SHOWREELS

Showreels are the second most vital tool after your headshot. Casting directors, agents and directors need to see you act. They need the reassurance that it’s worth the time, energy and expense of seeing you in person. Without a showreel you are making yourself a bigger risk and an unlikely prospect for the role.

The bottom line is, if you don’t have a showreel, get one! It doesn’t have to be full of bells and whistles or edited by a BAFTA winning editor but it does need to show you acting. Even one good scene on your Spotlight profile will help you look more professional.

If you already have a showreel, great! However, don’t rest on your laurels for too long; the acting industry is a fickle place. Make sure your showreel is up to date and follows our advice!

So without further ado, here are our top tips for a top class showreel:

Length!

We hate to break it to you but no one wants to sit through a long showreel, no matter how good it is! Your showreel should be short, sweet and snappy. Max out at 3 minutes.

Order.

Don’t save the best until last. It’s a sad fact but it’s unlikely that anyone watching your showreel will watch right to the end. If you’re lucky they’ll skip through and watch a few sections but either way make sure you start strong for that all important first impression.

Style.

Yes we know “even Rocky had a montage” but montages in showreels have gone majorly out of fashion in the last few years. Casting directors and agents want to see you acting, reacting and speaking. They don’t want to see tiny clips of you set to music. A montage doesn’t add value to your showreel but it does make many in the industry want to turn it straight off. Don’t make that mistake!

Quality.

As the saying goes “quality over quantity” and this is very true of a showreel. It’s better to have a few great scenes (and by this we mean the lighting and quality of the footage itself, not just the acting) than a host of badly shot, too dark to see, fuzzy clips that do nothing for you. Be selective and make sure your chosen clips show you to your best advantage.

Remember YOU are the star of your showreel.

Make sure it shows you off and not someone else. You are well within your rights to adapt clips to give yourself more screen time. (Do you really want that great reaction shot from your co-star outshining you in your own showreel?! Of course not, cut it out!). That said, unless you’re a wiz in the editing studio you may want to invest in professional help with this one.

Bonus Tip.

Update! Don’t be afraid to update your showreel. Yes you might love that clip from 4 years ago but does it really stand up to scrutiny? A short scene from a bigger production are likely to carry more weight with casting directors than a dramatic monologue in a student film.

We hope these tips have been useful, whether you’re creating your first showreel or editing a new one. While they might not be rocket science, they are golden rules for a reason.

If you’re struggling with where to start with your showreel why not get in touch with YAFTA? While there are plenty of short filmmakers and students looking for actors in return for footage and this can be a great place to start, you can’t always guarantee the quality of the footage or even how much you’ll be featured in the final edit.

YAFTA offers a range of professional showreel services which take the stress out of creating a showreel. Whether you need simple editing from existing footage, additional scenes or a full showreel, we’ll have the right package for you.

We also have Showreel Days which offer all inclusive showreel creation (scriptwriting, locations, filming, sound, editing, actors etc) for a bargain price.

For more info and to book visit www.yafta.co.uk/showreels

See you on screen!

Elliot Laurence trained at ALRA North after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University. Continuing to work as an actor he has worked with companies such as Bolton Octagon, HOMEmcr, Collingwood Learning and Sheffield Theatres.
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Adam received his training at The Academy Of Live And Recorded Arts (ALRA), where he studied stage, screen and audio performance. Since graduating Adam has been cast in various productions in a versatile range of mediums including voice over, theatre, music video, and film. Adam has experience working as a teacher with children, adults and vulnerable groups too.
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Anna Dawson is an Actress, TV Presenter and Musician alongside being a Writer and PR/Marketing Exec. Additionally Anna works in production and has worked as production manager on various feature films such as the recent Scott & Sid which filmed in Yorkshire. With a degree in Politics from Durham University and a long list of acting credits in film, TV and theatre, Anna was chosen to become the Public Relations Officer for the Equity Yorkshire Ridings General Branch Committee.
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Lee Maxwell Simpson gained a first class degree in Drama from Manchester University before training as an actor at London's Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating, he appeared in a number of commercials, notably for Thomson Holidays and Moonpig.com, and various short films and stage productions, including a National Youth Theatre tour to the Middle East and a spoken word European tour with the novelist Jonathan Coe.
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Ian Puleston-Davies is a professional actor who has recently filmed Marcella, Beowulf and Lewis. Ian played Owen Armstrong in Coronation Street for 5 years prior to his recent acting achievements. Ian has an impressive acting CV having been in most major soaps and dramas in the UK over the past 20 years. Some of his credits include Eastenders, Waterloo Road, Silent Witness, Life on Mars, I'm Alan Partridge, Dalziel & Pascoe to name a few. He is currently writing his own screenplay and working as an actor but will also be finding the time to teach YAFTA masterclasses. Ian supports the development of actors at YAFTA.
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Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
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Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
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