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I’ve been casting for a long time. More than 30 years. Before these computer things were invented. Hmm, long time.
Do you know that back when I started casting a demo reel was three scenes, each scene somewhere between a minute and a minute and a half long, dramatic, each one being different. You’d send me the reel on a tape in a machine and I’d see it on the screen.
Things haven’t changed. You still thing a demo reel is three scenes, each a minute to a minute and a half long showing a range of characters.
That’s not a demo reel. That’s a history reel. That’s a history of the range of work you can do. And your agent needs to know that, so you do need that history reel to communicate to an agent, to get an agent in the first place. To get a better agent than the one you’ve got.
But what do you need to communicate to me? A casting director. Because as I say, a four and half minute reel of you doing three scenes… Do I really need to see all of that? What question am I trying to answer?
I’m trying to answer the question – ‘Do I want to see more of this actor?’ – What might that be? Well it could be that I go ‘Wow aren’t they fantastic. Let’s set up a meeting.’
You better be pretty good for me to set up a meeting. To spend 10 minutes with you and all that kind of thing. It’s not likely is it? More likely is the fact is that I’ll say to your agent ‘Wow he’s really good. Can he do a self test for me please? Here’s the scene.’
That takes me, to arrive at that decision, the best part of 10 seconds. If you’re really good I might watch another 10 seconds, another 15 seconds. Because all I’m asking is – do I want to see more of this actor?
A demo reel is an entirely different beast. In this digital age. The digital age offers you so many opportunities, but it is also changed the parameters by which you communicate to firstly your agent, and secondly the casting director. It’s changed it enormously.
Join us to find out how it’s changed and what your opportunities are. Talk to you soon!