This article originally appeared in Back Stage
In the following article, the video gurus at NYC-based ActorIntro.com discuss the importance of video reels for actors with Matt Draper, founder of SpeedReels in L.A.
Professional Actors Have Professional Video
After working at ICM doing high-end reels for celebs like Gabriel Byrne and Portia de Rossi, Matt Draper realized that even celebrities need video highlighting their best work. A top-level producer isn’t going to go rent a whole season of Nurse Jackie to see what Edie Falco is capable of—even Tony Award winners need a quick “trailer” showing their range, type, and talent. Video is now the standard, in some cases even acting as substitute for live auditions.
A little thumbnail or a home video sends the wrong message when you’re trying to book paid work. Also, too much content on your personal site is a big turnoff. “Agents don’t have time to fish around through photos on your website,” Draper tells us. “They want to go right to your video.” ActorIntro founder Brad Holbrook agrees: “In the entertainment industry, you can’t show film & TV people an amateur webcam-style video and expect to be cast in a major production. Go pro with HD video and top-quality sound to make a positive first impression.”
You Win by Making the CD’s Job Easier
“What casting directors want to see is what type you are, if you’re the type they’re looking for,” says Draper. With roles being rewritten and new parts created every day, casting happens at the speed of a Google search. If CDs can find out how you look and sound on camera without having to set up a whole new casting session, you just put yourself ahead of the competition.
Promote Yourself Where Industry Already Searches for Talent
All the major social and casting sites give you space to upload your video absolutely free, including Facebook, YouTube, and your Back Stage profile. Videos, when properly tagged, also come up higher in search results than regular resume pages do.
Studios Need Proof You Can Do the Job
When a studio does a screen test, they want to know what an actor is going to look and sound like on video. And remember, it’s the studio or network that’s hiring the casting director. If you have high-quality video ready to go, you make your CD or agent look good to their boss, and who doesn’t want that?
Marketing Yourself to a Trendsetting Industry
Studios and networks are spending significant time and money investing in online video, from streaming shows online to creating web-based ads. What better way to show you’re prepared for the next big wave in casting than to have an online reel or intro video? That way, industry can see that there’s more to you than the headshot – you’re ready to be cast and look great from big screen to smartphone screen.
And the great news is that these days, whether you have existing material or not, you can often get HD video shot and edited professionally for less than ever before, so you can use online video to stay ahead of the curve and keep your career moving forward!
To learn more about SpeedReels’ video services in Los Angeles, visit www.speedreels.com.