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Can I ask, how would I go about making a reel for myself?
Just the complete and utter basics please. Any information would be SO helpful. :)
Check the "resources" section here for great ideas. Otherwise, here's an article I wrote on demo production with some helpful links. Note the section on making separate demos. That's extremely important on a site like this - to showcase each skill separately and to generate more hits from the search engine:
WHAT TO USE ON A DEMO
The purpose of you demo is to show potential clients what you are capable of. It is advertising for your product - YOU. Like all advertising, there is a psychological component. You could do commercials about "pretend" products or include low-end local spots, but this doesn't show what you should really be doing - NATIONAL commercials - right? Well, anyway, that's what we want our clients to think. With that in mind, do the following:
Use real products, but NOT already produced commercials. If you have copywriting skills, create a great commercial that sounds like a real one. If you don't have the skills, a coach or credible demo producer will do this for you. As always, I HIGHLY recommend using a director and outside producer for demo creation. Even if you can produce commercials yourself, demo production is an art and you will stand a better chance of reaping a great return on your investment.
For narration for audio book companies, they want to hear a representative sampling of fiction, non-fiction and specialty (like children's) several paragraphs will do. Since Faulkner and Hemmingway have very different styles, very difficult to emulate, you should use original text. You may use it for demo purposes, but you may not sell the recording for any reason.
As far as fake movies are concerned . . . Trailers are super, duper, oh-my-God competitive. If you want to do a promo/trailer demo, you should check out such demos on voicebank.net, then decide if you really, really, really have the chops. If the answer is, "yes," just be sure that the movie you invent isn't more interesting than your voice. What I mean is that I've heard many demos which were very, very funny, but I was paying more attention to the copy than the voice itself. Make the movie sound believable and be sure to use all production elements. Again, I recommend a pro. There are also several specialty promo classes in the VORG. It's worth it to take a class in this, as the style of working is very specific.
Character voice demos are useful to have for games, animation and animé.
You'll have noticed that I've talked about these demos as separate - they are. Only your agent, should you get one, is interested in hearing your "range." Clients are only looking for you ability to do one thing, ie: commercials, narration, animation. Even within narration, you can break it down into things like Instructional, Books, Medical, Documentary etc. This is helpful if you have a specialty. Visit some of the online voice casting sites and see how the top voices (usually the ones featured on the front page) break out their demos.
With that said, you'll want to start out making the demo that is most likely to get you work, then build from there. If you've taken a class (see above), you'll have a good idea of where you're most competitive.
Hope this helps. There are some wonderful demo producers to check out in the Voice Over Resource Guide online (available at www.everythingvo.com).
How do I upload my digital reel to this site?