INCREASE YOUR CHANCES FOR SUCCESS BY FOLLOWING THESE TOP 5 TIPS FOR CREATING AN ENGAGING DEMO REEL!
Although demo reels vary, here are suggestions to making sure your Demo Reel positions you well for potential job opportunities. Although demo reels vary, here are suggestions to making sure your reel positions you well for potential job opportunities…
1. KEEP IT SHORT
Every editor will give you a different opinion about the length of your demo reel… but most will say the same thing: KEEP IT SHORT. A demo reel should highlight YOUR BEST work, not everything you’ve ever done. Ideally your reel should be 60 to 90 seconds and rarely over 2 minutes. A video editor must be able to tell a clear story in a condensed amount of time, so demonstrate your ability to be concise in a brief body of work.
2. MAKE IT SPECIFIC
Production work these days requires one to have multiple skill sets. When you apply for a position you should target your demo reel to an individual skill or job function (i.e. Director, Editor, Director of Photography, etc.). You may have to create multiple reels but will present a more focused application. Potential employers have limited time and prefer to see examples that pertain to the position they are hiring for.
3. COLLAGE OR SAMPLES?
Demo reels are typically either “collage” type reels that shows quick shots cut to music or “scene” based reels that shows short samples of clips cut together in some context. The choice is up to you. Collage type reels work best with spot / commercial / short-form work while the scene reels are ideal for spotlight narrative / documentary / journalism based projects. Whatever style reel you make, the clips must be “digestible” by the viewer, who must be able to see what’s happening in the footage and how it highlights your abilities? Pick one style and use it throughout your reel!
4. PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
For demo reels it is very important not to save the best for last. It is imperative that you lead with your strongest work…you only have a few seconds to grab the viewer’s attention.
5. YOUR WORK ONLY!
Don’t be deceptive by representing someone else’s work as your own. Make sure that you had some part in whatever footage you show. Don’t apply for a job if your work doesn’t meet the qualifications. Instead, keep improving your craft so as to get hired in the future. Especially in small production markets (where word travels fast), dishonesty could mean the end of a career. Be smart and be honest!
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