A Demo Reel Shows Off Your Child’s Skills

Does your child need a demo reel? As young performers gain more on-camera experience, they accumulate clips that can be using in giving casting directors a sense of their skills and personality. A reel can be an important tool in booking more work.

A demo reel should start with the child’s most professional booking and compile video clips from commercials, feature films, student films, network television shows and independently produced films. If your child does not have professional clips to include in a demo reel, you can shoot your own, but you should use good actors and good material.

The clips should run about 20 seconds to 30 seconds each, and the reel should be about one or two minutes in length at the most. Begin the reel with your child’s headshot and make sure name and contact info are clearly visible. Label the clip identifying what it is from. Choose scenes that demonstrate the variety of the actor’s work. Develop one reel for comedy and one for drama, if possible.

The industry maxim holds that no reel is better than a bad reel. Remember that a casting team will view dozens of reels in a single day, and make sure yours will stand out for good quality and production values. Good sound, lighting, and picture quality are important. Avoid delivering reels that drag on and on or that show sloppy editing.

You can compile the clips yourself using a Mac and iMovie as a money-saving strategy if you are technically proficient. Another option is to hire a professional company that specializes in producing the actor reel. Research the company and its reputation for professionalism carefully before you make a hiring decision. Good companies may consult with you and your child to get a sense of their skills and strengths. The cost can be pricey but worthwhile when professional jobs result from the investment.

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