Showreel (also known as a demo reel or sizzle reel) is a short piece of video or film footage showcasing an actor or presenter’s previous work. Usually 2 to 3 minutes in length, a showreel typically supplements an artist’s résumé and is used to promote the artist’s skill, talent, and experience to acting agents and casting directors.

Showreel of TV channels and production companies mostly gets aired by the TV channels itself to promote the awareness and portfolio regarding the brand, hence in this case it is called a TV Showreel or a Corporate Showreel.


Production of showreels

Showreels are commonly used in the entertainment industry in such fields as acting, directing, cinematography, editing, special effects, animation, video games and graphics production. In the case of audio work, showreels may demonstrate the actor’s vocal or instrumental talent, arranging abilities or recording and engineering style.

Actors often pay an editor to assemble the bulk of their work into a showreel that can be distributed on DVD. Some actors who do not have any video or film footage may choose to pay a showreel company to produce a reel for them. The showreel company will provide scripts for the actor, film the scenes, and edit them.

When a reel contains scenes from actual productions, a shot list or credit list may also be submitted to describe the artist’s specific involvement in each portion of the reel. While the usage of video excerpts on such showreels can be regarded as a breach of copyright, it is generally accepted in the film industry as “fair use” which is a doctrine originating in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder, as it is one of the few tools artists can use to promote their work.

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