Freelance Creative


Blogs and process for editorial by Creative Editor Josh Hamester.

5 Tips That Will Sell Your Showreel

Want to improve your showreel and grab that bid?

Follow these 5 tips and you'll sure to have a bulletproof reel!

Hi my name is Josh and I'm a Creative Editor in Los Angeles.  I've cut showreels for artists, directors and companies like Pixomondo, Prologue, and BakedFX.  These reels have helped win big bids for commercials, features and other work.  Through my experience cutting reels I have found 5 great elements in what makes an excellent showreel.

#1 - Your Song Choice Is Your Story

Director Pat Lascu Fashion reel cut by freelance Creative Editor Josh Hamester

The song is the foundation to a good showreel.  Your choice can make or break the piece.  Picking a track can be tricky because ultimately it will help tell the message the artist/director/company is showcasing.  You want to pick something that speaks to your visuals.
This should motivate the edit.  You can utilize your tools to match the feeling and emotion that the story provokes. 

#2 - Put Talent Up Front

Dave Levine VFX 2016 showreel cut by freelance Creative Editor Josh Hamester

Talent sells and that's exactly what your client will recognize before anything else.  You can have the coolest shot of a city exploding or a rocket flying through space but nothing will draw in the client more like a shot of Will Smith, Tom Cruise, or Jerry Seinfeld.

#3 - Place Branding Throughout

VFX, Design and Production House BakedFX Design Reel cut by Creative Editor Josh Hamester

Branding shows that you've established relationships with other clients so sprinkle some branding shots throughout the piece.  It doesn't have to be the end-tag from the commercial with their logo but as long as their logo is somewhere in the shot use it because it will show that you have a set reputation with this client.  Talent and Branding are two of the most recognized elements to a good showreel.

#4 - Use Breakdowns, Process, & Stills When Appropriate

VFX Design and Production house BakedFX reel cut by Creative Editor Josh Hamester

This segment applies to any post process you might have done.  I have worked in the VFX industry and seen many artist reels.  Some great and some...that could use an editor's approach.  Wipes can be good to establish work credibility however it's not fun and it's not interesting to the viewer.  You want to keep the edit moving so when using breakdowns, process and stills make sure it feels motivated.  Instead of showing the shot then running it back and wiping over just show the wipe over the entire shot.  If you did a large CG shot create a breakdown that wipes from wireframe to finish in only one motion.  Keep it consistent and let the final portion run longer than the process.  If you use stills make them short but sweet and have it feel almost like a fast paced animatic. 

#5 - End On Your Moneyshot

VFX Design House Pixomondo 2015 reel

Creative Editor - Josh Hamester

Sound Design - Riley Itskin

When I'm cutting I always think of the beginning where I'm establishing talent and I'm also thinking of the ending where I'm showcasing the best shots the company has done. You want to end on the stuff they're most proud of.  The last punch in the fight.  You want to leave the client wanting more.

Get out there and start editing!

Hope these tips help in creating your next awesome piece! 

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