Useful Questions
Helpful Info.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes us better than other showreel companies?

Most showreel companies provide you with recycled, out of date, amateur standard material. What we offer is completely unique.

– Original scripts, with high quality cinematography and sharp editing.
– All scenes are written by professional writers.
– The brief comes from you and the scenes are tailored to the brief.
– Affordable and worthwhile career investment.

We pride ourselves on the quality of work we produce for our clients. You only have to look around to notice what high value you get when you decide to produce your showreel with us. Here at Actors Apparel, it’s important to us that each showreel is finished to its highest possible standard. When we put our name on a showreel, we want it to be good! Unlike other companies, we care about our clients and about the body of work they create for themselves.

Due to the flexible and friendly nature in which we work, we build up good relationships with our clients, ultimately enhancing their confidence when working with us. We also know what works and what doesn’t and always strive for the best on behalf of our clients. To watch examples of the work we produce, click here to go to our Showreels page.

What will a showreel do for you?

Having a showreel can be the difference between getting an audition and not these days. In an unpredictable and unreliable industry having a unique and tailor made showreel will set you apart from other actors.

In an inundated and competitive industry unfortunately it’s not enough to just be talented. Having more actors than jobs means less chances of success for a new actor. Just getting an agent can take years if you have nothing to show them, and getting a potential agent to come and watch your play can be nearly impossible at the best of times! Even when you do get an agent, they will still need to have a body of your work so they can advertise your talent for potential jobs. In a cut-throat industry, you need to stay one step ahead.

Focusing on your strengths and preferences, your showreel will help you to cut at least three years of struggling out of your career. Get a showreel – get work. It’s that simple.

How does it work?

Pre-shoot:

Once you have decided to produce your showreel with us, we will send you a briefing form. This will help us understand the type of actor you are and how you want the showreel to promote you to agents and casting directors.

Once you have sent us your briefing form we will meet with you and discuss your brief, making sure we understand exactly what you want. When we have a grasp of who you are, we then plot out the scripts with you, working out what will work best – focusing on your skills and strengths as well as your aspirations. Once we have your specified brief and you have paid your deposit, we then get to work on your scripts.

When we have your scripts ready, we send them over for you to check and approve. We then make the necessary changes based on your feedback. Once your scenes are ready, it’s then time for you to prepare your characters and for us to shoot your showreel.

Shoot:

The length of the shoot can vary from showreel to showreel, but commonly, we schedule a 10 hour day. A typical day starts at 9.00am. We schedule plenty of time to complete the shoot. It’s important for us to schedule extra time, so that every- one’s happy and no-one feels rushed. Exclusive Showreels will commonly run a little longer due to having an extra scene.

Post Shoot:

As specified in your contract, there will be up to one month turn around on receiving your showreel post shoot. You will have an opportunity to give us notes and
feedback on your reel before you receive the final copies. Your showreel will be kept on our system for 2 years.

Want to use your own scripts?

Although we produce original scenes, written especially for you, if you’d rather use your own scenes that’s absolutely fine with us*. We understand that you might be a skilled writer yourself or you might already have a scene that works well for you. One of the perks of working with Actors Apparel is that we’re flexible to your needs.

You can use existing material from your previous experiences if it’s worked well for you in the past – however we do recommend that you do not use a famous scene from an already existing film. There are a two main reasons for this – The first being Copyright issues, it is very difficult to get the go a head to use copyrighted material (and the responsibility is that of the actors) and the second being that even if you perform it well, it just doesn’t look professional, agents won’t take it seriously and it could undermine your entire showreel.

*Using your own scenes will not make a difference to the price of your chosen package.

Can you add to my existing showreel?

Yes we can. It is very common for actors in the early stages of their careers to not be completely happy with the work they’ve produced. Most actors have a limited showreel compiled from the work that they’ve done. However in more cases than not, their showreel doesn’t focus on their assets and in turn doesn’t show their maximum potential. Sometimes all it takes is an extra scene to give your showreel that extra punch.

How do I choose my locations?

It is the responsibility of the actor to secure locations. There are a number of things to take into consideration when it comes to choosing your locations.

1: Does it look appropriate to the scene and for the characters?
2: Is it very noisy? Sound can affect the filming process and locations need to be relatively quiet in order to get the best quality recording.
3: If it’s a public place such as a bar, can you get permission to film there?

When writing, we often set scenes in convenient and accessible settings such as a lounge, a bedroom or a park to make it as easy as possible when we come to shoot. We are flexible with the settings of a scene, however we do not provide locations. Most commonly, we travel to you and shoot in your house or around the area that you live in. It’s important for you to know where you want to film your scenes prior to the actual shoot. Otherwise time scheduled for filming will be wasted on sorting out locations.

If you have access to other locations we are more than happy to shoot there. For instance if you know someone who owns a café and is happy to let you film there, we could set your scene in a café etc. Every showreel is unique due to it’s locations. You don’t have to have extravagant locations for your scenes to look good, but you do need to make sure you have a few locations secured such as various rooms in your house as this is not a service we provide.

Who will I be acting with in my showreel?

If you know actors from drama school or previous work, then we highly recommend that you get them involved in your showreel. That way, you know who you’re
working with and you can trust that they’ll be right for the part.

If you don’t have supporting cast to work with in your showreel, we can help – we know a range of talented actors that we can contact for you to act opposite. We charge £20 per actor we provide to ensure that their expenses are covered, we take no cut of that money; it goes solely to the actor to cover their costs.

Unfortunately, due to the low pay, we can’t ensure 100% that they will be available for the shoot; the life of an actor is an unpredictable one to say the least! This is why we encourage our clients to cast their own actors.

We’ve put together some useful tips to help you cast your actors through websites like Casting Call Pro, if you’d like to receive this information, email us and we’ll
happily send you a copy.

What's the perfect showreel length?

The perfect showreel length is 3-4 minutes. The reason being, is that casting directors and agents commonly don’t watch past the first 3 minutes. Obviously it can depend on the reel itself. Some reels can be so captivating that they seem shorter than they are, but your showreel really shouldn’t be over 5 minutes. We understand the temptation to make your showreel longer to show off more of your range, however it often has the opposite effect.

When we edit your showreel, we edit it from the perspective of what a casting director wants to see. We put your strongest material first and keep it as concise as we can. We shoot enough material for a 5-10 minute showreel but we cut it down to make it as punchy as possible, aiming for 3-4 minutes.

As much as we’re here to offer industry advice to our clients, we appreciate that it’s your showreel. So if you’d like your reel to be longer or shorter, we’re happy to edit it to your requirements.

What is Montage Footage?

Montage footage is a collection of shots that dramatically enhance the quality of your showreel. It’s a chance for you to portray a number of different characters without having to film a whole scene. It gives you the opportunity to show your versatility whilst giving the impression that you’ve worked on many different projects. Montage footage adds an extra edge to your showreel. Having a montage in your showreel is widely expected from industry professionals.

What is a Colour Grade?

Every film you’ve ever seen will have been colour graded, and that goes for TV too (it’s one of the secrets behind it looking so professional). A colour grade is an
editing effect that will enhance the styles of each scene on your showreel. Different colours and tones will dramatically enhance the feel of your scenes.

Not only will it visually improve each scene but a colour grade will create the sensation of each scene being from a different project – creating the impression that you have worked on various projects. You can see the difference it makes from looking at the examples below.

colour grade before picture 1
colour grade after picture 1

Before

After

colour grade before picture 2
colour grade after picture 2
What is High Quality Broadcast Sound Recording?

We record sound separately as it is the professional way to capture the highest quality sound. A lot of showreel companies will just use sound that is picked up from the camera which results in bad quality sound and is the biggest give away of an ‘amateur/student’ film. We use top of the range professional sound equipment to ensure your reel has the best quality not just in picture but in sound too. Bad sound will put casting directors and agents off. We make sure this doesn’t happen.

What is Sound Design?

Sound design is sound or music added to your showreel in the editing process. It might be music in the background of a scene or a sound effect such as a door slam or an alarm going off. Simple sound design enhances any film dramatically. Although subtle, sound design sets the quality of the piece at a higher standard of production. As much as your friends might not notice; professionals will be able to tell when you’ve had sound design added, and it makes all the difference.

What is an Authored DVD Menu?

This is a feature that will apply only to the hard copies of your showreel. Just as you’ll see DVD menu on any film you watch, we create a tailored menu with a picture of you, or a moving image clip from your showreel. It enhances the look of your showreel even before the viewer (agent/casting director) has seen your whole reel.

authored menu image

Do I need a Make-Up Artist?

We’d highly recommend one but it’s completely up to you. Not everyone is gifted at the art of make-up, and a lot of actors don’t want the hassle of having to worry about how their make up looks whilst they’re filming. Make-Up artists aren’t just for our female clients either. If you’re conscious about skin imperfections, or are keen to enhance the appearance of your skin, then a make-up artist is a very valuable member of the team. Also if you want to have SFX make-up such as cuts and bruises, we’d definitely recommend a make-up artist to make sure it looks good!

We use skilled and trusted freelance make-up artists for our projects, and are happy to recommend them to you. The cost of a make-up artist is a discounted rate of £60 a day (in cash). Actors Apparel take no percentage of that cost. It is up to the client to arrange separately with the make-up artist, the booking and agreement of the work entailed. See references in our brochure.

Please note that the scheduling of your make-up artist will need to be integrated into your days shoot, and does not permit overtime.

How does payment work?

Payment works in an easy and efficient way.

After you have sent us your briefing form, and have paid your deposit (half the cost of your chosen package) we’ll start working on your scripts. You will receive your scripts within one week of the deposit being paid.

After the shoot, and your first edit are completed, you will give notes on any amendments you wish us to make to your reel. Once your specified notes have been edited into your showreel, and the rest of your payment has been received; we’ll send over your hard copies and online links.

We are happy to take online transfers or cash (no cheques).

Are there any hidden charges?

No, what you see is what you get. All charges are clearly stated throughout the website, brochure and in the terms and conditions.

Is it only in London?

Although we predominantly shoot our showreels in London, we can work with actors living further out. Bath and Bristol for instance happen to be easy locations for us to shoot in. Depending on where your location is in England, additional fees may be incurred for travel expenses etc, but this will always be discussed with you in our first meeting. For more information please contact us.

Anything else?