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5 Tips for Making a Demo Reel that will Stand Out

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Brian Clapp, the Founder of SportsTVJobs.com is a 12-year veteran of the Sports TV industry, having worked at both CNN/Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports Net as a Writer, Video Editor, Producer and News Director. “SportsTVJobs.com is the richest online resource for aspiring sports media professionals,” says Clapp “we have interviews with Sports TV experts, career advice, how to videos and access to over 3,000 sports jobs across the U.S., everything you need to pursue your dream job in the sports media world”.

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Video Transcript

Hi I’m Brian Clapp, Founder of SportsTVJobs.com – if you want a career in front of the camera, you need to have a good TV demo reel. Nobody gets hired for an on-air job by sending in a paper resume.  A Demo Reel is a short professional video that showcases your charisma, versatility and creativity. Think of it as a 4-5 minute video audition.

Here are 5 quick tips from TV Insiders on making a demo reel that will get you noticed

1: Make the first 30 seconds shine

  • You aren’t writing a novel that has a cinematic finish, the fact of the matter is if you don’t put your best stuff in the first :30 seconds no one is ever going to make it to the end. you need to grab the attention of news directors and executive producers in the first :30 seconds or they’ll never make it to the end.

2: Show your range

  • In a tough economy News Directors cherish versatility. Josh Wine coordinating producer for the Big Ten Network told me he expects to see anchoring, reporting from a remote event, a produced feature, live shots, interviews – that way a he  can get a sense of writing ability, creativity and your ability to tell a story.
  • Also if you edited the reel or shot some of the video make sure to note that, you want to show how valuable to the network you can be.

3: Be Yourself

  • Be true to who you are, if you get hired the station is going to expect the person they saw on the demo reel…if that’s not you, you’ll struggle. If you’re a serious journalist don’t try wacky outfits or crazy catchphrases just be yourself – quality work will stand out.

4: Look Professional

  • When I was a news director I’d evaluate tapes all the time, and I’ll admit some didn’t make it past 5 seconds. People would dress up in crazy outfits or wear a fish tie – you aren’t trying to be a stand up comic you’re trying to be someone an audience will believe and want to listen to. You can have personality without being wacky.

5: Get used to some rejection, but don’t get discouraged.

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