Tips for Creating a Demo Reel
Demo reels are a great way to show off your best work. Whether you are an actor, videographer, or motion graphics animator, a demo reel can aid in providing you with examples of your work that make you stand out from the crowd and ultimately help you get the job.
- Use professional footage as much as possible. Ideally your demo reel would contain footage from corporate work, commercials, television and film. This creates a sense of professionalism and shows that you have worked with organizations that have a certain standard. But don’t hesitate to include work that you have created in school or for yourself as long as it is high quality and displays a different skill then your other work.
- Keep your reel short. But how short you ask? Often the person watching your demo reel has several reels to watch and/or they are under a time crunch. Depending on your audience and where they access it the length may vary. If it is on your personal website then it’s likely that the viewer is specifically seeking out your services so the video can be longer, say up to 3-5 minutes. But most often, and especially if you are actively sending it out to land a job, then anything over 2 minutes is too long.
- Put your best work first. Remember you have only a few seconds to engage your viewer before they get bored are on to the next, so you will want to grab their attention fast. Casting directors, agents and managers usually say they know if you are right for the gig within the first 10 seconds.
- Make sure the content is relevant. This means make sure that your reel makes sense for the position you are applying for. If you are an actor applying for a comedic part, you should have comedic scenes throughout your reel. Some actors have several reels based on the different type of job so they can showcase only their most relevant work.
- Use clips that feature YOU and your talent. Don’t include work that focuses on someone else or work that someone else has produced. For actors, the casting director should always know whose demo reel they are watching. When it comes to editors or videographers, be very clear what work is your own and what, if any, was produced by or with the help of others.
- Include your contact info. People need to know how to find and contact you. Your name should be featured at the beginning and end of your demo reel.
- Get feedback. Show off your work to your friends and family and ask them to help spread the word. You never know who has a connection that could be useful, so your next big break could come from a source you least expect!
Here at Keywest Video we produce demo reels for a wide range of talented individuals. Contact us today for more information, or to book a meeting with the editor.