Craft the Perfect Showreel
A video production studio’s reel is just as important as their brand. Or at least, it should be treated that way.
While your name and logo is important, trying to stand out from the horde of new (and veteran!) video production studios comes down to your reel. You MUST engage your audience in a matter of seconds, or they’re going to shift their focus to the next suggested video production agency. We believe a strong showreel can be boiled down to these key points:
KNOW THY BRAND.
Know how to sell yourself and how to convey your unique take on the industry. Your reel should be an extension of your brand and continually reinforce your ethos.
KNOW THY AUDIENCE.
While you want to raise as many eyebrows and leave as many mouths open with fantastic cinematography as you can, not everyone will love your reel. A shame, right? Wrong. You want to craft your reel to your ideal client. Remember when you were looking for your first job and traipsed around town with a stack of CVs hoping to find someone to give you a break? The reason it took so long to get that first break is because your CV was targeted to every line of work. Specify, then specify some more.
MUSIC IS KING.
You need a track that works with your selected footage, so don’t pick a track that rises and falls when your footage doesn’t. We like to stick to electronic music for our reels, something that is going to keep the video driving and the viewer engaged.
COME OUT SWINGIN’.
While it’s hard to really nail your opening shot, give it some serious thought. Yes, you want to show your best projects and biggest clients, but that shouldn’t hinder the opening shot. Excellent cinematography and composition should be given precedent here. Think big and shoot bigger.
KEEP IT SNAPPY – OR DON’T!
We found it hard to cut down on some gorgeous shots for our latest reel, but you need to consider the overall feel of the video on this aspect. Yes, you might love that long crane shot, but is it REALLY necessary? Can it be sped up? Probably!
SHOWCASE YOUR PORTFOLIO.
Unless you’re looking to specify right to the point of having multiple reels (Wandern Media have a separate aerial video production reel for this very reason), try and hit as many bases as you can. This may depend on what you actually have to work with, but try to see this from the client’s perspective. They wish to see a diverse range of skill on your part, so let them have it.
SLEEP ON IT.
Just like you have probably done for your clients in the past, treat this showreel as a piece for a client that isn’t yourself. If you think you’re finished, call it a night and revisit in the morning. Remember, this is your selling point, your pièce de résistance. It needs to be
locked down as tight as possible, at least from your perspective. That leads us to our next piece of advice…
GET A 2ND, 3RD & 4TH OPINION.
In the case of our most recent video production reel, we actually had select past clients give their opinion before we went live. Yes, they’ve hired you in the past, but would they hire you again if this was all they had to go on?
THE BIG PUSH.
Time to get this baby out on the road. Use every resource at your disposal to showcase your reel and start building your network. Consider Facebook advertising as a means to bring in more click throughs. Optimise the video for Google searches and get on that first page of results.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO UPDATE.
In the case of Vimeo, you are free to reupload updates of your reel. Things aren’t as slick for YouTube, but unless your gaining revenue on your videos, who cares about views? Keeping it fresh is more important.
While we are very pleased with our most recent video production reel, there is always room for improvement. Have something to add? Get in touch and we’ll make sure to add your tips.