For the most that read my blogs as a creative, you should know that a showreel is an important marketing tool. If you’re a client then I suggest you ask for a person’s showreel to determine if that is the right person for you to work with.
I have personally had many people compliment my showreel and I have probably found more clients from that alone than anything else. Showreels are very important because you’re able to showcase all of your latest work in a way that you can cross every industry at once where it may not be correct to mix in a music video with a product shoot since it doesn’t exactly make sense to do that.
Now, most directors or editors or VFX artists will wait until the end of the year to show off their “2018” Showreel and I do that as well for many reasons. For one, you’re able to show all your past years work and it makes sense to understand that if you say from the past year you can justify it to all mean 2018 instead of exactly a years worth of work. But right now its only October, it shouldn’t even be in your mind yet to have a thought about your showreel right?
Wrong. I start to focus on my showreel right around this time of year for multiple reasons:
You have a head start on everyone and won’t be behind when they start to appear.
You can have a better planned theme in your video since you’ll be using it for a year.
You can see what your video would need and have the time to record it and add it in before you finish the video.
The last point is exactly why I start to think about my showreel now. Many people treat a showreel differently and in my opinion there are some people that dont understand why to have one or what the purpose should be. This is not the time to show fancy transitions and effects on your video. It is time to show the range of work you can do, or the niche that you are versed in. This is the time to show why you’re better at your job than anyone else in your area.
Last year, I took an approach that I didnt see many people do. I made a story out of it and I took two completely different styles of storytelling and combined them in the showreel I call “Anxiety”. I felt that the storytelling would give me time to truly show all the work I could do that could build on a certain emotion and build from there as most of the shots would be b-roll or intro shots and when it climaxed I incorporated all the shots that added to the beginning to show a sense of range from all my projects.
This year, I can see that I have grown from that. I still feel like it could’ve been better but that showreel was a mark where I put all the best shots of last year and I can see that this years work has grown from there.
There has to be an added responsibility and effort to your showreel because it could be the difference between you landing that job you want or someone else, and at the price of your time, its an investment that should be taken, and taken very seriously.