How do you put an on-camera reel together?

 

An on-camera reel is similar to a voice-over demo as it features your on-camera work for commercials, television, film, or corporate industrials.

These categories are mutually exclusive of each other because they are used for different purposes.  If you intend to land more film, for instance, your reel should feature film.

Just like the voice-over demo, naturally, your on-camera reel should reflect what you do best and what you want more of!

However, unlike the voice-over demo, none of the segments used on your reel should be created solely for the reel.  Unless, of course, your last name is Coppola or the Coen brothers offered to write and shoot something that features what you do best.  Heck, who’d need anything else if that were the case?

Instead, the rest of us mortals collect copies of each spot from the producers who hired us. This is known as collecting your elements. Then we hire a professional editor to edit them together.  Each scene should reflect the top of the action, the top of the emotion.

An on-camera reel is a montage (about three minutes long at the most) consisting of visually appealing material that best defines you as an on-camera actor and the type of work you intend to land more of.

It’s important to note, you do not need to have an on-camera reel to land on-camera work. Reels are used more widely in Los Angeles and New York City and are now found almost solely online (as opposed to reproduced on DVD).

If you’ve managed to isolate a single scene featuring you in a recent CSI episode, for example, it’s perfectly appropriate to include just that scene or two on your castingnetworks.com, castingfrontier.com, and actorsaccess.com page, in lieu of a full on-camera reel.

Other than that, a great source for material for your on-camera reel (and to develop your on-camera experience) would be to pursue student film work with up-and-coming directors in film schools such as the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California; NYU Film School; and Columbia College Chicago, to name a few.

To learn more about the SOUND ADVICE approach to voice-over and performance, check out our SERVICES page and give us a call to get scheduled. We can even coach you from the comfort of your home computer using SKYPE!