Image by Kumar Abhinaw John
Once your showreel is complete, the next challenge is to get it onto the screens of the people that hire people.
“DVDs and USB delivery of showreels is outdated,” says Morgan. “I think I’ve received one DVD so far this year. It’s all about effective communication; how easy can you make it for me to view your showreel? One click via a link in an email to a Vimeo or YouTube account is always preferable over USB/DVD.” Smith is more hardline, saying “Definitely don’t send us a hard-copy reel please!”
For John, the best strategy for sharing his work was YouTube, where he uploaded his VFX and 3D generalist showreels. He also put them both on a website he’d created for himself.
“The biggest mistake people make is to assume that they only need one showreel that will suit every application,” says Smith. “Someone might be applying to multiple companies at the same time, particularly when just starting. But every company is different and every company takes on slightly different styles or kinds of work… At Framestore we do a huge amount of VFX work – CG integrated into live action plates – as a result we are looking for photoreal, real-world examples on reels where possible.” So when you come round to sharing your reel, make sure you’re offering what people are looking for.
The Ultimate Showreel Checklist – why not print out and check this before sending off your showreel?
- Keep it short – aim for 60-90 seconds
- Put your best work up front
- Save your second best (or your most
complicated) for last
- Caption images to explain what you did
- Use wireframes/cutaways/different
angles to explain the work
- Put in – but don’t rely on – music and fancy
- Send it wide, but hone it accordingly
- Share it on Vimeo or YouTube
- Make sure your CV is as polished and
shiny as your showreel
- Find a way to demonstrate your ‘soft skills’