By now, you’ve heard the word ‘reels’ a lot of times already. But there are different types of reels you should know about.
1. Commercial Reel
A commercial reel should be around 1 minute long. The attention span of the casting directors you’ll be sending this to is very short. Which is why you should pack it in with your best works, your best commercials, and the many different types of characters you’ve played. This lures in their attention and shows them what you can do commercial wise.
2. Action Reel
This should also be around a minute long. My friend, Ron Smoorenburg, who is knowledgable in the action area, mentioned that an action reel should change to the beat. So it’s recommended to have background music and every time there’s a beat, the shot should change. It’s going to short but fast-paced which means your best action shots should be in there.
3. Acting Reel
Acting reels are common in the West—Europe and the U.S, especially. They look for acting reels if you want to get any kind of acting job there. They should be around 2 minutes long, maybe a little more but don’t over exceed. Within these two minutes, you’re focusing on dialogues and interaction with other people. Each shot should be around 15 to 20 seconds, a little more if the dialogue is really good. It’s important to show your best stuff in these 2 minutes. Start with your best work—don’t save it till the end—because people don’t have time. They’ll stop watching if it’s not a good tape without a second thought. Give an overview of your acting skills as well as the kind of characters you can portray!
My reel from 2017 is pretty much of a showreel with a mixture of both the commercial and acting reel.
In Asia, a showreel is a combination of a commercial reel and an acting reel. You want to impress the casting directors as well as show them your talent in both commercial and acting. You can have some music in the background that can have a certain rhythm to it. It should be around 2 minutes long and so, it will be fast-paced. But it should not only have the dialogues and interactions. Strike a balance to accommodate the mixture of the commercial and acting reels.
3 Reasons why you should have a reel:
1. To show what you are doing as an actor (Your business card)
By showing what you’ve done so far as an actor, you’re not only just telling them, you’re showing them proof—the credibility of your talents.
2. To send to agents/casting directors for work
If you want to attract agents, you should show them what you can do. If you want to send a profile for a job you want, you should include a showreel as well.
I, myself, got booked for a couple of jobs through my showreel. I didn’t need to audition because they knew I was suitable for the job. Showreel really helps showcase your talent and the agents and casting directors can see it too if you send them yours.
3. To show that you are professional
Having a showreel is just the standard in the industry. If you don’t have a showreel, it shows the lack of seriousness in what you do. If you are serious about acting and establishing a career in this industry, you should have been—or at least, should be working on building your showreel.
Contact Ron Smoorenburg to create your reel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Manu Zirnheld to create your reel: email@example.com
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More information on how to enter the acting industry in Thailand: How to become an actor in Thailand