Build the perfect showreel: Tips from a Casting Director

In the run up to the third annual CDA Casting Awards, celebrating the art of casting and honouring the work of the casting director, we have gathered the best tips from some of this year's nominees.

Showreel Tips by ET Casting

  1. Make your showreel no longer than 3min with punchy scenes (3 or 4), that show range & contrasting roles.
  2. Actor reels should be footage only - cut the montage as this only shows off editing skills!
  3. You can add commercials to your showreel, if it’s one that you’re prominently featured in, but include it at the very end of your reel.
  4. Live performances should be a standalone clip, not incorporated in a reel to promote screen work.
  5. Film some! You could write a little 1min scene & film it at home or pick a section from a film or TV show you’re passionate about/suits you as a character and re-shoot that. 
A self-tape is definitely better than nothing – we can see what you look like on camera and we can get a taster of you as a performer.

Emily Tilelli is principal casting director and founder of London based consultancy ET Casting. Her career spans two decades, both here and also in her native Australia. Emily and her dedicated team are known for their fearless street casting, performance driven traditional casting and their diverse casting within advertising. Their work has not only appeared in the industry’s most respected publications but has also featured in many international festivals.

Nominated for: Best Casting of an Online / Branded Content Commercial (over 60 sec), Best Children’s Casting, Best Casting of a Feature Film.

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