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Tanya Vital's Blog

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Your Showreel's Too Long!

So what constitutes as a good showreel? 

I think the main point to remember here is that fashion, taste, style and personal preference changes all the time and it is the same for Casting Directors. There are many more Casting Directors and Assistant Casting Directors working now than ever before. They are younger and they have grown up with the digital age, so their personal preferences about edit and music style will be very different to their seasoned counterparts.

However one thing is a universal truth. Casting Directors are extremely busy. They do not have the time to sit and watch every actor's showreel from start to finish, that would just take forever. Average showreel length 5 minutes x 5 Actors = almost 1/2 hour of a very busy day. Not gonna happen.

My last showreel was edited at the time when it was popular to create promo videos. The fast editing, the montage and the fast music. My editor (Richard from Take 5 Studios) is excellent! He gave me exactly what I asked for but threw some of his own artistic vision in there too. I loved my showreel...

But it was damaging! 

  • I chose popular music of the time - which becomes quickly dated (not to mention really annoying). Choose something generic

  • The montage took up too much time - Casting Directors just want to see you act. That's it
  • Ask Amy Hubbard of Hubbard Casting what she thinks of montages - I dare ya!
  • The scenes were ok, they showed a good range of work but the tone again became quickly dated - largely due to the soundtrack etc. I needed a more mature tone.
  • It was too long - It scraped 5 minutes. Technology has changed, our attention span for watching content online tops at 60 seconds. Hopefully a Casting Director will take a little longer to watch your reel but how do you know? 
  • Keep it to the point with whatever you feel are your best scenes at the front.

I'll test the waters with this new cut and let you know what happens

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