Before browsing through our questions and answers below, check out this short video featuring showreel advice from some top UK casting directors, followed by showreel FAQs with internationally renowned casting director Lucinda Syson.
Lucinda's recent casting credits include:
- Gravity, Dir: Alfonso Cuarón
- Wonder Woman, Dir: Patty Jenkins
- Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Dir: Christopher McQuarrie
- I Give It a Year, Dir: Dan Mazer
Do you source TV clips/online clips for actors?
Yes we do. If you need to source a clip from a TV show (BBC, Channel 4, ITV) or any online source (eg Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo etc), just let us know and we will do our best to retrieve the clip.
I am about to appear on a TV show. Can you record it for me?
Yes we can. Just let us know when the TV show is to be aired and we'll take care of the rest.
Can you upload my showreel to Spotlight?
Yes we can. We will render a digital version of your showreel that perfectly meets all of their technical requirements and we will either upload the showreel onto your Spotlight profile ourselves or we will email your showreel directly to Spotlight. You will not be charged for this.
I am a member of Mandy. Can you upload my showreel onto my profile?
We will render a version of your showreel that meets the technical requirements of Mandy.com. We will also upload your showreel for you onto your profile. You will not be charged for this.
What if I want to update my reel with new material at a later date?
We will archive all of your material once we have completed the editing process so that we can easily update your showreel at any point in the future. Updates to your showreel will be charged at our hourly rate (currently £40 per hour).
How often should I update my reel?
This is entirely down to you, but it is always a good idea to keep your showreel up to date and current. It just looks better.
Do you film scenes or shoot showreels from scratch?
No we don't. At Actorshowreels we only work with pre-existing footage.
What are casting directors looking for in a showreel?
Actors often like to speculate on how much of a showreel casting directors actually watch.. 30 seconds, 60 seconds. The casting directors that we are in contact with tell us that it simply varies depending on what they are casting and how much time they have available. They will tend to watch the showreel in full if they are casting a signifigant role. Most of them agree that they are much more likely to watch a complete showreel if it is well presented, compact, dynamic and slick. From our many conversations with casting directors over the years, here are the key qualities they are looking for:
A good showreel should represent the actor well and be up to date.
It should be well presented, professional looking and compact.
It should be an appropriate length for the material included, but not too long!
It should never feel "padded" or repetitive.
Titles of shows should be included where necessary.
Finally, your showreel should hopefully be a pleasure to watch. They do have to sit through a lot of them after all!
Where do you meet with clients in London?
We meet with clients at Calder Bookshop Theatre. The address of the bookshop is 51 The Cut, Southwark, London SE1 8LF. The bookshop is directly opposite the Young Vic Theatre. The nearest stations are Southwark and Waterloo.
How do I pay you?
We accept payment via bank transfer, cash, cheque or via paypal. You will be given a receipt for any payments received.
Should I include a montage in my showreel?
This entirely depends on your material. A montage is not necessarily right for everybody's reel but it can sometimes be a very useful way of transmitting a lot of visual information, in terms of how you look on camera/casting types etc, in a short space of time.
There are Casting Directors (two names in particular come to mind!), who tell us that they get very irritated if a montage goes on for too long, especially at the beginning of a reel. At Actorshowreels we totally understand where they are coming from.
The trick with a montage is to keep it relevant and to keep it brief. As with the scenes in the main body of the showreel, the shots in a montage should be there for a reason and they need to be chosen well. A montage needs to be showing us something that is not necessarily in evidence in the scenes.
I don't have enough material for my showreel.
You may be surprised to see how a little footage can go a very long way indeed in the hands of a good editor. Even if you have a single scene with some dialogue, it's better than not having anything at all. What's important is that the material is well edited and well presented.
I have too much footage and I don't know where to start.
If you have a lot of material, the best thing to do is to contact us and we will provide you with some guidance on how to go through your footage, in order to select the material that is going to be right for your showreel.
Some of my footage is online. Can I send you links?
Yes you can. We frequently get asked to download clips from YouTube and Vimeo. You can also send us digital files online via wetransfer or dropbox at the following links:
Do you produce showreels for actors living outside of the UK?
Yes we do. We have produced showreels for actors living in the USA, in Australia, in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe.
Do showreels in the USA differ from showreels produced in the UK?
Despite what you may hear to the contrary, there are no set rules for showreels in the US. Some American Agents/Managers have asked us to produce very simple reels for their clients - name at the beginning and a couple of scenes from a particular show. This has usually been with a specific casting in mind. We have also had Managers of some high profile clients who requested that we include several scenes from any number of different films/tv shows. We had one showreel that went on for over 15 minutes!
Apart from actors, do you produce showreels for anybody else?
We also produce showreels for presenters, singers and models.
I want to make a booking with Actorshowreels. What is the next step?
You can call us on 07853 63 79 65 or email us. We will arrange to meet up with you in central London, if that is convenient. Otherwise, you can post your material to us or send it online.