A showreel, or (actor’s) reel is more important to an actor than a business card. More or less, it IS a business card. So every actor has to make sure, that his (or her) best material is on it – and that it’s in the right order.
So after coming back to Austria, I’ve collected some footage to make a new one. More about the process and some videos down below 🙂
This is my finished showreel for 2018. My agency wanted it on vimeo, but also, YouTube has been difficult about it. But more on that later 😉
For my reel I’ve decided to take 4 scenes no longer than 20sec, to make it crisp and easy to watch. It was difficult deciding on material (I have more footage, but it always seems like there are no great monologue scenes, or even short dialogues that are well filmed – or interesting enough. What works as a whole, doesn’t always work as a “trailer”).
Also, any actor’s reel should have a name and contact on it, for casting directors (or other professionals) to get in contact with you. I wasn’t sure how to do this, so I looked at a friend’s reel and based my version on his. Although, he uses his own private email and phone number (and I did the same for the first 2 versions) – I’ve changed mine to my agency’s number, something I’ve learned to do in L.A.
I’ve learned quite a lot in L.A. about reels, and I’ve also learned some basics here in Austria – it doesn’t mean that you always have the means to follow through.
As a rule: put your name in the beginning AND the end, make it short, start with your best stuff, and you MUST speak in the first few seconds. (Also, if the sound is not clear, you cannot use it)
Other than that, I just used a black picture with white writing and imported all the images and scenes to iMovie (I used to have Adobe programs, but Apple gets the basic job done and you don’t get too fancy with it) – I only used a few fading moments and some titles before the scenes to credit everyone involved correctly.
About the four scenes:
My first choice was the short film “Hör auf Mich” I did in 2017 with a group of young film makers in Austria. It was fun project with only me and my younger self/daughter. I’ll talk about it some more in another post I’ve already drafted. Because the reel was primarily for the German market I’ve decided to take a German scene in the beginning.
My second choice was rather obvious, after RIHA Film sent me a DVD of the New Year’s Concert’s film. In the end, I couldn’t get the file on my computer so I had to use a live recording a colleague did back in January (in case you are wondering about the German television broadcast logo on top – originally it was produced by RIHA Film and the Austrian National broadcast company ORF).
The New Year’s concert turned out to be a real problem, which I realized when I tried uploading the finished version on my YouTube channel. In a matter of seconds I had a copyright infringement on my hands. So I’ve deleted the audio and uploaded it again. Some message, Sony Music Entertainment owns the right to the music AND the video. Which is weird, because I’m still the one who’s acting in it… But nevermind, I’ve tried to click all kinds of buttons, did some research – but in the end I got so annoyed by YouTube that I cut out the scene altogether and started a Vimeo account. Funny part; the one song that was featured was allowed to post a music video with my scenes – see below in my playlist:
Number three, “The News” was a rather tricky bit, because hasn’t officially been entered into festivals and the likes, I am not allowed to post the full movie anywhere (which I completely understand). But it has such nice cinematography that I wanted to use it anyway. So I’ve cut together a really long dialogue scene to make it look like some kind of monologue. I still think it looks weird, but it turned out better than I’d hoped for. The movie is about a young woman who is being tested in her beliefs and asks her best friend (me) for help – filmed in Los Angeles, 2018.
Last, but not least: A scene from a project I did in Hollywood in 2017, with a really nice scene partner, whom I got to drink fake beer with, get engaged and be widowed by in a matter of minutes – it is a love story and a loss story. It felt nice to put some sweetness, girl next door moments in my reel. Although, in the end her husband dies. I think I love drama more than romance 😀
Some other scenes I’ve considered were from some older roles, stage plays or even monologue practices (which are not clear in sound, therefore not usable). The picture above is from a Film Noir character, which I didn’t put on my reel, but almost made it. A friend recommended, that I’d put the practice monologues up on YouTube, just in case, so here are the links for some scenes:
Okay, that’s it for now. Any questions, any suggestions, any feedback (I do love to learn and get better, so anything that helps is appreciated).
As always, thanks for reading,
All the best, Annalena