At Dragonfly we receive a daily deluge of speculative applications from filmmakers looking for work. More often than not, this comes in the shape of a showreel and a brief message that explains how they would like to get a job. The thing is that many of these applications look very similar, and it can often be hard to separate out applicants based on the small parameters we receive.

This isn’t something that just applies to us, and across the industry there has been a much larger need for a more robust proposal. As we outlined in our article on how to get employed in the corporate video industry, you need to do more than just send in an email and a link.

One way to do this is to create a showreel that will really stand out above the rest, and so here is our small list of tips to make yourself noticed.

 

The Montage

It’s the most obvious thing to do. When creating your showreel you splice together some of your favourite clips in a quick sequence overloading the employer’s eyes with quick jump cuts and punchy visuals.

However, if every clip does this, it’s hard to get a real feel for the filmmaker’s individual talents. You want to give your prospective employer a greater sense of what it is you can do. Wow your audience with considered juxtapositions, give them a sense of drama and of impact, but don’t do this lazily but smashing it all together at once. It shows a lack of creative flare, and can detract from the actual highlights of your showreel – which is your work.

 

Consider The Audience

It’s an acknowledged fact that most people don’t have the patience any more to sit through a ten minute video. People want things to be straightforward, immediate and impactful. As such we’d recommend that your best work, which features your big name projects, goes at the beginning of the video. A lot of people won’t have the time to sit through the whole thing so get what you want to be noticed up first.

 

Outline what You Did

Showreels are composed of work that has (for the most part) been a group effort. As such you need to make your employer aware of what exactly it is you did in the construction of the shot. Whilst this may be self evident in the outline of your job description, giving a fuller description of your role in specific clips helps the audience better understand your efforts. Consider using short (and discreet!) text descriptions over the clip.

If you have any other top tips for creating a better showreel, then please let us know in the comments below!