What is a Show Reel?

A show reel is a short video containing brief cuts from a spectrum of your work. It’s an opportunity to show off your work in one video and build excitement in what you do for your clients. It’s generally the first place a client will look when they want to get an overall impression of what you do, it will also be used to judge whether they use your agency. So no pressure! The ideal showreel can be created but following a few simple guidelines, which I will highlight in this post.

The ideal length

1) The ideal length of a showreel is somewhere between 0:40 and maximum 1:40. You really don’t want to include all of your work, because they video could go on indefinitely, if you can’t capture the imagination of your client in this small amount of time, adding more isn’t going to change their mind.

Use a mix of work

2) It should have a mixture of completed and uncompleted works, i.e. how a video went from rough sketch to 3D model to Uvd model to final render.

The dramatic curve

3) A good showreel will have a dramatic curve, starting off with a slow pace and then building up half way through the video and slowing down the pace again. It’s good to mark your work in terms of pace, and you can give it a mark from one to ten. Start off the showreel with a one, and but the time you’ve reached the middle of the video it should be a ten. After this peak in the middle, drop back down to a five or six, then end on something with a striking image.

Render of the Cotton CLub

Target your audience

4) If you are making a reel aimed at a specific client for a specific job, you can isolate only e.g. character animation, product design, particle simulations, architecture, rendering, or whatever specific job you are pitching for.

Choose appropriate music

5) When choosing music, keep it accessible. Stay away from death metal or anything that could cause a disturbance in an office environment. The music should accomodate the same dramatic curve indicated above I.e Two dramatic curves- one in the middle and the final one at the end.

Get feedback

6) Lastly, before publishing your showreel, it’s always good to get feedback from one or two people whose constructive criticism you trust. You can’t always trust your own perspective. Like with creating your a piece of work, it’s always good to get the opinion of two or three people in your field who can look over what you’re presenting in your showreel. You want clients to watch through the whole showreel, so ask a trustworthy friend or colleague for their opinion.

 

You can check out the Cutting Factory showreel as an example and follow us on social media and more to hear from us regularly.