We have 3 big tools as an actor:
Headshot. (Click HERE for more HEADSHOT TIPS.)
You might be the greatest actor in town, but if your reel is off…
Well, that ain’t good.
What are 5 BIG MISTAKES actors make when putting together a reel?
1) TOO LONG
A reel should be 30 – 90 seconds long. I went to a casting director conference last year and learned that the average amount of time a casting director watches a reel is 10 SECONDS. Think of your reel as a tease. Less is more!
2) NO BACKGROUND WORK/THEATRE
Even if it’s a gorgeous close up, even if it’s a huge movie star on screen, background work does not go on a reel. Same goes for theatre. I know you killed it in a stage production of My Fair Lady, but that doesn’t go on your reel.
3) WRONG ORDER
Put your best stuff first. Again, most casting directors watch about 10 seconds. Grab them at the top!
4) NO MONTAGE
Do not do a montage of moments, looks or pictures. A reel is you ACTING.
5) NO SET UP
You don’t need to “explain the scene” in your reel. Just get to the heart of the scene, the MEAT of it. Don’t set it up with someone’s entrance or another person’s line.
In review, your reel should be 30-90 seconds of AS MUCH OF YOU ON SCREEN as possible.
Good lighting, good sound, and good acting.
At least 80% of your reel should be JUST YOU on the screen.
Edit OUT the other actors.
THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHOW WHAT A ROCKSTAR YOU ARE.
You got this!
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