How to Make a  Post Production Showreel

When applying for a job in Post Production, you’ll need to provide a professional showreel which will showcase your skills and experience. We’ve got some tips to help make sure your showreel stands out from the crowd.

Do you have experience in Post Production as an Editor, Motion Graphics Designer, Grader, VFX Designer or Audio Editor? If so, chances are you’ll have worked on some exciting content for interesting production companies, agencies or broadcasters. When applying for any new work, you’ll undoubtedly need to produce a showreel as part of the selection process.

At Boyce Recruitment, we’ve provided creative freelancers and permanent candidates for some of London’s most prestigious advertising agencies, post houses and broadcasters. Here’s our guide to putting together a professional Post Production showreel, based on our client’s most common recommendations:

Man with headphones on at an editing desk

What is a Showreel?

In Post Production, a showreel is a short piece of film or video footage, illustrating your previous work. It’s an excellent way to demonstrate your creative skillset and exhibit key projects.

When and why are Showreels important?

You will usually be requested to provide a showreel when you apply to a job in creative services, whether it’s permanent or freelance. In the freelance world, Directors like to see showreels of potential Editors, so they can be sure their skills match the talent they need. There’s a lot of competition for freelance work in the Post Production sector, so you need to make sure your showreel is outstanding. Hiring managers don’t always have time to review a portfolio as well and often only watch the footage when deciding who to use. We recommend supplying both a showreel and portfolio – then they can select what to view.

What is a Portfolio?

A Post Production portfolio is a video gallery that has multiple full-length projects you’ve worked on or teasers of long-form projects.

What should I have in my Post Production Showreel?

The most common comment we get from clients is, “I need to see a showreel demonstrating recent and relevant experience.”

• Recent: The showreel you provide must be up to date. The media world is evolving rapidly, so the content you edited five years ago is considered old.

• Relevant: It’s not uncommon (more so in the freelance world, than for permanent employment) for a creative to have experience in Production AND Post Production. For example, an Offline Editor with additional experience Directing. We strongly recommend NOT combining all your experience from two different industry sectors in one showreel.

If you have a variety of experience, have more than one showreel. The only time you would need to demonstrate to clients you have a varied skills set is if a client is asking for it. Even then, many freelancers choose to have separate showreels demonstrating individual Post Production skills.

Bear this in mind if you have worked on both Long Form and Short Form Post Production. An advertising agency, for example, isn’t going to want to see your experience working on a full-length documentary.

What makes a professional Showreel?

If you’re an experienced Post Production creative making a showreel, you need to keep it professional. You must not feature old, out of date work, projects from university or low-budget personal content – it would not be the best way to showcase your skills.
Your Post Production showreel should highlight your most prized work, showing relevant techniques and the exciting projects you have done.
If you’re an entry-level creative with little to no professional experience, it’s unlikely you’ll need a professional showreel. However, we recommend creating one nevertheless, so you can demonstrate the skills you have gained during your education or in your free time. It also shows a potential employer that you are serious about the Post Production industry. Your showreel will evolve as time goes on, but we all have to start somewhere!

Do I need to specifically outline what work I did for each project featured on my Showreel?

Simple answer, yes. For each clip you use in your showreel, it is best to detail specifically what you did for that project and who the client was. Many advertising agencies require freelancers with experience working directly with Directors, so it’s useful for them to see who directed the projects featured that were featured.

How long should my Post Production Showreel be?

The showreel mantra is ‘Quality over Quantity’. Your showreel shouldn’t be more than three minutes long. Anything more than this and a client will likely lose interest. However, please don’t feel like you need to feature random, unnecessary or repeated work to pad it out. If they want to view longer versions of your work, provide them with your portfolio.

Where should I upload my showreel?

There are some great platforms to showcase your work such as Vimeo, Behance or WordPress plugins such as Vimeography. Most creatives have their own public website while some prefer to WeTransfer their projects to clients.

Finally, remember to be wary of the projects used on your showreel. Can they be made public and if so, do they need password protection? Always get permission from your clients first.

That’s it…time to get editing folks!