The Demo Reel
In its simplest iteration, the reel is a collection of the best work you’ve done for filmed media. Like any good portfolio, it showcases your talent to take on a variety of roles and succeed in performing them. It’s your selling point. It’s your interview. Put together an incredible compilation, and you’ll find more work than you can possible hope to do.
The Making Of
Should you have a fully realized reel as you spread your acting wings for your first time out?
Not at all. In fact, on your first time out, you probably won’t have anything to put together much less build an entire video out of. Plus, because this reel will serve as a first impression, you’ll want to make sure that only your best work is presented. Your goal is not to scare off potential work because you figured your local car commercial spot was “good enough”. In show business, “good enough” is never good enough.
Instead, take your time putting a serious reel together that reflects the type and quality of work you plan on pursuing. For many, this is a process that takes years, but better to absolutely astound directors when you’re advanced enough as a performer to nail a role than to make them wonder why you even wasted their time sending them such a novice video.
As for length, make it as short as possible to get the point across. Most directors will know within the first 30 seconds if you fit the part, so create a reel based off of that assumption, filling it with only the best of the best.