Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gone in 30 seconds...

Okay, so this is not about that movie, but rather something else that may be important for all actors/actresses to know. It has to do with so called "demo reels". I have immersed myself into the industry somewhat by doing lots of reading. Particularly when it comes to opinions of certain job titles. The focus of a particular job title that has the word "casting" in it. Whether it be a casting director, agent, company, agency etc, etc... they all want the same thing. TIME! They never have enough of it.

So here is how it goes. You are an actor or actress and want to be cast for the next big block buster. So you send in your head shot (that's yet another topic), your resume and hopefully a demo reel. Do you even have one of those? If you don't, you might want to really consider getting one. But don't cut corners here! This will either make you or break you.

I have seen many demo reels and I must tell you, the time spent on those is time I will never ever get back. Sounds harsh, but it is a fact. And I am not even a "casting" type of guy. So imagine what a real "casting" type of person would think.

The message being sent with this entry is that your demo reel needs to sell you in the first 20 to 30 seconds. If it does not, then you will most likely not be cast. Hmmm... I know, I know - many of you are thinking; "But I have so much cool stuff on my reel..." Yeah, you might. It may all be true... but where is it? At the end? In the middle? At minute 5? At minute 9? If your reel is that long, you really need a new reel!

The fact is, when casting happens, the people involved don't have a lot or won't spend a lot of time on any reel. That is, unless you "hook" them in the first 20 to 30 seconds. Even then, they might not look further. Or simply put, they already made a decision at that point. You are either potential, or you are not. It's that simple.

Casting is a quick elimination process. When casting happens, many reels, resumes, head shots, flowers, fruits - okay, the last two are bogus, but many actors submit their goods. So think about this, just how much time do you think a casting director will actually spend on any given submission? Hint: it's less than a minute and a bit more than no time.

I did this reel recently - just like a movie, it needs to tell a story about you:

Demo Reel of Bobbi Jeen Olson 2009 - 3rd Quarter from VaderVideo on Vimeo.

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