What do productions want from your showreel?
Showreels are essential for landing both small and large roles. For small roles, many actors are invited straight to the production without a physical audition, so the showreel is critical. For large roles, showreels are used to narrow down the set of actors who will be invited to physically audition. But what are productions looking for?
Productions typically only watch the first 15 seconds so cut straight to the action. If you have anything like a photo montage or screen with contact details, you run the risk of the production skipping your showreel. Productions can literally have hundreds or thousands of applicants, so don’t trigger their impatience! It’s also better to have your scenes cut quickly between different emotions or actions that portray a breadth of skills.
The Perfect Selftape
There are a few basics to selftaping that will improve any video. Firstly, make sure that you film your piece in landscape as most productions will be viewing your video on a computer screen. Secondly, make sure that you’re well lit and can be heard clearly. Thirdly, if you have someone reading opposite you, make sure they speak quietly, as their position behind the camera can mean you sound quiet.
Also, location can really play to your advantage. We cast a Carlsberg Viral where the winning selftape was filmed in a pub. The actor delivered the line before sipping his pint!
Read the Brief
We can’t stress how important it is to read the brief, even though it’s so simple. Whatever you’re being asked to submit, read, then re-read the instructions. You’d be surprised how many people miss basic instructions from a selftape that means they audition incorrectly and aren’t considered for the role.
We all know that you used to only need a headshot to get by as an actor. Nowadays, productions want to see much more than a single photo. On Auditionist we encourage actors to add a range of photos to their profiles, but this doesn’t mean 6 headshots from 6 different angles! Add some variety, whether it’s performance shots or full body shots.
When productions are choosing between selftapes or showreels, your photos are normally the deciding factor. Use it as an opportunity to stand out. However, if you are going to have multiple headshots, make sure you have the same hair colour in each. If a production doesn’t know if you’re currently blonde or brunette, they might skip you rather than reach out to ask.
Speak German? Learnt Salsa? Then make sure it’s on your casting profile. Most modern casting sites match actors to jobs using these keywords from your profile, and if you haven’t entered your talents, it’s likely you won’t be sent the roles that could be perfect for you.
Apply, Apply, Apply!
The most successful actors are the ones who are happy to get out there and act, if it’s branded content or a big commercial. It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that the actors with the most work are the ones who apply for the most jobs. It’s tempting to hold out for that big starring role, especially when you get to a certain stage in your career, but productions tend to employ actors who have considerable and varied acting experience.
If you have any questions about applying for roles, or would like to sign up for your free account you can contact Auditionist in a variety of ways:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/auditionistFollow us