6 Tips for Better Showreel - How to Get the Jobs You Want
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In the following article I have Put together 6 helpful tips for a better show reel. Read on to find out how you can use the current home quarantine to create a better role for your film business.

Photo credit: Jakub Han

The current situation with the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus) has already affected many industries, including our film industry. Many colleagues now have to be at home in isolation because many jobs have been canceled or postponed.

To be on the good side, there are always things that can be done at home during quarantine – be sure to read our previous article on coronavirus: 7 things filmmakers can do when all jobs are unavailable. One of the tips my colleague Jeff mentioned is working on the new role. Doing a new show reel is something that many filmmakers put off – it's definitely my fault. Now that everyone has some free time, it could finally work. Let's take a look at my six tips on how to make a better role.

1. Add only relevant shots for the type of work you want to receive

This is very important before you start assembling the roll. Answer the question: Who do you want to impress and what kind of work do you want to get with the role? Then just add the recordings that will take you there. If you want to work on feature films as a DP, add well-lit scenes from a narrative piece you recorded. If you want to make commercials for automobiles, add well-done shots of cars. If you want to work as a colorist, don't forget to include clips of evaluation examples before / after.

Photo credit: Jakub Han

2. Record Spec if you need additional footage

You can even shoot for a roll spec Stuff when you really have to. Simply put, spec is a personal no-budget project where you have a high degree of artistic freedom and can show what you can do. For example, if you want to shoot cars but have not yet received any jobs from this segment, just carry out a special project and insert the desired shots into the role.

3. Keep it short

Keep your role short. You shouldn't be afraid to throw away shots if they're not relevant and don't fit the role. Be ruthless when editing. I think a good show reel should only be about a minute on average.

Even if you keep the show reel short enough, don't cut too quickly. Also, don't just confuse recordings together. Throwing away some shots is better than cutting them all just to keep them on the roll.

Photo credit: Jakub Han

4. Make the audience aware of yourself at the beginning

It is important to get the audience’s attention in the first few seconds. The first moments will decide whether people keep looking or not. Add your best work at the beginning. Many professionals say the first 5 shots should tell everything someone needs to know about you.

Usually it is good to take very good pictures in the end. I would include the best at the beginning, the next best at the end and the rest in the middle – don't forget to choose / adjust the music according to the pace of the role. If possible, try to group the recordings so that they fit together well and form small "stories".

5. Also pay attention to audio – adjust music and sound FX

This depends on the focus of the role. For some roles, such as a DP, this is not as important as other factors, such as the lighting of the recordings. However, good sound design makes the role more and more interesting. The least you should do is choose a suitable piece of music and edit the visual images accordingly.

For a production house that offers videos as finished products, a complete sound design is very important in my opinion.

Photo credit: Jakub Han

6. Get feedback from friends and colleagues to improve the role before posting

After you've completed the first version of the roll, send it to some good friends or colleagues in the industry for review. They may give you some useful tips and tricks on how to improve the role even further. Do not be too lazy to not adjust and improve the role before you finally send and publish it. The role will then be useful to you for some time, so do the best you can.

One last thing – don't leave your previous roles online once you release the new ones. People should only be able to find your current show reel.

When was the last time you updated your show reel? Are you planning it now in the coming days? Do you find my tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below the article.


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