Top Tips for your Showreel
I have spent nearly ten years in the film industry. I starting out making armour for films when I was a student, and after a few years in costume and props I moved into CGI for film and animation, where I have specialized as a texture artist.
It’s a job I passionately love. I always dreamed of making spaceships and monsters for films, and now I am using my artistic skills to do just that.
Showreels are an important way of showing off your talent and experience, and you only have a brief window to impart this to a potential employer. Here are my top tips that I’ve picked up over the years from recruiters and heads of department. Hopefully you will find it useful. Amanda Bone
1. Try to keep it under two minutes
I have been guilty of this myself! It is extremely tempting to cram in everything you have done or love. But what you must keep in mind is that your showreel is one among many being viewed, and people viewing it do not require an epic ten minute saga. Recruiters will switch off if it runs for too long, and move on to the next one. I have been advised that around two minutes is ideal.
Do not be tempted to fill out your showreel with second-rate or old work. You only have a short amount of time to make a good impression. It is better to have a short reel with only one or two examples of your work than to have a longer one that does not do your skills justice.
3. Basic sound track
Some recruiters will turn the sound off to view a showreel but bear in mind that whichever track you choose, it is best to keep it simple. Do not overwhelm or detract from your work with vocals or an intense track. Personally I prefer to use instrumental versions of popular music or soundtracks.
4. Clear font and a brief description
If relevant, give a brief text description highlighting which part of the shot is your work.
Use a clear bold font that is easily read. Complex illuminated letters may look awesome but will need to be read at a glance and convey your meaning. It is probably best to avoid Times New Roman and Comic Sans as they are perceived by some as unprofessional.
5. Check twice cut once
Check over what you have done and if possible get others to check it as well, while a spelling mistake is not the end of the world, it is best to get it right in such a competitive market. Ensure you have attributed your work to the correct companies.