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  • NAB: Reel questions! 02/14/2018  2:06am

    Few questions to pick everyones brains about reels!

    1) How long is the ideal reel? I have a lot of footage and find it SO HARD to get it as short as people tell me it should be.

    2) Label performances or not label performances? (ie. name, location, role, etc)

    3) Do you edit yourselves or pay someone to do it? Is it really worth paying for if you have to choose your cuts anyway? Or if you pay someone, are you also paying them to sift through your footage and pick good cuts?

    4) Add dance, music, and acting all to one, or separate reels?

    Any advice is appreciated! I'm in the middle of a revamp of mine and wanted to get a feel for what the standard is so I'm up to par!


    Okay! Let me see if I can help:)

    Ideally, your reel should be around 2-3 minutes of professional footage (if you are a newbie, and lacking in professional gigs, you will want to try to get some footage shot of yourself in a studio or on a stage. Try to avoid class footage. If you are able to include partnering, tricks, and technique, you are on your way.

    Always label the performance! You don’t have to label the role/location.

    I’ve always edited my own through iMovie, and it has sufficed. You can always pay someone to do it, but you may not always like what you get

    Keep the dance reel on its own. You no longer need acting reels, as the majority of casting offices want to see short scene clips. I’m not sure about music demos.

    Hope this helps!

    girlwiththeprettytattoo 02/14/2018  9:41am

    Heyo! I’m gonna pipe in here.

    We shoot and film theatre, musical theatre reels, slate shots, and college prescreens. We always suggest keeping it simple. Showing three different styles. You know, like one contemporary, one pop, and one classical that shows you off and sells you the best. Same with straight Theatre. Sometimes people want to add a forth song/monologue and that’s cool too. But yeah. It needs to be 3 min or less. And we always like to send the pieces in separate files as well as in reel format. Because the casting director for a production of Oklahoma doesn’t need to hear you sing Demi Lovado. So just send them your classic MT song. RIGHT?!? I agree, keep dance reel separate. I’d also make a theatrical reel separate from MT. But that’s just my taste. Honestly, all that matters is that it’s not too long and you look and sound frickin amazing.

    And now for our shameless plug... if anyone is looking to get a reel done hit us up at

    TheatreReelsPlus 02/14/2018  12:39pm