How To Do An Actor Demo

July 11, 2014

Author: Annie Coutu, Filmmaker at Aisha Productions & Author of Dans 10…9…Devenir acteur

Actor Demo

Do you need an actor demo? Well if you are an actor or want to be, that’s a good way to start in the business and stay in touch. Who will take a look at it? The very first people should be your friends and family, then casting directors, directors, producers and – of course – your agent.

FACT : I receive demos everyday. Do I look at everything? No! I check for what I’m looking for and for a good look; so your picture is still the first key to get my attention. Unless your name is Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts, you should think about making a demo.

Do you need to go with a professional editor or should you do it by yourself? Both ways work but the TRUTH is your demo needs to be great..

Whatever you decide, the best way to start is to make a list of all the parts you’ve had. First, look at your filmography. Did you work in any film that everybody knows? Yes. Well then, start by taking the best scene where you appear and take a note. If the answer is no, don’t worry: just make the list of everything you did that was good. Second step is to sort all the sequences in 4 sections drama-comedy-suspense-action. If you wonder why, well that’s the only way for us to make sure you have a good range of acting. Are you good at something but don’t have anything to show for it? For example, you know how to ride on a horse like in Secretaria or you sing like in Les Miserables? Then record it! Wait a minute, all the people who will watch your demo know you don’t have the camera and the budget of the film; so forget about wardrobe, makeup, scenery… it’s an ACTOR DEMO that I want to see and a really good one.

Okay… so you decided on the sequences and now it’s time to edit. First part, your introduction : pictures with your name and email. Second part, take really short scenes and do a fast pasting. At the end put the names of all the films you put in your demo. Then start the magic of editing. If you need music, take royalty free soundtracksFACT : Nobody really watches more than 3 minutes, so make them worth it. One trick, watch other demos Second trick watch your demo : at first with only the sound (no images) and then a second time with the images (but no sound). Is it still good? You are done! Absolutely sure about your work? Show it to people around you (don’t place it on any social media at this time). If everybody just says it’s good then you should ask somebody else. At this point it could always be better. Then make some adjustments on your masterpiece.

You have your final version, now spread the news and send it out. Now is the time to show your skill in the social media world. Don’t forget to start collecting new clips for your next demo. Make a new one at least every year, that will give you an opportunity to make contact with the industry.

One last note before I let you go, always ask the production before using a film clip – especially if you want to put that on Facebook or YouTube. Good luck and I hope one of your demos will attract my attention.

If you’d like more information about Annie Coutu and her production company Aisha Productions, please visit here.