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Thread: Director Showreel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Manchester, UK

    Default Director Showreel

    Okay, I've gone all precious/pretentious and made a showreel from some of my better shorts. In my research there seems to be no hard and fast rules about what goes in to it.

    I'd really like to get some honest criticism and help with the order and etiquette of things. Does the word 'Showreel' have to be on as a title or is it a given, do credits have to be done on the end..?

    I'm trying to put emphasis the use of animation as well as non animated work with the idea of somebody coming across it and sending me a big cheque to make a proper film with lots of people and equipment*

    Don't focus too much on the picture quality as I did it for a fast upload. I'm just concerned about my content and order at the moment.

    Cheers, Fraser

    * What's the opposite of animation? Live footage?! And I'm not really expecting anyone to send a cheque but enough for a beers would be nice.

  2. #2


    Give name at head with just 'REEL', and contact.

    The content depends on what aspect of yourself you are selling.
    If you are selling yourself as a storyteller/writer/director then make a trailer of your film.... then perhaps give a couple of full scene excerpts so folk can actually see how you write/direct.
    If you're selling yourself as an editor then put anything you have together in an entertaining way that shows off your skills.
    Animation and graphics are perhaps a whole different reel.... unless you're selling yourself as a commercials director in which case they can be relevant.
    No music credits.
    Just end with website/telephone number.
    And that is a classic reel format that you'd get if you asked for one from any comercially represented director/writer.

  3. #3


    What's the opposite of animation?
    Still ?

    If you want to put emphasis on animation, I think you need to include a lot more of it. This may not be "normal" or the correct etiquette but it might add more interest, get someone to film you being a director, so we can see a few clips of you at work, behind the scenes. I'm not an old pro but I think being different is important to stand out from the crowd.

  4. #4


    i lasted 30 seconds, my gut feeling is this is too long, i may be totally wrong

    personally i feel show reels need to be really cut down so they are good enough to not have you reach for the skip video option
    I know nothing about youtube, even less about video

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Manchester, UK


    Thanks everyone. Even you Rollingstock. You might only have lasted 30secs but it's important to know these things.

    I've done a bit more editing to reduce the length of the clips but my next concern is the order. The footage later is the reel is my newer and better looking footage but I think is less engaging. Does any body suggest a different order?

    Cheers, Fraser

    Oh, and I think the words I was looking for opposite to animated was 'live action'.

  6. #6


    I think a lot of how you go about this is to do with the context of viewing ie if you have sent out DVDs, or it's just on your YouTube channel, or it's on a special page of your web site etc. If people are looking for a director/film maker they will want to see more than someone who is just browsing YouTube. I suppose you would have to have different versions for different situations.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Manchester, UK


    It really is a general compilation I'm looking to complete to go on the web site.

    To be honest I've been raising the kids to school age and now it's time for me to get get a job. I love photography, making films and messing about with computers and if I want to take this opportunity to go in a technical direction it has to be very soon so I really have to have something because something is better than nothing. I don't really have many films I've done that I can be credited very highly on so what I have got I have to make the best of.

    I will be doing another show reel of corporate stuff I've done but this one is to demonstrate that given a story and a camera I can get people to perform for me and get something decent committed to a DVD.

  8. #8


    Well, if you are looking for someone to pay you money to make films it's going to be from the commercial sector. I doubt there will be any Film Producers browsing the net looking for a director. So if you need to make money leave out the drama stuff. Concentrate on the corporate work you have done. Fancy titles can look good in a showreel if they are done well and edited carefully to fit. Only have in it your very best work.

    If you are looking for work as a DoP or camera man, put in you very very best shots and nothing else. Then cut that down again to take out the just ok shots. Standards are very high in this field of work. If your hoping for someone to see that you can get people to act in front of a camera, (Directing), well, I don't see that happening from the point of view of making money. Indi film makers and money very rarely go together.

    I hope I'm wrong and don't want to come across as negative but we do live in the real world even though we live our lives to some degree in fantasy land.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    What Midnight has just written is really on the mark.

    Proper producers don't search for a director. Producers have an idea who they want and approach them. They might have a shortlist, which is when they might want a showreel, at which point you put something together which fits the part you're applying for. Years ago, showreels were used like calling cards, not any more, there are simply too many "wanabees" out there.
    I haven't been asked for a showreel in years, what I am asked is "What have you done recently?" or, most commonly "Who have you recently worked with?" They want to speak with someone who knows how you work. Almost anyone can cobble an impressive showreel together. On a couple of occasions I've been asked for clips in a specific genre, to show that I can deliver what's wanted, but only after they've sussed out what I'm like to work with, by ringing past producers or directors.

    The new "producers" who are desperate enough to put out a "call" for directors don't have any money, don't have any experience, are a nightmare to work for and should be avoided at all costs.

    To make money, to start with... Concentrate on the corporate stuff.

    To make art... be prepared to work hard, for nothing. You need to get productions, not a showreel.

    BTW there's some nice stuff in your reel but
    (a) I'm always wary of someone who claims to be able to do everything (Director/DOP/Editor) since it takes years to get just one of those skills right.
    (b) I don't know what you did in each clip. Were you the director? DOP? or what?

    If you say "everything" then I'm afraid it's a case of "Jack of all trades... Master of none".

    Personally, if you're determined to have a showreel, I would keep it simple. Short fade to black between each clip showing the title, year and describing your contribution.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 07-04-2011 at 06:38 PM.

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