Are Demo Reels Still A Thing?
A demo reel (or show reel) is a highlight compilation of a videographer’s work consisting of approximately two minutes or less. They are used as a portfolio to convince potential employers and collaborators of your abilities. They effectively showcase the skills and abilities of a filmmaker in short video.
Key Attributes Of A Demo Reel
Firstly, the content should reflect the genre or style that best suit the project that you are applying for. By carefully choosing appropriate shots to include, instead of cramming in multiple irrelevant footage, the reel becomes more relevant.
They need to be captivating. The attention of the person being pitched to needs to be grabbed immediately – and held until the end. It helps if the demo reel ends with an effective shot as a lasting impression.
If the reel includes music, it needs to mirror the mood and genre of the footage. If chosen correctly, music can exponentially enhance the effect of the footage.
Although the intention is to show an artist’s best work, it is important to also reveal a reflection of the artist. The film industry relies heavily on collaboration, and a large contributor of effective collaboration is being able to work with an artist’s personality and style.
Although it may be tempting to compile all of one’s best shots into a sequence, it is not normally as effective as strategically using footage to incorporate a narrative into the demo reel.
Are Demo Reels Necessary?
They can be a lot of work but remain one of the most effective tools in showcasing one’s best work. It allows for a production team to exhibit a range of high-quality production work.
Your Virtual Portfolio or Showcase
The production industry can be cut throat. Demo reels can boost a production company’s chances massively by providing a “trailer” of their work. It gives them an opportunity to showcase their best work in a compelling way. A virtual portfolio that is brief, honest, and relevant is a huge attribute. Another necessity is the inclusion of contact information.
As a show reel is a short compilation of work, it is important to also have a portfolio where potential clients go see more detailed work. A habit of many filmmakers is to include text captions that elaborate slightly on the shot – describing either what they did, or where the project is from. This can add additional technical context to the shot.
Role In Commissioning
They play a large role as a portfolio for potential clients and are a great networking tool. They also contribute huge value to the commissioning of a project. Especially when all of the specifications are gathered, structure is decided, and logistical deadlines are set out. A demo reel plays a role in the commissioning of a project by setting out expectations and convincing a potential client that an investment in the company is an advantage. When the requirements of a project have already been confirmed, an informed show reel seals the deal.
An established video production company, such as The Michael Group, will have a multitude of quality productions in their portfolio. In these instances, a show reel is a huge asset in convincing potential clients and collaborators of the different type of work available. Each future client is different and will have a unique set of expectations, a demo reel is a great way of meeting those demands in a concise and effective way.