How Many Showreels You Need?

 In How To Get Better Showreels

In today’s episode of our How To Get Better Showreels series we delve into a crucial aspect of your acting career—how many showreels you need and why one comprehensive reel might not be the best approach.

The Pitfall of an All-in-One Showreel

Peter shares a personal anecdote about his early career mistake—creating a lengthy, all-encompassing showreel that showcased every filmmaking skill. He explains how this approach resulted in zero job offers because it failed to highlight specific talents effectively.

The Importance of Specialized Showreels

Peter emphasises the necessity of tailored reels. Just as a homeowner would choose a painter over a jack-of-all-trades for a painting job, casting directors seek actors with specific skill sets for defined roles. Generalised showreels often lead to being typecast and limit opportunities.

The Casting Director’s Perspective

Casting directors typically watch the initial seconds of a reel. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they move on to the next one. Thus, placing relevant scenes at the beginning is vital. An actor’s versatility is secondary to their suitability for the specific role in question.

The Role of Showreels in Securing Agents

Agents operate similarly to casting directors. They look for what’s missing in their roster rather than an actor’s overall versatility. Peter shares an anecdote of an actor rejected because the agency already had a bald client. This underlines the importance of tailored showreels in securing representation.

Creating Multiple Showreels

While creating various reels might seem challenging initially, Peter advises focusing on one character type initially. This not only keeps costs manageable but allows for showcasing different facets of the same character. Peter explains that it’s about specificity rather than avoiding diversity.

A Word on Special Skills

Peter advises against incorporating action sequences or specific skills into general showreels. Instead, these should be showcased in separate reels to maintain a laser-focused approach and cater to the preferences of casting directors or agents.

The Two-Minute Rule and Sending Multiple Showreels

Peter recommends keeping showreels under two minutes. However, actors can send multiple specialised reels to showcase a range of skills. This strategy extends the time “allowed” for viewing and provides a more targeted presentation.


Crafting the perfect showreel involves understanding your cast type, tailoring reels for specific roles, and recognising the preferences of casting directors and agents. Watch Peter’s previous video on editing your showreel, and start building multiple, specialised showreels to maximise your impact in the industry.


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