Making “Reel” Choices… – PART ONE IN THE 2012 SERIES, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/CASTING FEEDBACK
We’ve found this blog is the perfect forum to make market information, ticket sales, photographer specials available to not just our talent but anyone who might be interested. Thanks for your continued support –
In 2012 we want to use the blog to serve actors in a different way–getting feedback from producers, directors and casting directors on various topics. This way the people who make hiring decisions can tell you in their own words what they really think. We’ll cover one topic each month and post client comments/opinions. We hope you will use this insight to take control where you can.
PART ONE IN THE 2012 SERIES, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/CASTING FEEDBACK
Making “Reel” Choices…
This from a producer who was hiring but no time to see talent in person:
“I’ve looked at every reel available for the group you sent over. There are some great choices. Also, some not great representation on the “reel” sections of what I know some of them can do. They really need to put their best videos on there – hounding the producers if necessary to get some footage. The ones that didn’t have any reels, I’m not even considering for this one because delivery is very important for this.”
From a second producer, two part note on A)getting your video footage and B)making sure it’s quality.
Although it can be a big pain, an actor should have access to footage of himself or herself for promotional purposes. Personally, I prefer to give them a copy of the entire spot if it’s a commercial, but that’s not always possible as some projects are shot 6 months before airtime. On a feature, expect delivery to take time as well. The actors reels are important to us, but not the top priority. If you want something that looks good, wait til the final edit, the sound design and color correction are done…yup, that could be awhile. Be patient, but persistent. Oh, and be NICE about your request. Don’t demand, get an attitude or get angry about it. We like to do things for those we love, not those that annoy us. 🙂
Regardless, many of the actor reels I find on any site look like they were recorded off the TV with their cellphones or are in the wrong aspect ratio. If your reel looks like crap – low quality, grainy, poorly lit, bad sound, wrong aspect ratio, 2nd or 3rd generation video – it makes you look like a hack no matter how good your performance. It’s a bias, granted, but a real one. Just a 1-2 minute piece is all you need – whether you put up 2-3 spots or a few scenes, make sure the production value and your performance are at their best. If you don’t have good material, don’t put it up there. A bad reel will do more damage than no reel. I won’t hire someone off a reel, but it certainly helps me find new talent!
This from a casting director:
It is your responsibility to get copies of your work. Your agent may be able to assist when you encounter roadblocks but ultimately it is your job to follow up with production. I know it can often be difficult and may take multiple tries. Here is what I suggest. When you are on the set, ask who you should contact and when you should contact them to get a copy of the piece. Get the contact info then. It can be much harder after the fact. Also, make sure you have permission first before you post the work on your FB or YouTube. Most clients will not want that work to be seen until they start airing it themselves. And finally, some production companies charge a fee if they have to burn a disc and mail it out. If a quicktime will serve your purpose, that can often be more easily assessable.