Top tips on creating your show reel

Models, actors and those wanting to break into the advertising, fashion and screen industries need to show themselves in their very best light...

And this ought to include making themselves a showreel.

Where your e-portfolio showcases a series of still images for agents, casting directors and clients to peruse, a showreel is all about highlighting your strengths through the moving image.

And anyone eager to stand out from the crowd when it comes to video, film and television bookings should consider putting one together.

Just as Models Direct offers advice and suggestions when it comes to creating your e-portfolio, so we would like to offer you a few tips on making a showreel.

This can then be uploaded on to your e-portfolio to add another string to your bow when it comes to showing just how capable and confident you are.

Spend time considering what to include

A showreel is about including the very best of your work. It needs to reflect who you are, as well as your skills and abilities. Include the high quality clips and highlights that really stand out and not necessarily everything you have done. Take advice from others as to what to feature; take a step back when assessing everything you have done and edit stringently. Remember less is often more.

Think about the kind of work you want to attract

Include footage that reflects your strengths in the areas you are interested in focusing on. At the same time, however, try to include work that reflects how versatile you are and how flexible you can be at rising to different challenges.

Consider the order of the footage

Start with something strong and try to keep the showreel varied and interesting. You want to keep the viewer watching all the way through. Try to end on a powerful note too. Then they will come away from the showreel with a sense of just how good you really are.

Don’t make the show reel overly long

In general, a showreel shouldn’t be longer than three minutes – if it drags on you will lose the viewer. Make sure the clips are long enough to show what you can do but short enough not to become boring. One minute per clip is probably the maximum length you want to go for.

You can make a show reel yourself

No-one expects your showreel to be professionally made. There are companies that can do it for you but equally the benefit of doing it yourself is that you will have full control of what is going to be used and how it all fits together. Just make sure the picture is sharp and the sound is clear. Furthermore, keeping your showreel up to date is essential, so once you have got to grips with the basics, this will be something you can do regularly without having to involve anyone else. Consider using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. They are easy to navigate and should work on your platforms at home.

Refresh your show reel frequently

Whenever you appear in any kind of filmed assignment, ask for a copy. Original footage will be so much better than anything you grab from the internet. Keep editing and updating your showreel as you have new material to work into it. Remember to cut some old footage as you add something new in.