If you are trying to get a job working in television, you will need to develop a “reel” with samples of your work to send to potential employers. In most cases you would send your reel to a television station along with your resume whenever you are applying for an open position. Your reel will give a potential employer a good idea of the type of work you do, and the quality of work they can expect out of you as an employee. What to put on your reel can be a difficult decision; here are a few guidelines to follow when selecting items.
Keep it to three items:
Try to keep your standard reel to three items. Chances are the station has received numerous applications so they aren’t going to sit down and watch a 45-minute demo tape from you. Try to keep your entire reel down to ten minutes or less, showcases three projects you’ve done. If you absolutely must add additional items try to have them edited together as a montage rather than placing the whole items on the reel. If an employer wants to see more of your work after they’ve seen your reelÃ¢Â?Â¦they’ll ask.
Pick Your Best Work
It goes without saying that you should put your best work on your reel. Employers are going to assume that the work you put on your reel is the best that you can do. If the work you choose is all mediocre in quality, then they will assume that is the type of work you typically put out. You want use things on your reel that are bound to impress. Just because something was difficult to do, doesn’t mean it looks good. Make sure you are picking things that look the best.
Spice it up
Your reel is your time to shine, so try to pick three different types of projects you’ve worked on to give your potential employer an idea of the different types of things you can do. For instance if you are applying to be a local news reporter you may want to include a live shot of breaking news at a fire, a feature story about a local hero, and a report from a local courthouse. Having three different types of stories gives the viewer an idea that you aren’t just a one trick pony, you can report on anything. The same goes for technical jobs like editors and directors. Try to pick a few different things, maybe a feature package with music underneath, a hard news package.
Make it look professional
You’re applying for a professional job, so you should have a professional looking reel. Sure, you and dub some items onto a VHS tape and they look ok, just if you made it in your home VCR it’s going to look like it. Many professionals use video transfer services to make their reels. You can give a service the items you want on the tape and they can put it on a specialty made VHS tape or DVD for you. A cleanly printed label and a nice case can make a huge difference. If you present yourself like a professional you will be considered one.