Reels are non-negotiable for the aspiring film star. There are millions of people out there vying for limited roles and only a few directors hired to judge applicants. They have to be brutally efficient and many won’t even consider applicants that don’t have reels. By ensuring yours is competent, you can guarantee being seen, and being seen is the first step toward getting cast.
What You Need
Your reel needs to be a collection of high-quality clips from professional projects that lasts about two and a half minutes and displays two to five different scenes. If you’re just getting going, this is something you’ll need to procure.
For starters, check out any local film projects and go audition. You may not be paid, but you will begin to amass high-quality clips. Another choice is to pay for time in a film studio. They have all the tech for creating professionally recorded clips. All you need to provide is the material.
While the tips and tricks for recording a winning reel are endless, there are a few key points that you need to take to heart.
The first is to start strong. This runs counterintuitive to the idea that your ending should be the big finale, but keep in mind that you need to catch the director’s attention immediately. If they aren’t amazed from the start, they won’t even make it to the end.
Next, pick a genre for each reel. Variety is great for displaying range, but the reels are so short that they are watched specifically for your potential in one specific genre.
Finally, if your strongest clips are shared scenes with other actors, make sure the clips open and end on you to prevent any confusion as to who the reel is focusing on.