Escape Studios 3 min read

Top 10 showreel tips

Katie Fiddaman

Katie Fiddaman posted on

A showreel is your first chance to show your work to recruiters and get your foot in the door for that all important final interview. Therefore, you need to make sure that your showreel is the best showcase of your talent that it can be. Here's our ten top tips for the perfect showreel.

1. Achievable

During the planning stage of your showreel, you need to decide what you're going to include. Yes, this is a showcase of your best work; but, try not to make it unrealistic. Set yourself achievable results so that you are successful in meeting these objectives rather than setting really high expectations and being disappointed with the end result.

Don't make it too hard for yourself.

2. Who are you?

There is little point creating an amazing showreel to send around if there is no way of identifying that it is yours. Therefore, title cards are your best friend here. Make sure that your name and contact information is available on the showreel so that recruiters have an easy task of finding and interviewing you.

Own your work - include your name and contact information.

3. Start strong

If your showreel is roughly two minutes long, a recruiter is going to make an initial decision about you in the first 30 seconds! Putting your best work first will catch their attention and make them want to keep watching.

Put your best work at the start of the reel.

4. Originality

So many reels nowadays include the same things over and over again. So make yours different. Design a unique asset, showcase an original environment or film your own footage to create original content that will stand out from the typical flying spaceship.

Stand out from the crowd with something that is not overused in reels.

5. Quality vs Quantity

Your showreel is your chance to show your best work, not every single piece of work that you have produced. You can show snippets of your best work and cut them all together but show the best parts. It's better to have fewer really high quality snippets than tonnes of snippets that are below average.

Don't include everything you've ever produced.

6. Do not dilute

By the time you're going for a role in industry, you'll have a pretty good idea about what your strengths and preferred areas of your chosen discipline are. Show these off in your showreel. Do not dilute the showreel with a few of your best pieces of work and then a few mediocre pieces.

Make sure your strengths are really obvious.

7. Reference

Document the work that you have done so that it is clear what you did for each piece of work that you include in your showreel. Also, you need to demonstrate your breakdowns within the reel so that the recruiter can see how you achieved certain results and the thinking and reasoning behind the final piece.

Document and demonstrate.

8. Short and sweet

As mentioned before, your whole reel is going to be two minutes maximum. The studios aren't going to watch anything longer than this and they will be making their initial decision within the first 30 seconds. Two minutes is plenty of time to showcase your best work and skills, so stick within this limit! Keep it short, succinct and brilliant.

Two minutes maximum.

9. Stay in tune

This is where you need to have a real balance and fully assess the situation. Whilst a silent showreel is boring and no fun, you also don't want to create some kind of strange music video. You need to find a music track that compliments your showreel and ensure that the pace is right to fit the main themes that your showreel conveys. Also remember that free credit music is better than having to pay out any royalties.

Match the music with your reel.

10. Go out with a bang

Start strong and finish with a bang. Finish on a strong image that makes your reel memorable and leaves a lasting impression on the recruiter. Make sure you're also able to talk about it and why you chose it.

Leave a lasting impression.

These top ten tips should help you develop your showreel. Download our brand new showreel guide: Reel Talk Version 3 for some advice from recruiters and Escapees (alumni).

Top 10 showreel tips
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