October 31, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Get Reel

by Guy Camilleri

Can you book a gig without an acting (demo) reel? Heck yeah! Would it behoove you to have a demo reel? You betcha!

Now that we got that out of the way, one of the most frequent concerns I hear from actors at my acting studio in Venice is the need for a reel.

What exactly is a demo reel? A demo reel is an opportunity to showcase your work from television and film. In literal terms, it’s a compilation of your acting clips arranged in a specific order and typically two to four minutes in length.

In truth, if you want to be regarded as a professional and hope to gain productive employment (paid gigs), sooner or later, you will need to have a demo reel, especially in today’s climate. On a typical day, casting directors, directors, and producers can quickly and efficiently view demo reels any place, any time. And, the last thing you want, is to be known as a ‘reel-less’ actor, resulting in lost opportunities that very well may have been yours had you had this essential tool.

But how the heck do you get a demo reel if you don’t have on-camera credits, or worse yet, update your reel when you haven’t booked a gig in a long time?

Fear not, here is a list of 8 REEL-RULES to create an undeniable demo reel!

1.    Make a list of your on-camera moments. When assembling the clips, lead with your best work, period. Be sure to mark down the time-code, leaving a 5 second time lag before and after each clip for the editor.

2.    Hopefully, you are using professionally produced content. For beginners with little experience, that can be unrealistic. In speaking with many casting directors and reel editors, the industry has become more accepting of reels that aren’t professional, as long as the picture, lighting and sound quality is acceptable.

3.    Create new content! In place of sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, grab a good camera and film an original scene with your friends. Or, take an excellent, unique, monologue and shoot it in a medium shot with professional equipment. Some of my clients are using self-tapes they nailed, (or even booked) to add to their current reel or to create their first reel.

4.    Your clips need to start and end with you, not the other way around! Remember, this is an opportunity to showcase your work not the actor opposite you in the scene. I’m sure you are a very generous, but this is not a ‘two actors for the price of one reel.’ If scenes don’t start with you, a casting director spends precious minutes trying to figure out whose reel it is. Worse yet, once they figure it out, they have already moved on to the next actor who they can recognize.

5.    As a guideline, reels are typically 2-4 minutes long, but in reality, every reel is a speed reel (1 min). Those in the position to hire you will watch what they want for as long as they want, so make it count.

6.     Post the demo reel on your website and video sites (Vimeo, YouTube) and be sure to upload them on your casting profiles (Actors Access, LA casting and ImdbPro). Break the reel into individual clips and upload them as well.

7.    Once you have assembled the files, hire an editor or recruit a knowledgeable and reliable friend to assist you.

8.     Always update your reel as you gain on-cameral credits and create content that belongs on your reel.

Go get ‘em!

Guy Camilleri is a Venice-based actor, acting coach, and poet. He teaches regular classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Electric Lodge, in Venice. His private coaching specializes in audition preparation, self-taped auditions, original reels and career consultation. To audit a class or book a coaching session, email [email protected] Follow Guy on Instagram @guycamilleri and Facebook.

Related Posts

10 City of LA Hotels and Apartments to be Converted Into Interim Housing

October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020

Los Angeles City Council approves $100M purchase By Toi Creel The City of Los Angeles is spending over $100 million...

What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

By Nick Melvoin LAUSD District 4 Board Member Board District 4 What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling. Classes...

City Council Delays Vote on Encampment Ban

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

Controversial proposal delayed until November 24 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles lawmakers have delayed voting on a bill that would...

Edify TV: Have You Tried These Westside Donut Spots?

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

National Donut Day is Thursday, November 5th. Have you tried these doughy delights across the Westside of Los Angeles? Video...

LA County Considering Allowing Restaurants to Implement COVID-19 Surcharge

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Plan would allow restaurants, breweries and wineries to add COVID-19 surcharge By Kerry Slater Los Angeles County is considering allowing...

Edify TV: Halloween Amid COVID-19

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

With LA County health officials prohibiting many Halloween activities and discouraging trick or treating, costume stores like Ursula’s Costumes in...

Local Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A local day spa owner was charged this...

Two Developments with 100+ Units Underway Near Venice High School

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Duo of multifamily apartments on Venice Boulevard beginning to rise By Kerry Slater Over a year after breaking ground, a...

Edify TV: Development Replacing Local Car Wash

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

A Sawtelle lot that once held a car wash will soon be the site of a multi-family housing development. Learn...

‘Recall Newsom’ Head Hanging From Venice Ballerina Clown

October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Cardboard cutout of Gov. Newsom’s head hanging from iconic Venice art installation By Sam Catanzaro A cardboard cutout painting of...

L.A. County COVID-19 Cases Partly Driven Teenagers

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Free Flu Shots at Palms Middle School for Students and Family

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Los Angeles Unified and Health Net offering free vaccinations for seasonal flu to students and families By Chad Winthrop Los...

Mark Twain Middle School Community Raising Money to Restore Mural

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Colorful mosaic mural in front of school in need of repair By Sam Catanzaro Mark Twain Middle School community members...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...