My Actor Reel:
Should I get a friend to do it for me?
This is a question I frequently get with regard to creating an actor reel.
“I don’t have the money to pay for a professional agency to create my actor reel. Tony should I get my friend to do it for me?”
There are two situations you might be able to learn from and that might help you. In this post, I’m going to talk about one of these situations, that just might be…yours.
Creating an actor reel Situation 1:
a. You don’t have much money and you want to get an acting reel created.
b. You don’t have any content of your own. That means you don’t have any acting experience and no film or video clips of your actual work, whether it be commercials, plays or film/television work.
c. You have a friend who you are thinking of approaching to help you shoot scenes and put them together into a reel that you can use to promote yourself to casting directors and talent agents.
A young, to-be actor comes to me and asks the question:
“Tony, should I get my friend to make my reel for me?”
First of all, if you have no experience, then my absolute best advice would be to wait until you do have some experience, have done some acting work and then think about getting a reel done. If you have no experience, then you have to ask yourself what you hope to accomplish by getting a reel created? For example, if you have taken either no acting classes or very few acting classes, that means, to create a reel you will have to act in scenes. How well do you think you will be able to do that if you have little or no experience acting? Something that could help you get over that hurdle is a really good director, BUT, is your friend an experienced director? The other thing you will need is a story behind the scene? Are you able to create something like that? Is your friend able to create a great scene for you, that is perfect for your type?
I don’t want to burst your bubble, but if you are really serious about starting an acting career, then do it the right way. Don’t waste your time and money doing things that are destined to get you nowhere. If you haven’t already seen it, then have a look at my top 3 things to do video about starting an acting career. If you get a reel created with poor-quality acting and that is not formatted correctly and effectively for casting director usage, then even if you spend less money than you would have with a professional agency in getting it done, you will still have wasted that money.
So, if I have convinced you to not yet get your actor reel created, what do you do? Once again have a look at the three things you must do to start your acting career to have a better chance at success.
And, if you want to know everything about how to start and maintain a successful acting career and you want to get all the information in one place, then I can offer you my Acting Career Quick Start Home-Study Video Series in which I take you by the hand and walk you through the whole process step by step.
If you are stubborn and decide that in spite of the fact that you have no experience, you want to get an actor reel created anyway, then please take heed to these four pieces of valuable advice:
1. If your friend can guarantee you good quality and both you and he know how the actor reel needs to be formatted to meet industry standards and to really be an effective marketing tool for you, then by all means go ahead with that. Clarify up front what you expect of him so that if in the end he doesn’t give it to you in terms of the quality, then you can preserve your relationship.
The tricky thing is if you don’t have the content from actual acting jobs and you want him
to help you create it by doing scenes that he films and edits.
If that is your case then I would say that you need to get it done professionally. There are
companies that help actors create content for their reels.
If on the other hand, you have content and just need it put together for your reel, then you could think of having your friend do that for you.
2. Make sure you know what the industry is looking for in an actor reel. In other words, make sure you know how casting directors especially, will use your actor reel, what they look for and how they expect it to be formatted. This video about what your acting reel needs to include and how it should be set up will help you with that.
3. Get at least some acting training before you shoot the scenes. You must know how to act. And please take note that I didn’t say, you should “think” you know how to act.
4. Know what you will do with your acting reel once you have it. In other words, know how to use it to market yourself. P.S., you should know that your actor reel is just part of your complete marketing package.
Soon I’ll tell you more about creating an actor reel and what to do if you DO have your own content. Stay tuned!