A strong showreel can be the difference between getting a job or not.
Showreels are used for a variety of roles and industries that we teach here at JMC Academy including Game Development
, and Film & TV Production
. That’s why we wanted to give you a hand when creating your perfect reel and landing the ideal job.
Keep it short
Potential employers or recruiters will receive many showreels hence they might not watch the full extent of your work. Ideally, a reel shouldn’t be more than three minutes long, and should have a catchy beginning in order to draw the attention of the viewer, in this case the recruiter/employer.
Only the best
Being only a few minutes long, your showreel doesn’t need to include every single piece of your work you’ve ever done. However, keep in mind that your showreel should illustrate a range of your skills so take your time and think carefully about which clips you select making sure they’re up to industry standards. Essentially, your showreel will be your first impression so it’s good to convey a little bit of your personality through the selection and presentation of your work.
More than one
When applying for more than one job, you may need to make different versions of your showreel depending on the type of company or position. For example, a showreel for a promo video job should be different to that of an application for working in documentary, commercials, or feature films. On the other hand, an animation, games, and visual effects, a modelling reel will be very different from an animation or compositing one.
-JMC Academy's Animation student Michael Phinn's student work
Not too short
Although, you might have many pieces of work to condense into your short reel, you should refrain from adding ten seconds of each piece of work in. Viewers need to have enough time watching each clip to get a feel for the quality of your work and get the sense of the tone you are creating.
Don’t take all the credit
As in a lot of projects, especially in things like films or games, it’s all about a team effort. Make sure you clearly outline what your role was in the project so the viewer can focus specifically on that aspect. Industry professionals know that most work is collaborative, so if you don’t indicate what your responsibility was then they can’t be clear on the quality of YOUR work and skills precisely. If you need to, link to a document briefly explaining your contribution to the reel.
Share your showreel with people you trust and ask them to give you honest and constructive feedback. Sometimes you need to take a step back to evaluate your work in order to achieve the best end result.
It’s always good to end your reel with a title card with your name, contact details and any platforms where your work is displayed such as social media, website and so on. After watching your reel, the title card will make it easy for the viewer to contact you if they wish. Best of luck!
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