How to choose your best showreel clips

Choosing your showreel clips can be a minefield, but the key is to think like the people you want to view your showreel rather than trying to choose your "best" clips.

One common mistake is to choose something you think is a "great" scene or looks "cool", but which doesn't feature you heavily. You need to ensure that any clips in your showreel are about YOU. There's no point in a prospective agent, casting director or director watching your showreel and liking someone else's performance or mistaking another actor as the one they are meant to be watching!

Those starting out may have clips from a number of projects, from student films, through to television or movie work. There is little point including anything that is not of the quality of the kind of future work you wish to do. A showreel of films with shaky camera work and poor sound will get you more of the same. A single camera shot of you on stage is a big no-no too.

After that, it's about what sells you best. These could be clips of you in some high profile work or alongside another well-known actor (make sure YOU are the main focus of the clip as much as possible though), a range of roles to show your versatility or carefully chosen clips that all show you in your niche role.

Try to hit the ground running with something that shows you, exactly how you want to be perceived and NEVER use any clip you are not 100% happy with to "fill".

There are different schools of thought about whether to start with music over visuals or get straight to the acting, but an initial headshot to establish yourself and contact details (your agent's if you have one) are essential.

Finally, a word on the helpful advice you'll get from friends and family. Unless they are directors, casting directors, agents or other key industry figures, you need to be careful whose advice you seek. When all is said and done, YOU need to make the decisions about YOUR career. Listen to the advice, consider the option and then make your own choice, because this showreel will be the first thing many people will see of you. Would you let these helpful guys choose your clothes, your actions or your words? First impressions count, so make them first impressions of you, not someone else's version of you.