by Nicolas Pinzon
Personality is the main thing that should jump out of your reel. But the right personality for one show isn’t necessarily the right personality for another. Some shows will require hosts to be fun and silly, others might require more credibility and professionalism, and others might call for more warmth and feeling of intimacy. Knowing what type of show you want your reel to suggest, and being realistic about your type and what jobs you are more likely to get is very important when cutting your reel. A good editor can look at all your footage and collaborate with you into molding the best example of the “type” that you want to embody.
Today, there is a tendency for amateurs to edit and cut their own content at home, and that is great if your goal is to learn or share the video with your family and friends. But in the professional world, a reel is a one-shot opportunity in which the casting director, director or producer will probably make his or her mind about you in the first 15 seconds. You could be bold and edit your own reel but unless you have prior experience with editing reels, that would be a gamble that is probably not worth the risk. It’s crucial for there to be objective eyes and hands working with you on your reel. What might seem fun and humorous for people who know you, might not be that funny or effective for someone who just recently met you. And chances are that you won’t have a close relationship with the people looking at your reel. A professional editor can look at your footage with fresh eyes and composite the clips together that most grab his/her unbiased attention. Moreover, a professional editor, who also has expertise on the crafting of reels, will know exactly how to mix the best visuals, audio, and background music together to give your reel the flow and dynamics that best display your personality and creativity. Although you are the one being evaluated, not the quality of your cuts, these elements will subconsciously influence the way the viewer feels, and subsequently, the way they feel about you.
Cutting a reel poses several questions that require very precise answers. For example, many people like to begin their hosting reel with a montage of them doing fun stuff, but exactly how long should those montages be? If the montage is too long, the casting director will loose interest, but if it’s too short, you’ll miss out on that opportunity to create that feeling of fun. Also, at the beginning of most shows, the host introduces his or herself, but how many times should you show footage of you introducing yourself in the reel? Another question is how much green screen you should use as opposed to location shots. Some green screen footage with cool backgrounds can give your reel higher production value, but too much of it can make the reel feel stagnant and uninteresting. An editor who specializes in hosting reels will know exactly how to address these and other questions.
A quality reel can create a visual experience that not only propels your career forward but is also something you can feel proud of. You have a dream and you have worked hard for it. Make sure that you are putting your best foot forward.
Enjoy some examples of hosting reels edited by Award Winning Reels Here.