucial.
  • Your showreel should open on a close-up of you; avoid opening on group scenes or a scene with another actor of the same sex and age range.
  • An existing scene can be re-edited to minimise the screen time of other actors, and focus more on you.
  • An opening montage won’t help; they waste valuable time and casting directors don’t like them. Go straight into a piece with substance.
  • Waiting for your footage can be an endless waiting game – Are you holding off on updating because you’ve got a new clip or two but are waiting for more footage to come in? It’s often better  to regularly update a showreel rather than wait too long and lose out on the new roles.

A showreel is like any other piece of marketing – if it’s not bringing you in the work you want, tweak the edit until it does.

Anthony Holmes has nearly 20 years experience as a specialist editor of showreels, working with actors, agents and casting directors in the UK, US and Europe. A good showreel editor knows what works, and Anthony has helped to develop the television and film careers of hundreds of actors, from recurring roles on television to major roles in Academy Award-winning films.  Watch some recent showreels edited by Anthony here.

If you’d like me to help with your showreel (view some samples here), please give me a call any time on 020 8144 8835 or 07763 261 509 – or just fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.