The actor reel is the single most important method of selling your talent currently in existence. It is a short, one minute video showcasing either three to four clips of professionally filmed work you’ve already done or a single body of work that you are proficient in presenting. For most newer actors, the actor reel is the latter. However, the task doesn’t end there. In fact, how you film it is just as important as what’s on the reel.
Above all else, the video must be professionally shot and edited. Luckily, modern technology allows you the capability to purchase and use equipment with a high enough quality that you could produce your own reel without needing to head to a video production service. Regardless of how you choose to shoot the video, there are a few things you need to make sure it includes.
First and foremost, the shot itself must be close-up and uncluttered. Remember, this is a film demonstrating what you would look like on camera if cast. Instead of stage where big body movements are preferred, film asks for acting through the face and making far more subtle body motions.
Secondly, choose to film is something you are proficient in. Be it a monologue or a song, you are filming you at your absolute best. You have, at most, eight seconds to grab someone’s attention. Why would you ever go for anything lackluster?
Finally, if you choose to film at home, know that you will need some sort of background, a high quality camera (this include webcams), lights, a good microphone and video editing software. It’s not a cheap endeavor by any means, but it is a great investment if you plan on producing similar reels on a regular basis.