HOW TO FILM FOOTAGE FOR YOUR SHOWREEL by Leah Charles-King
This is our second blog post in a series which highlights the importance of having a showreel and how you can create one on a zero budget. Whether you’re a rookie or an accomplished TV Presenter, it’s a must if you wish to be considered for any role.
If you havent already check out our previous post, The Ingredients of a Quality Showreel: PART I
To recap, a showreel is your visual CV and I cannot express enough how crucial it is to landing your next gig. The introduction is the most important part of the showreel. Think of it exactly like an advert for your skills, and like any advert it needs to be short and attention grabbing. Your audience is your potential employer so how badly do you want the job? A TV Producer should be able to see what you’re about within the first 30 seconds!
In Part I, we discussed five main points to keep in mind when creating your showreel:
- Strict Editing
- Highlight your strengths
- Keep it short and engaging
- Solid technique beats originality
- Keep it updated
Now that you know the makings of a high quality showreel, we need to break down how to film your footage in the most professional way possible.
How do I record to camera?
Filming can be completed just about anywhere, whether you use your footage filmed at one of our workshops; your mate has a fancy digital camera; or by simply using your smartphone, it doesn’t matter. Just point the camera and shoot!
Remember! If you use a smartphone, make sure you hold the camera the right way around, always HORIZONTALLY. This allows the viewer to see the whole frame.
If you have a friend to film you, choose wisely. Ask someone who you feel comfortable around to help you feel relaxed and at ease. They should also remind you to smile and encourage you when you fluff up your lines.
When recording your pieces to camera you can either film your entire showreel all in one go so that you don’t have to worry about any editing later on, or you can record a few different segments and do a very simple edit by using iMovie or something similar. Many smartphones now even have editing capabilities so you don’t have to sit in front of your laptop or PC.
Where shall I record my footage?
If this is your first ever showreel decide which type of presenting you wish to do and then choose the perfect setting to achieve this. For example, if your dream is to present a nature programme, go and film yourself outdoors such as a park, zoo or open space. If you wish to be a TV Shopping presenter, perhaps you could sit at your dining room table with some items on it from around the home and sell a piece to camera. If you are interested in fashion reporting, go to your local high street and interview some fashionistas or fashion faux pas.
It’s up to you to go wherever you fancy, but be creative in your thinking process and don’t just leave it to chance. However try not to waste too much time faffing on the location as the main objective is to have your potential employer focusing on you only. Ensure you have good lighting and that the audio is clear and crisp. Do a few practice runs first and watch it back. It’ll also give you the opportunity for a good warm up.
What shall I wear?
Dress appropriately for the style of presenting you are going for. If for example you’re interested in current affairs or broadcast journalism then consider a suit and tie or a modest knee length dress. If sport’s presenting is more your thing, perhaps wear an outfit inspired by the genre of sport you are interested in, such as a football tee or something similar.
How do I edit?
As mentioned in my previous post, try to be ruthless with your editing and only keep what you feel is really necessary in showcasing your talent to the max. Ensure your strengths are well presented and the length of the showreel is no more than 3 minutes if possible.
You can use editing tools such as iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or The Red Carpet Academy can do all the editing for you. See more details here.
By the way I’m no whizz on my laptop, however I edited my ‘reel using iMovie on my MAC. I know from experience that Producers are not so much looking at the way it’s edited and so I used this software to save time. Although I have tons of footage, for my latest showreel I chose some of my best bits and kept my editing very simple. Take a look:
You can start by uploading your brand spanking new showreel to your YouTube account. If you don’t have one, create one. It only takes minutes and is a great place to store any further videos you wish to make into a library portfolio.
By uploading your showreel to Youtube its easy to simply send the link to prospective employers and agents via email, and allows you to easily upload it to certain casting websites.
Coming up next……
The Ingredients to a quality showreel Part III: What To Include In Your Showreel
In the meantime….. If you want further help in achieving a good quality showreel have a look at our Additional Services page as well as our One Day Bootcamp which includes filming your own footage for the purpose of creating your new visual CV. Your showreel!
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Leah Charles-King is the Founder of The Red Carpet Academy. She is a multi-ward winning TV Presenter with 13 years experience of presenting on mainstream television in the UK and worldwide. www.leahcharlesking.com