A new year is the perfect time to create a fresh new start for your acting career! Here are a few reasons to have an acting reel in your set of marketing tools or to update your current one. 

A high-quality, visual reel speeds up the audition process by helping the casting director make an instant decision to bring you in. This enables you, the actor, to expediently showcase and reinforce your unique type by controlling your marketing image. The “minilogue” format saves the CD time by getting right to the scene, with little or no time spent on other actors in the scene. A custom reel also saves the actor time because they are not waiting for that “great footage” shot on a Red Camera three years ago that’s still in post-production because of bad audio. 

Plus, Actors Access/Breakdown Services has a sorting process that prioritizes those actors submissions that have video attached, meaning you’re “bumped up” in the sort. Casting Networks/LA Casting has a video icon next to your credits, identifying that a scene from that project is available to view. In garnering representation, potential agents and managers will want to see a reel before they consider adding you to their roster. The better the reel, the better your chances of representation.

I have chatted with 25-30 CDs in L.A. and specifically asked them what they want and don’t want to see and hear in an actor’s reel: Overwhelmingly, I’ve heard no montages, no title cards, no Shakespeare, no poorly done action scenes and no bad audio (this is a pet peeve for all CDs). They simply want to hit the “play” button and see the actor in a medium-to-close-up shot and clearly hear their voice. They don’t care about context. Finally, they want to see the actor’s eyes.

— By Paul Campanella for the Nevada Local newsletter. Campanella is an actor, writer, producer, director, acting coach, singer/musician, and founder of 231 Productions LLC.

This is not intended to imply an endorsement of any individual or company by SAG-AFTRA. The information provided is given for informational purposes. You should always use good judgment in these matters and should not act or refrain from acting based solely on information provided.


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