"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Reel Deal

I mentioned Kill the Door is doing FREE Reel Critiques, and I just got mine a few days ago.

First off, in case you've missed it, here's my reel so you can see it and understand what they're talking about. It's a little tricky, but if you click on the Video tab right next to my headshot thumbnails, you should be able to see my two reels.

And here's what they said:

Hey Lira. Thanks very much for the email and for sending us your stuff.  We think it's in the actors interest to hear honest, productive feedback so that is what you'll get. 

Bottom line is, you're talented. Congratulations. 

The seriocomic clip is good but we're not sure why a short clip of it isn't in your reel. We think you can include it in the reel. Combine the two. 

The reel is technically pretty good- the length and the cuts are right, we think. The little introduction bit threw us off a touch as we didn't know why you were looking around the room with sexy-eyes.  We think just a title card with your name or a still of your face with your name works better for the intro.  That particular slow-mo clip of you gives off something too specific. Save it for the scenes.   

As for the work, you're clearly talented like we said. There are moments when you are truthful in your work and it is absolutely wonderful. Then there are small moments during which we feel like we're not getting all of you. We think there is a lot more in you. Like you have more to give.  That's exciting to us.  But we feel like you can go deeper. That you can bring more of your joy, sadness, anger, etc to the world of your play. But we only feel that way because what we saw we really liked and it made us want more. 

All in all, well done. 
Well! Not too shabby, right?  And after doing a couple of castings, yes, my little sexy-eyes thing needs to go. There's no need. I, (and you!) should have a reel that jumps right into your best work! When they said there are small moments where they felt like they're not getting all of me, I completely agree. I have some things in there I will gladly take out and replace once my new material comes in. But you know what I love focusing on? That they think I'm talented and that my reels are well done.
One of my goals for this year was to have my comedic and dramatic reels separated so that if I was submitting for a comedic role, I could just attach the comedic reel. I asked them what they thought of that. Here's what they said:
Our opinion is that having a bunch of different reels spreads you too thin. We think a smattering of strong comedy and drama in one reel that is no longer than 4mins 30sec is terrific. We know some directors who only hire actors for dramas if they can handle comedy. The notion is that comedy is more difficult and if they can handle comedy they can do anything.  Having one reel that shows all of you gives them a full sense of who you are. 

That said, if you have 3-4mins of REALLY solid comedy (no not-so-great-moments) and then another 3-4mins of REALLY solid drama then you might want to have two reels on the off chance that you're going in for a purely comedic role or a purely dramatic role. But so much of the stuff now is serio-comic, dramedy, etc that it's rarely one or the other.  But if your agent/manager wants you to separate then go for it. 

 Again, just our opinion. 

So there you go!

If you have a reel and haven't submitted it to them, what are you waiting for? Tell all your friends! Support each other! Get your package to be the best it can be so that when they say they need a fantastic actress, they know they're getting the reel deal when they look at your stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. Now I just need to get up the courage to send them mine. :)


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