I am a London based actor, currently filming a feature in Birmingham, and in my downtime edited a new 3 mins showreel, and feedback would really appreciated. Thanks Alex. https://vimeo.com/107336991
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I like it, but then I'm fairly new to this industry, so don't take my word for it. Question: Are all these scenes from the same film, or are they from different productions? Second Question: To you and others, I've noticed that most demo reels don't credit the actor's name up front and don't credit the production names. Is that the way it's supposed to be done? I'd have thought you'd want to include credit information, in case someone wants more details... Thanks.
Hi Jordan, thanks for the feedback. No they're not from the same film, different productions; I was advised not to put the production titles on, as it distracts, but in two minds about if this is good advice. My name comes up briefly at the bottom of the opening scene, but not in a major way, as was advised that who ever would be watching would already know who they are watching; and I'm credited again, with details, at the end of the reel, again in two minds about this element too. Thanks again for taking the time to watch and write back.
I like it you are extremely talented. And the characters are so different that it gives the casting director great range to consider you for. Best of luck you won't need it.
Awesome reel mate! In my view I don't think you need that montage at the end it doesn't add anything to the reel at all. I'd also consider adding "Spotlight View Pin" before you pin pops up at the end. However this is nit picking the reels top notch plus you kill it in that scene with Chucky Venn (I swear that's him!) either way awesome job! Not surprised to see you're working when that's your showreel.
I think you have a brilliant showreel I must say. You are clearly a good actor but also you have some great high quality footage here and that shows some scope. This is the kind of showreel I've been hungry for but haven't got the footage . If you ever have anything new filmed specially for your showreel then get in touch because I would gladly act alongside you for some footage too.
Thanks guys, really appreciate the feedback. Alexabdre, yeh that is Chucky, do you know him? He's a legend, and great to work with. Oliver, will get in touch if I do. Mainly take from projects I've worked on, but if I record anything specifically I will definitely be in touch. Thanks again guys, really appreciated.
Well done Alex.
acting is as much about listening and reacting as talking. Looking back though it is true that the Black guy was getting more screentime, it was him who drew me into that scene more thinking about it.
So, Alle, as I said in my earlier post, I'm new to this. If you don't want us to run scene sequences, what are you looking for? Just a mash of camera shots with just us speaking? I'm not being sarcastic - I do want to know. Scene sequences make sense to me as a "movie goer". What are YOU looking for as a casting director?
Jordan, you need to know that most of Alle's claims to be this or that in the industry are bullshit. She has never cast anything except her own films. Google her films so you can judge the standards of her own work before you take her opinions seriously. Specifically 'Drinks with Sadie'. She auditioned the actors personally. The acting is terrible. She does occasionally have some quite good points to make but mostly her posts are for self-aggrandisement. So do take everything with a pinch of salt, won't you.
Nice reel. Keep up the good work.
Nice work. A large part of acting in any style is working with your fellow actors. otherwise it would be a monologue. Playing out a scene that displays your character is the goal- but do not chop it to emphasize yourself unless you have all the uncut footage available and are or have a good editor who can do so without it seeming centered on yourself... what you have works, and I would call you in ( disclaimer: I am NOT a full time CD; I have cast 5 features several shorts and numerous commercial and corporate works ).
Good work! great cinematographer work. the only thing I would say is the music is distracting towards the end.
Thank you for the feedback all, gives a lot to work with, and think about. The main thing thats come up from a lot of people is the choice between montage or no montage. I've read and read, forums, websites, meetings and can't seem to find a conclusive answer if they're needed / desired or not. Some say they work, and its a way of showing different faces in a short space of time to compliment scenes, some say they waste time and don't get watched passed. Wondering if it different for a US audience and a UK audience? Again thanks for the feedback, and really pleased you enjoyed it, and took the time to watch. Now time to make the tweaks on given suggestions and get it out there, and fingers crossed things keep going the way they've been going. :-)
Well Alex at the end of the day it boils down to what you like and feel comfortable with. I thought it was good. I've seen with montage and without. But what interests me more is the acting. As a person who casts my main concern when I see a reel is can the person act and does he/she fit my need. So in my humble opinion I'd just say go with what makes you happy. Good luck.
I disagree. it is what he's comfortable with and likes. If he chooses what he considers his best scenes It's thought process that these clips are going to make a casting director go wow. You can't know the reaction of someone until they actually see the reel.So he chooses his best work, puts it together then puts it out there. Some director's will contact him on the strength of the reel because they like what they see. Others will pass for various reasons. But if you sit there with the mindset that you're going to please everyone you're wrong. And cinematography plays a major role just like a great head shot.. If your reel is poorly made, bad sound whatever most casting directors will cut it off because that says that you're not taking this seriously. Same instance if you were to come in with a photo copy of your head shot as opposed to a hard copy. So it's all important, just like a well presented package.
I think its about finding a good balance. A nice, polished, solid reel that focuses all are attention on the actor. Too much attention on another actor or poorly lit footage/dodgy sound will detract. Casting directors won't give much consideration to a showreel outside of the actors performance. I know as actors we can be precious about scenes we like but we need to condense them down so that majority of the reel is us on screen and in the moment. Short and snappy.
Absolutely Oliver. The focus is the actor so it should be their best clips or what they consider their best clips or work. But you definitely better have something which can be seen and heard because if not the casting director will be sitting there concentrating on the bad shot selection and poor sound quality, taking away from what could be great performances, so yes a balance is definitely necessary.
Alle I'm sure you could differentiate which guy he was because of the multiple scenes ,Actually I liked the acting,production and direction were done well even though they're not all from the same film.
Great point Dan, what you outlined is a basic truth. Depending on the level of what you're shooting determines an awful lot. But you have low budget productions who use great equipment. I would consider myself a low budget filmmaker in the respect that I have my own dslr cameras 7ds, my own sound and lighting. But I also have great relationships with other dps so we share whatever. But at the end of the day your goal should be to cast people such as Alex in your productions because his reel speaks of as you said high quality and professionalism. If you don't want to stay in the same place you cast the best at hand. I would definitely cast him in my feature based off his reel.
My two cents. I agree with the casting director who wants to be sure the focus is mostly on you, particularly in the early going. BUT...you have some strong work here. Given that you don’t need to pad your reel, I’d first reconsider anything with bad sound. Then, I’d cut the sequence that starts at 2:09 and ends at 2:17. OR keep just the last couple seconds of it. The problem is it takes us from strong production value to lesser production value and feels like padding to me. We already know you’re a strong actor by that point; we don’t need to know you can pull off begging for your life in front of a gunman (unless it was a great shot that took us to a new depth for you). I’d also cut from 2:20-2:23. It makes you a tad vulnerable there, coming through the door (not your fault). If you needed the extra footage, maybe keep that, but you don’t. Maybe come back in at 2:23 and leave that clip by 2:24. We’ll get a bit of action, you won’t be left vulnerable, and we probably won’t question production value. Well done.
Never said acting wasn't a part of it. Read my commeny. I said it's a balance. You are not going to sit and watch crappy acting on a reel nor are you going to watch a crappy reel with bad sound or lighting or whatever. How can you see someone doing something if the shot is bad or you can't hear what they're saying. I've casted films and plays. My own and others so I can speak for myself when I say I'm not looking at crappy reels. Now they may do it differently where you're from but every agent casting and some good ones all say the same things. You better come in with a polished well put together reel. And that guy didn't look inexperienced at all. So basically everyone except you on this thread has absolutely no idea what they're talking about is what you're saying. I don't think so. You are not the only authority on anyrhing. Your way is not the only way. Plenty of successful people do things differently. And to call everyone wannabe smacks of immaturity on your part. You disagree fine but to insult people when you've seen none of their work isn't right. Now let me say this and I'm done. If you were that good and did so much people would be kicking in your door to work with you but the only work I see from you is what you've written directed and produced for you. Please show everyone who has no idea what the talking about this extensive and wide ranging body of work you so often speak about. The six Hollywood awards I've yet to find on the Internet. The film in Cannes. Let us see this and then maybe people will begin to take you more seriously.
I enjoyed the reel. The lighting made it very intriguing. Your acting style is very "Euro now" your voice is neutral, your expressions say a lot, and based on what I see, this dark drama, showcases your style in that genre well. The editing needs work. The transitions chops up what should be seamless, meaning, those fades outs, should fade up into a filler of some kind, more like a trailer, other than that, good job.
I liked it but I have some feedback too. I think it may be a little too long, and I think you need your name and contact info up front somehow. Maybe cut down the end part a little. See if you can tighten up the beginning too, somehow take the focus away from the other actor in the first scene.
Atmospheric and Savvy. Each character you played was clearly defined, so perhaps no need for titles for each film. Particularly the first film, left me "wanting to know more". I felt there were strong emotional under layers....he speaks almost with sarcasm perhaps he should feel "penance" over a woman's premature death....yet it could be buried guilt that drives him forward , in whatever it is he has to do to . I would like to see the whole film, when you manage to release it. Great acting.
I'm n a noisy place so hard to hear, but looks good and I like the distinctive accent. Good luck!
Wow! Thank you so much for all the above, especially taking the time to give such in-depth breakdowns. I really didn't expect this much response, and it's massively appreciated. I'm starting to go though and implement what I can, and should. Some very good constructive advice on this, I hope others are benefiting from this knowledge too, I know I am. I roughly know i'm going to do, cut down the opening scene some more, but so it all still makes sense. Reduce, if not remove the montage, reduce the length to a 2 min version and have a few more tweaks with the editing. Plus keeping to the clearer footage and sound. I should have it ready in a few days, and will update with the edited one, for those interested in seeing it's progress, but wanted to say thanks again to everyone who's posted, its a great help.
I have read the comments first and then watched the reel, every comment is relative. If I had my heart in a script and money in a prodject, I would want to feel like the actor makes it believable, Alex you can do that. But the stage has competition and there are pre-requisites to separate good-better-best for the Roles. When I was shopping my DJ reel for big time commercial radio jobs I wanted to showcase my dynamic mixing and music selection skills but the job focused on voice delivery and demonstrated command of technical tecniques and vocal transitions. I was good at those things also but even after I was told this, I really did not change the demo, because I knew I was a good DJ. You know you are a good actor Alex, I continued to make the wrong demo tapes for the PAID GIGS. 1 for show, 1 for dough
Great show reel! You seem to really connect in the second clip, (all the clips really) but the first has more production value. Wonder if you thought of putting the second one first - just a thought. Congrats on all your hard work learning the craft. Your eyes don't lie. P e a c e
Nice track for the ending bit. Can you tell me the title/artist?
Well done. The characters are compelling. I would be interested to know where the story goes.
Alex great reel! I love how in the end you have a music over cut of scenes. I was told to put the contact information either also in the beginning of the clip or have it constantly displayed during the reel, as some CDs only watch 1 min or less and might decide to call your rep right away so it is good to have their phone no. handy during all times of the clip.
I liked the contrast of your characters, Alex. You have a great face for film, TV, particularly character work.
I enjoyed viewing, you did a great editing job by the way. I would like your contact information on the screen to stand still at the end, it flashed and I waited for it to reappear but it did not. Nicely done!
Hi Guys, Thank you for the recent comments. https://vimeo.com/107336991 Here is an edited version, with at the advice taken on board, first scene cut o focus on my performance more, montage shortened and the whole thing shortened to 2.30mins, also changed scene in the reel, as felt it was slightly better, sound wise, but not sure if it's focused too much on the actress' dialogue. Do these changes make it punchier. Thanks for all the feedback already given, this a massive, massive help, hoe you like the edited version. Cheers Alex.
Hi Alex. Youre a great actor and I like your work. One thing that I would suggest that in my opinion might strengthen your reel is to do the montage in the beginning. That provides an imagery build up and gets the viewer excited for when the scene work comes. A montage in the beginning also provides for a nice transition into scene work as opposed to starting the scene work right away or from contact info. Good luck and nice work!
Barry that is great advice.
The video is no longer available....
Hey Alex, if you're still looking for advice, you need to re-upload the film to be viewed.