WHAT MAKES A GOOD SHOWREEL?
We often hear myths and rumours that have been fed to actors on what makes a good/bad reel, but we have the answer of all answers......it depends.
Not the answer you wanted? Here's the thing - opinion is a huge part of our industry. We have worked with agents and casting directors who love showreels, and others who hate them. All opinions vary.
However, your job is simple, to sell yourself in the best possible light.
Now, we can agree that a perfect showreel length is maximum 3 minutes, and you will want your strongest and most castable footage at the start. no montages, no music, straight to the business.
Your reel should be a clear reflection on what you accurately look like, and how you act. No need to overthink it any more than that!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A very vague question, but often one we receive! The first decision to be made is what do you want/need? How many scenes? Just a top up footage? The clearer you are on what you need for your reel, the more helpful we can be in achieving it! Once you know what you would like, we are able to start work towards it - securing scripts, locations, actors, film dates etc! The process is different for each client as each actor has different needs We pride ourselves in being versatile in our approach to filming so we are able to get each client specifically what they need.
CAN WE MEET TO DISCUSS MY REEL BEFORE I BOOK?
We are not able to meet prospective clients in person, as this would take up a lot of unpaid time - HOWEVER we are more than happy to offer a FREE phone consultation to answer any questions you may have. We do suggest reading this page first however....many of your questions will be answered here!
WHAT'S MY CASTING?
A really key question, but an answer that only you and your agent know! We have lots of experience within the industry, but only you know the kind of parts you are seen for/would like to play. We encourage all clients to imagine their 'ideal casting breakdown' and then we can work from there. Key suggestion if you are struggling - ASK YOUR AGENT!
HOW MANY SCENES DO I NEED?
Again, this is something specific to each actor! Most casting directors won't watch more than a minute or two of a reel, so we suggest having two strong contrasting scenes that show you at your best and most natural casting. However if you have something else more specific worth showing (music skills, another language, a particular period drama look), then we suggest having a third clip to show this too!
CAN YOU OFFER ME A DEAL?
How very cheeky!
CAN I SPLIT A PACKAGE WITH A FRIEND?
Absolutely - splitting a package cuts your costs in half. No extra charges to split, and we highly recommend it to keep costs down!
CAN I GIFT A REEL?
A wonderful gift idea we are more than happy to provide! Let us know if this is the case and we will provide a special printable slip that you can give as a present!
WHAT'S AN EXPRESS REEL?
An express reel is. a term and service we created to suit those who don't need a full scene and are just looking for a short bit of top up footage. We only shoot one side of the conversation so as to keep the scene simple, and allow us to offer you this service at a highly competitive price. Please do not ask to also have another actor shot on camera, as this would make it a full scene and not fall into our express reel category. Clear examples of the difference are on our examples page.
CAN I PROVIDE MY OWN SCRIPTS?
You are more than welcome to provide your own scripts, however they must fit within out 1.5 page criteria, and that it contains material we are happy and comfortable to shoot.
CAN YOU WRITE ME SCRIPTS?
Absolutely! We have a fantastic team of writers here who are more than happy to lend you their words. Create something original and unique to you that you can be truly proud of!
HOW DO YOUR WRITERS KNOW WHAT WILL SUIT ME?
Once the scirpts are paid for, our writer will arrange a phone consultation to discuss with you what you are wanting to achieve. They are there to help, but the more detail you can give them on the type of character / scenario you would like, the better. Please think this through before the phone consultation and come armed with plenty of ideas that will suit your casting as after all - only you know what is right and most useful for you.
DO YOU HAVE A BACK CATALOGUE I CAN PICK SOMETHING FROM?
We do not. All our scripts are bespoke and written specifically for clients. We never re-use scripts and do not have a selection of examples to send out to be chosen from.
CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO WHAT YOU'VE WRITTEN?
You may! We encourage clients to be hands on with the scripts and adapt them to fit them as comfortably as possible. You are also entitled to up to one sets of notes. Any further notes/change of ideas will require a further £25.
DO YOU PROVIDE LOCATIONS?
The simple answer to this, is Yes! We are able to provide locations at our Bexley Base that fit a large amount of suitable scenes. We may also be able to suggest other options of locations, however anything requiring hiring of specific, costing locations you will have to pay for yourself.
CAN I PROVIDE MY OWN LOCATIONS?
Absolutely - in fact we encourage you to have a think about what you have access to before we write/pick any scenes. If you have access to an amazing location through work/family - let's use it! A great location is a really good way to up the production value of our shoot!
WILL YOU TRAVEL TO ME?
For our reel packages we are more than happy to travel to you if you have the locations sorted! (3 Scene Reels must be shot at the same location, unless you are willing to pay extra for them to be shot across two days.) Anywhere within London, free of charge and anywhere outside if you are happy to cover travel costs for our crew of two! (Express reels require an additional £30 if not shot at our Swanley base).
I WANT TO FILM IN THIS SPECIFIC PUBLIC PLACE BUT DON'T HAVE A LICENSE, CAN WE?
There is an element of being able to film in quiet parks/woods/outdoor areas in guerrilla style - however, we are not able to film in any private locations that you or we do not have direct permission to film in.
CAN I PROVIDE MY OWN SCENE PARTNERS?
Yes, you may!
CAN YOU PROVIDE SCENE PARTNERS FOR ME?
YES - we charge £30 for each actor provided.
CAN I GIVE YOU SUGGESTIONS ON THE CASTING OF THE SCENE PARTNER?
HOW CAN I BE SURE THE SCENE PARTNERS YOU PROVIDE WILL BE GREAT?
We only use scene partners we have worked with previously and/or know for certain are both great actors and the correct casting for the scene!
CAN I PICK MY SCENE PARTNERS FROM A LIST?
Afraid not. We may be able to give you an option or two, but generally our scene partners are graciously giving us their time for free in order to help with your reel.
CAN YOU TELL ME MY SCENE PARTNERS BEFORE I BOOK A DATE?
Also, unfortunately not. We are required to have a deposit paid to book a date before beginning our search for scene partners, as how else are we supposed to ask if they are available?
WILL YOU PROVIDE COSTUMES/PROPS?
We don't provide costumes or props for scenes. If something specific is written into a scene written for you, we will discuss with you if you are happy to provide what is necessary to make the scene work if we don't already own it between us.
WHAT COSTUME SHOULD I BRING?
Options! No Logos, block colours, layers, avoid stripes & a bring a brighter option. Costuming for film is surprisingly similar to headshots, and the above rules really work - but if you're not sure, bring options. You could also try filming yourself in some options before shoot day and asking us/friends/family for an opinion!
DO YOU PROVIDE HAIR/MAKEUP?
We provide the option of having a hair/makeup artist available on set for your shoot from £100 per day. Otherwise, we suggest you bring some powder and a brush to avoid shine. Often that is enough, but if you are looking for specific looks, we definitely recommend hiring our pro MUA!
WHAT DOES MY DEPOSIT COVER?
Your £75 deposit covers reserving the discussed film session - so we will not release that session to other clients. It is non-refundable and non transferable.
I WANT TO CANCEL MY SHOOT, CAN I HAVE MY DEPOSIT/SCRIPT PAYMENT/MONEY BACK?
All deposits are non-refundable, unless we are (on very rare occasion) required to cancel our shoot. Scripts are also non-refundable but should you not be able to film with us this time, the scripts are yours to be used for future filming. If you have payed the full payment invoice but are unable to shoot, that will be refunded in full.
I NEED TO CHANGE MY SHOOT DATE, DOES THE DEPOSIT COVER THAT?
The deposit you pay is to cover the specific date that we choose to shoot on. A request to change film date my require a new deposit to be paid. This is fully to our discretion, and where possible we will be as flexible as we can - however if it is too late for us to book in another client, you must understand that we lose money by not filming on the date as planned.
BUT I'VE HAD AN AUDITION COME UP TOMORROW...
Again, very sorry but see above - this work is how our team makes their living.
ON SHOOT DAY:
I'M RUNNING LATE/MY TRAIN WAS CANCELLED, CAN WE SHOOT LATE?
Being from London, we're aware these things happen & where possible we will always strive to be flexible and make up for lost time - however, there may be circumstances where we are not able to go beyond our set filming time & we won't be held responsible if you are late. ALWAYS get that earlier train to make sure our film date goes as smoothly as possible!
CAN YOU WATCH MY ACCENT?
Now, as videographer I already have a lot on my plate in order to make sure we film you the highest quality content for your reel. Scenes are always rehearsed throughly and noted throughout, but if you are looking for someone to be completely focused on every nuance/word/accent of your performance we suggest hiring one of our extra directors for the day. From £50 per day you can have an extra eye on your shoot to make sure no detail is missed! (Particularly useful if doing a scene in a non-native accent.)
DO YOU PROVIDE CATERING?
We do not. Filming is extremely fun, energy draining work and we highly suggest you bring some snacks/lunch. We film in many locations and can not guarantee there will always be a Tesco Express nearby.
WILL I GET A FEW SHOTS TO GET IT RIGHT?
Of course! We always work closely with our clients to rehearse the scene before shooting, and then to make sure they are happy with the performance they have given. We do have time constraints, but you will always get plenty chances and takes!
AFTER THE SHOOT:
WHEN WILL I GET MY SCENE?
After our film date we will get the first drafts of your scenes to you within 14 days.
CAN I MAKE CHANGES?
We ask that our clients trust that it is our job to pick the best takes / angles for both the actors and other technical aspects. We are not able to have an open back forth collaboration in the edit, however all clients are allowed one sets of notes on the first edits sent. We will do out best to put these into action, but it is not always possible.
After this you will be required to pay an hourly rate of £25 for any extra edits.
CAN I COME EDIT WITH YOU?
Unfortunately not, this would be a large extra time commitment on our schedule, and often our editing is done at unsociable times. If you are desperate to be involved with the edit, let us know and we can discuss the extra cost for an editing time slot.
WE SHOT A YEAR AGO -, CAN I HAVE A NEW EDIT?
Unfortunately, we are not able to keep all raw footage from our shoots as we would need a literal mountain of expensive hard drives. If you would like us to keep your footage, we can for an extra £50 charge, otherwise all raw footage from shoots will be deleted 1 month after the edits are complete. However, if you have paid to keep the footage, we are more than happy to provide extra edits at our editing rate of £25.00 an hour.
I DON'T LIKE THE FOOTAGE WE HAVE SHOT, CAN I HAVE A REFUND?
I'm afraid not. We have yet to have this happen, but we always take utmost care in each clients filming, and discuss elements of the filming throughout the process on the shoot. We are not responsible for you not enjoying your performance, or thinking your hair is flat. We always film plenty of takes, so please contacts us before panicking and asking for a refund.
CAN I HAVE ALL THE FOOTAGE?
Unfortunately not. When booking to work with any photographer/videographer the copyright of any images shot belongs to the artist not the client. On occasion we may send you rushes with our watermark logo on top, but there are for your own viewing only and not to be used in any capacity. We are unable to release unedited footage. If you would like extra edits please contact us and we will be able to arrange this with you.
WHY AM I/AM I NOT ON YOUR WEBSITE?
By choosing to film with us, you acknowledge that all material shot ultimately belongs to pro-actor showreels and we shall use footage as we decide for branding/social media/website content. If you have a particular reason you would not like your material used, let us know, but you must understand that this is equally our hard work as it is yours, and our previous work is our main source or promotion material.
CAN I RECOMMEND YOU TO ALL MY FRIENDS, FAMILY AND THEIR AGENTS?