Acting Reel Tips to Make Your Own Demo Reel

Having an acting reel is a really important part of marketing yourself as an actor, but it can be expensive. If you are familiar with software like iMovie or Movie Maker, you can try to create your acting reel yourself, especially if you only have a few scenes to work with. Below are seven editing tips that will help your homemade acting reel look more professional.

Acting Reel Tip #1 – Avoid DVDs

It’s great to have DVD copies of films you acted in, but it makes editing your reel very difficult, because the video on DVDs needs to be reformatted before it can be edited. If you can, try to get copies of your film acting footage as video files you can easily work with. If you have a Mac computer, ask for Quicktime files. If you have a PC, ask for AVI files. The best way to get the files you need is to contact the editor of the movie you were in. If they are not on set when you shoot, get their name and number from the director or producer. Most of the time, they’ll be able to burn CDs with the scenes you want in the format you ask for. If not, ask if you can get a copy of your scenes on a miniDV tape. If you have a consumer miniDV camera (or can borrow one), all you have to do is plug it into your computer and capture the footage you need.

Acting Reel Tip #2 – A little extra time now will save you a lot of time later

Beyond cost, one of the advantages of making your own acting reel is that you can edit it as often as you like. In order to make this process easy, stay organized when you first create your acting reel. Name all your original scenes carefully and keep a copy of the project you created your reel in, whether it’s in iMovie, Movie Maker or another editing software. If you stay organized, you can update your reel in minutes. This way, when you see a role you want to audition for, you can include the perfect scene for it on your reel before sending it to the casting director.

Acting Reel Tip #3 – Keep it simple

Your acting reel doesn’t need flashy titles and transitions. A simple fade in and fade out with your name and contact information on a black background works great. You can create that in minutes on iMovie by using the “centered title” template. Stating your name and contact information simply will keep the agent and casting director focused on what matters – watching your acting and writing down your contact information. The important thing is to make sure your slate stays on screen long enough for people to write it down (4-5 seconds if it only includes your name and number, longer if you have more information, like your acting agency’s name or your webpage’s address). And also make sure you put in the same information at the end of your acting reel. That’s the time people are going to write it down… after seeing your best onscreen acting!

Which leads me to the next point…

Acting Reel Tip #4 – Keep the best for last

If you’re wandering in what order to include your film scenes on your reel, here’s my advice… Choose a really good scene to start off your demo reel (so busy casting directors keep watching) and pick your best scene to end the reel (so that casting directors pick up the phone to call you). Once you have your first and last scenes, filling the middle of your reel is easy. Line up your middle scenes with one goal in mind – for the viewer to keep watching. This means cutting out anything that feels too long or redundant. If you can, keep surprising the casting director by switching genres or character types.

Acting Reel Tip #5 – Make a short intro

Do you have good moments from the films you’ve been in that just aren’t long enough to include in your acting reel? If you have good on screen moments you don’t know what to do with (for example, a good close-up reaction shot or a silent bit in an action scene), you can edit them all together in a quick montage set to music right after you slate your name at the beginning of your reel. A quick montage (30 seconds max) can really set the tone for your reel. Setting it to music is easy with software like iMovie (the iLife sound effect library comes with “Jingles”, short instrumental pieces perfect for an intro montage).

Acting Reel Tip #6 – Use your editing scissors

A typical acting demo reel is 3-5 minutes long, but having a great 2-minute reel is a much better idea than having a 5 minute average one. Don’t feel like you have to include all the film acting you ever did on your reel. Only pick your best acting moments (and make sure you include close-ups so the viewer knows which actor he’s looking at). Your acting reel is all about you. Ideally, it shouldn’t feature a close-up of any other actor for more than a few seconds). If you have two good acting moments in a scene separated by lengthy dialogue by other characters, cut out the middle dialogue and drop a quick fade in/fade out between your two acting moments (you can do that in seconds on iMovie by using the “fade through black” transition). Remember… The acting agent or casting director watching your reel doesn’t care about understanding the scene you’re in, they just want to see you act.

Acting Reel Tip #7 – Make the most of your scenes

If you’re starting your film acting career, the problem may not be cutting from your reel but adding to it. If you have very few film scenes to include on your reel, get creative! Consider adding footage from a student film or a commercial. If you had a very small role in a film with a recognizable actor or director, you can use a “lower third” title under the footage to mention the name of the actor or director. If you have no footage at all and really feel that you need a film reel, you may want to hire a young director to shoot a few scenes starring you. Film students will probably be willing to do it for free if you pay for the camera and sound package.

Hope all these tips help you make a great first acting reel!



Source by Alex Swenson

About Gregory Masley

Gregory Masley CNE, CNA, MCSE
(714)975-3656
greg@masleyassociates.com

SUMMARY:

• Twenty years of Network Engineering hands on experience, with a demonstrated ability to quickly learn and integrate new technology in a variety of industries
• Proven expertise in various network including Novell Netware and Microsoft Windows networks.
• Proven expertise in large scale network, wireless and cloud-based network build-outs and migrations
• Proven success in implementing management, operations, technical and interpersonal skills to increase productivity, reliability and teamwork to benefit the company
• Team Lead, Project Manager, IT Manager, Network Administrator, Network Engineer and sole IT support for security, repair, installation, migration, reconfiguration and maintenance of large-scale Windows and Novell networks ranging from 5 users to over 8000 users
• Hands on experience in Wireless Networking, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Optical Networking, Switching/Bridging (VLAN, Spanning Tree), VPNs, LAN/WAN/MAN, TCP/IP Protocol, IP Addressing and Subnetting, IP Access Lists, Routing Protocols, Token Ring, ATM, Frame Relay, HP OpenView NNM, Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks, Resource Manager Essentials, Cisco Security Management Center (PIX, IDS), Microsoft Visio, WebNM, IBM compatible computers, Windows 2008/2003/2000/7/Vista/NT/XP, Remote Desktop Management, Microsoft Office 2010/2007/2003/2000/XP, Norton, Remedy, Compupic Pro, Network Security and MicroStation (95/SE/J/8)
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Hands on experience with Cisco 2600/3600/4000/7200/7500 series routers, Cisco Catalyst 1900/2900/5000/5500 series switch, Cisco 3550 Multilayer Switch, Cisco PIX Firewall, Cisco IDS 515E, CAD/CAM Systems, Netopia Routers, Sonicwall, IBM Compatible Workstations and Servers and Printers
• Hands on experience with Microsoft Windows Enterprise Server, Office 365, Small Business Server and Workstation NT through 2008, Active Directory, Novell 3.1-6.0, UNIX, SCOM, SCCM, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft SharePoint, Citrix, Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, AutoCAD, MAPICS, Rhumba Reflections and ISA Server, Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Programming experience in Visual Basic, Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN, SQL, HTML, Wordpress, CSS, DreamWeaver, Oracle and DBASE
• MCSE, CNA, and CNE Certified
• United States Department Of Defense SECRET Security Clearance 2005

TECHNICAL SKILLS:

• Networking: Wireless Networking
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet
• Optical Networking
• Parsed Cloud
• Switching/Bridging (VLAN, Spanning Tree)
• VPNs, LAN/WAN/MAN
• TCP/IP Protocol
• IP Addressing and Subnetting
• IP Access Lists, Routing Protocols
• Token Ring, ATM
• Frame Relay
• HP OpenView NNM
• Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks
• Resource Manager Essentials
• Cisco Security Management Center (PIX, IDS)
• Microsoft Visio
• WebNM
• IBM compatible computers
• Windows Enterprise Server, Small Business Server and Workstation 2008/2003/2000/NT/XP/Vista/7
• Exchange 5.5/2000/2003/2007/2010
• Remote Desktop Management
• Microsoft Office 2010/2003/2000/XP
• Windows 95/98/Vista/XP/7
• Norton
• Remedy
• Compupic Pro
• Network Security
• MicroStation
• (95/SE/J/8) HP Openview
• OSPF,BGP,VLAN,IPSEC, routing and bridging protocols
• Citrix XenApp
• VmWare

Hardware:

• Cisco 2600/3600/4000/7200/7500 series routers
• Cisco Catalyst 1900/2900/5000/5500 series switch
• Cisco 3550 Multilayer Switch
• Cisco PIX Firewall
• Cisco IDS 515E
• CAD/CAM Systems
• Netopia Routers
• Sonicwall
• IBM compatible Workstations and Servers
• Printers

Software/OS:

• Microsoft Windows Servers (all versions) NT 3.51 through 2008 R2
• Microsoft Windows Desktop (all versions) Windows 95 through Windows 7
• Novell 3.1-6.0
• UNIX
• Parsed Cloud
• Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003/2007/2010
• SharePoint 2007/2010
• SQL Server 2005/2008
• Lotus Notes
• Microsoft Office XP/2000/2003/2007/2010/365
• Word Perfect
• AutoCAD
• MAPICS
• SCOM, SCCM
• Rhumba Reflections
• ISA Server RAID Storage Devices SAN Storage Devices
• Citrix
• Active Directory
• Citrix XenApp
• VmWare

Programming:

• Visual Basic, Basic
• COBOL
• FORTRAN
• SQL
• Oracle and DBASE
• HTML
• Wordpress
• MySQL
• CSS
• DreamWeaver

EDUCATION & TRAINING:

California State University Fullerton
• Novell Certified Network Administration and
• Engineering Program – Graduated in the top 10% of the JTPA Grant Class of 93
• BS – Computer Science 1997

CERTIFICATES & LICENSES:

• CNE – Certified Novell Network Engineer 1993
• CNA – Certified Novell Network Administrator 1992
• MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 1997

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Senior Computer Network Consultant - Masley and Associates - Owner
Orange County, CA Jan 1994 to Present

Senior Network Consultant (Masley & Associates)
Lynx Grills, Downey, CA
Feb 2013 - April 2015
• Lead network technical support engineer onsite for 70 user network reconfiguration and move from Commerce California to Downey California with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL 2008, Navision, Microsoft Exchange and Office 365

Security First Corporation, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Sep 2011 – Feb 2013
• Built and tested over 20 new Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Servers with Microsoft Exchange 2010 in DAG failover clusters and SQL and SharePoint with Active Directory configurations from scratch to test Security First Corporation’s SPX Connect and BitFiler Encryption Software with and documented and reported findings, as well as Office 365, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp
• Built and tested new encrypted Cloud Based Parsed Cloud Secure network encrypted Cloud network environment
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Network Engineer responsible for system configuration, communications, and installation of hardware, operating systems, and software applications in multiple client locations
• Design, instillation, and maintenance of all computer networks for major Southern California and Colorado companies including:JNIC Missile Defense Agency Schreiver Air Force Base Department Of Defense, Net Solutions, Planet Network, Analysts International, Accucode, Capitol Records, Unihealth Insurance, Fuji Bank, UNOCOL 76, and Price Company
• Performed nationwide wireless network upgrade for The Sports Authority and Gart Sports on multi-tier network with over 1000 users.
• Migrated St. Joseph’s Hospital from Novell to Windows 2000 Server with Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 2000 users.
• Migrated Anaheim Memorial Hospital from Windows 98, NT Server, and Exchange 5.5 to Windows XP, 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 4000 users.
• Designed and documented data and voice networks from the ground up.
• Trained customers and managers on system capabilities and usage.
• Website programming in CSS, HTML, Wordpress and Dreamweaver

Aug 2010 - Sep 2011 Network Consultant- EdgeMac Finance, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Jul 2009 – Aug 2010 Network Consultant- Microtek, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Jun 2008 – Jul 2009 IT Manager - Bert Howe & Associates, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Consolidated List of Duties/Roles
• Edge Mac Finance:
Moved, reconfigured and supported sixty user network with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Servers, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp. Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Microtek-Bert Howe & Associates:
Reconfigured and supported sixty user network with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Servers, SCOM, SCCM, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp. Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008

2GWLAN Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Peterson Air Force Base/ Luke Air Force Base
May 2005 – Jun 2008
• Designed and implemented 2GWLAN system for both Air forcebases
• Worked with Aruba Controllers, Aruba Access Points, RADIUS and TACACS Servers, and used Motorola LAN Planner, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp to do the design
• Configured and tested all necessary network platforms under extreme time constraints resulting in successful customer acceptance of required test bed network
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Established network security measures in order to support defense agency accreditation for The Department Of Defense at Schreiver Air Force Base JNIC Missile Defense Agency
• Recommended and implemented network wide security management solution, including Firewall policies and configuration, router access-lists, and agent based network monitoring

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA
Apr 2003 – May 2005
• Primary support and lead Novell Network migration specialist for multi-site 500 user Novell Network, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Network Planet, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 2001- Apr 2003
• Primary support for Novell Networks, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp at Fortune 500 law firms in Los Angeles, California

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Network Solutions, Tustin, CA
Feb 1999 – Mar 2001
• Primary support for Novell, Microsoft Networks, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp at Fortune 500 companies in Orange County, California
• Network Engineer responsible for system configuration, communications, and installation of hardware, operating systems, and software applications
• Installed and maintained entire computer networks for major Southern California companies including:Mellon Financial, Mallinckrodt Medical, Shiley Medical, AJS Accounting Service, Online Connecting Point, Sandpiper Computer, Nadek, ARC, Farmers Insurance, Classic Homes, Horizon, Qualtek Manufacturing, Powell Manufacturing, RL Holdings, COACT, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Computer Support Network and Manpower Technical
• Performed nationwide wireless network upgrade for The Sports Authority and Gart Sports on multi-tier network with over 1000 users
• Migrated St. Joseph’s Hospital from Novell and Lotus Notes to Windows 2000 Server with Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 2000 users
• Migrated Anaheim Memorial Hospital from Windows 98, NT Server, and Exchange 5.5 to Windows XP, 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 4000 users in Active Directory
• Designed and documented data and voice networks from the ground up.
• Trained customers and managers on system capabilities and usage
• Performed Systems Administration on Windows Servers and Clients for Local and Wide Area Networks
• Recommended and implemented network wide security management solution, including Firewall policies and configuration, router access-lists, and agent based network monitoring
• Administered and supported Citrix network environment for Classic Homes including building new Citrix servers and load balancing, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

Network Administrator (Masley & Associates)
Mallinckrodt Medical, Irvine, CA
Jan 1994 To Feb 1999
• Sole onsite IT support for 400 user network
• Managed all aspects of several network implementations including network planning, design, testing, documentation, deployment and maintenance of Novell and Windows based network systems
• Responsible for complete support, installation, maintenance and training for all network and system components
• Developed training and support plans for 400 user network
• Lead effort to migrate Novell based Microsoft and Lotus Notes servers with upgraded Windows NT based Exchange Servers to Active Directory. Included development and implementation of plan to provide remote access to e-mail and database servers via Windows NT RAS
• Administered Windows NT, Back Office, Exchange, RAS, AS400s, Lotus Notes, MAPICS, JD Edwards, Rhumba and Reflections, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

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