Demo Reel Tips

If you’re about to get your first demo reel made, then awesome! You’re on your way to having a hugely important tool in your Actor’s Kit Bag. But if this is your first time putting a reel together, then take a read of our top five tips to make it the best it can possibly be!

  1. Avoid montages
    Montages look dated and if you rely too heavily on them, it can look like you have nothing of substance to show! Get to a full scene as quickly as possible to avoid your audience feeling disorientated and unable to see what you can really do.
  2. Be ruthless
    If you have a ton of material to choose from, great! However, learn to be ruthless with what you include. A demo reel should be no more than three minutes, max. So isolate what material shows your talent off best and say goodbye to the rest!
  3. Hire the Pro’s
    If you don’t have any material, be it that you’re at the start of your career, or making a career side-step from theater to screen work, then don’t be tempted to film your own scenes yourself. Trust us, they WILL stand out – and not in a good way! Lots of companies now specialize in creating bespoke demo reels for actors, and they’ll assist with scene selection as well as providing professional shoots and actors to work alongside to ensure you have a really excellent product at the end.
  4. Get a good mixture
    You’re trying to market yourself in two minutes, and we’ve already discussed being ruthless and the importance of keeping a reel succinct. However, that’s not to say that you don’t want to seem as castable as possible. Think about what different qualities and screen skills you have and which of those you feel most passionate about.
  5. Don’t be afraid of simplicity
    You should be at the center of your demo reel. All the fancy tricks, jazzy details and trendy music are not really essential. As long as your material is of good quality, well filmed, and chosen carefully, that’s all you really need. Simple is good, don’t be afraid of it!

What are your top tips for getting a great demo reel?

by Katie Brennan