Why Every Actor Needs A Demo Reel

actor demo reel

Let’s talk a bit about perhaps the most important tool of your portfolio in your quest to get a talent agent- the demo reel. This is what the agents use to determine whether you have acting prowess (or lack thereof), and ultimately if they want to sign you or not. The good news is, there are no hard fast rules. The bad news is, there are no hard fast rules. So how then to go about building and polishing a fantastic, mesmerizing demo reel? Keep in mind these crucial factors:

  • 5 – 10 years ago, demo reels were extra, not every actor had them. With the advent of tech and in house, agents demand that you have one, no excuse for not having one

Title Card

Don’t ever forget this. In the beginning and end of your demo reel, include a title card with your name and contact information for quick reference. Once at the beginning to get inside the agent’s head, and again at the end to remind them how to contact you.

Length

This is hands down the most often discussed dilemma. How long should my demo be? The general consensus among industry professionals is that it takes an agent about 30 seconds of watching your reel to decide whether or not they will sign you. With this in mind, keep it short, nothing over 2 minutes.

Clip Selection

Only the best. Make sure the focus in each clip is YOU. If you don’t hog the screen time in the clip, have someone re-edit it so you do. Make sure everything is current and looks pristine. Talent agents like to see things that are up to date and relevant. Always put your best clip first, but make sure the following clips are just as extraordinary. Save a really strong clip for last, so the agent is left with a powerful impression of your ability. Some agents like to scrub through the reel until they find a clip they like, so don’t make them all the same. Show us your range!

Demo Reel Companies

You don’t have to book a slew of underpaying gigs just to build up a demo reel these days. There are a ton of companies that will put you on tape and make it look professional for the right price. Relentless Filmworks and LA Reels are two of the most popular that come to mind. They’ll write scenes for you tailored to your needs and even provide actors for you to work with. Just make sure the scenes are an accurate depiction of your range and ability.

Demo Reel On A Budget

  • friends shoulder in the shot
  • shoot at 24p
  • apps at 24p
  • mic link from dylan
  • sound is important
  • something decent other than nothing
  • pick a scene from acting class

You’ve got your demo reel. Now you’re ready for talent representation!

Free Website for Actors and Models – ReppedBy

A free website for actors and models is just one more added benefit of being a ReppedBy member. Actors and models must have their work displayed online and the most frustrating issue agents report to us is when they need to send a client’s work to casting directors and the material is hard to retrieve from their client. Getting your ReppedBy URL up and running will remove this problem and here are some of the great features.

Upload Unlimited Photos and Videos

We don’t believe that actors and models who work so hard should pay per photo and video. You’ve certainly paid enough to get the shots and to edit your reel, so why should you have to pay an arm and a leg to display them online? You shouldn’t. So with your account, whether you are currently looking for representation or not, you can have all of your work displayed for all to see.

Easy to Modify Resume Template

As your resume grows and grows, you’ll want to keep it up to date. Easily log in to your account and add your latest achievements. Make sure you include as much detail as possible, such as the director of the project and the production company. The standard template for an actor’s resume is a division of either three or four for columns. The first column is always the name of the project the other three columns may include: your character’s name, name of the director, production company, or the name of the theatre where the project was performed. Any other format will make you look like an amateur and people will not take you seriously. Our format is set and you will have no issues using it like a pro.

Free Website for Actors and Models with a standard resume provided by ReppedBy
The actor resume has a very standard format.

Share Your ReppedBy Profile

Every account gets a vanity URL that you can place at the bottom of your emails and easily share on social media. Remember that as an actor or model you definitely want your digital footprint to be massive. When someone Googles your name you must show up everywhere. So, make sure that you are being represented the way you want to be on the web. The more people that know about you the better and the more auditions you will get!

So now you have no more excuses. Get on ReppedBy and take advantage of your free website for actors and models!

Acting Agents Are Absolutely Mandatory For Actors

Acting agents are absolutely necessary.

Acting agents aren’t only necessary for a thriving acting career but they are absolutely vital to your success as an actor. There are many businesses out there who want you to believe that you can make it in this town without proper representation. That you can self-submit to acting roles. But they fail to mention that only acting agents and managers have access to the legit job postings.  Only they can submit you to the real “breakdowns”.

What are The Breakdowns?

Think of “the breakdowns’ as Indeed.com but for actors. Every day casting directors from all over town post breakdowns for the types of characters they are looking for right now. A casting director for the show Scandal might post something like this:

Male – 20-30 – Rookie police officer. Good looking. Must be available on June 3rd. Guest-star role. $1,000 plus 10%. 

There are dozens of these great jobs posted every day, jobs that you as an actor would qualify for. But only your agent and manager will be able to submit you for this.

What about the sites that advertise that I can submit myself?

The projects listed on these sites are very small scale projects such as student films, webisodes, ultra low budget projects. And generally, they do not pay. There is nothing wrong with doing work like this if you are in need of a reel and you have all the time in the world as most of these projects never get finished and a good amount of your footage you will never receive. If however, you want to be on TV shows such Scandal, Modern Family, or House of Cards, only an acting agent or manager can submit you for these roles via The Breakdowns. You as an actor simply do not have access to these lucrative jobs and for very good reason.

Why do only acting agents get to submit on The Breakdowns?

You see, even on a basic job such as the one mentioned above, a casting director will get on average over 2000 submissions via The Breakdowns. Imagine how many submissions they’d have to go through if they opened up the system and allowed anybody to send in their headshot and resume. It would be a complete disaster. So, in order to run actors through a vetting process, the first want to make sure that an actor is being vouched for by a reputable acting agent or manager.

So, if you want the juicy auditions and if you want to get on your favorite TV show, focus on getting an acting agent who will consistently submit you for juicy auditions.

And if you need an acting agent and don’t know where to begin, visit ReppedBy for more info.

an acting agent is absolutely needed

Do I Need To Get A Talent Agent?

talent agents are very important
Is a talent agent needed?

Think of your favorite actor or actress. Think of the famous role you remember him or her in. That role was made possible only because there was a talent agent working behind the scenes to get that star into the audition.

What about all those ever-popular self submitting websites? They’re good for exposure and building up a decent reel, but student films and webisodes will only take you so far. To truly break into the business, agents and managers are the keyholders who can unlock the door so you can get your foot in.

The Cons of Self-Submission

Do you know how many freelance actors and actresses send in their headshots daily to the agencies? Want to guess how many of those headshots actually get looked at?

Let’s say you self-submit your reel and headshots and book a non-union commercial with a big company like, oh I don’t know, Covergirl. Fantastic, you got a high profile gig. However since you don’t have an agent and the job is non-union, you can only work for Covergirl this one time.

You can never work for Covergirl again.

Does that make sense for your career in the long term? Think of the pay you would’ve made had you booked it through SAG. If only you had agency representation, you know, the kind that gets you Covergirl gigs on the regular. Plus, you’re protected by contract. You’ll be making big money, be protected legally, be able to work for the company again and again, and get great exposure. If you had an agent, that is.

The Pros of Agency Representation

Straight up, a talent agent will legitimize an unknown actor. Casting directors may not even care what your name is, but if they see who you’re repped by, your chances of getting in the room increase exponentially.

Acting is your passion, you don’t have to tell us twice; but let’s be honest, money needs to be made. And not ‘buy groceries’ money,  we’re talking ‘pay bills and buy groceries and then some’ money. Not in it for the money you say? How about being able to tell your friends “Check me out on tonight’s episode of Scandal!” Your talent agent will get you those parts. You, on your own, will not.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is that agents know the industry. They know who does the best headshots. They know which roles are hot and which are a good fit for you. Hollywood is not a one man show; it is a team effort. And you know what they say- team strong, dream strong.

So How Do I Get A Talent Agent?

Isn’t it obvious? Reppedby! Or you can do it the old fashioned way: pay for headshots, pay for an editor to cut your reel, pay for DVDs and envelopes and postage, pay to mail your envelopes to every agency in town, then pray they actually open the envelope.

At Reppedby, we’ve revolutionized the process. You create a profile, upload as many headshots and reels as you want, then when you’re ready, just send your package out to all of the top talent agencies straight through the site. That’s it. Easy to use, easy to navigate.

Our industry is in the midst of monumental change. The old ways are becoming archaic and cumbersome, fit for an age long since past. Give us your time, your headshots, your reels, and your passion, and together we can get you into that audition room!