FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a 'showreel from scratch' and why should I get one?
A 'showreel from scratch' put simply is the process of producing your own footage by paying someone (i.e. me) to write, film and edit film-like scenes that you can then use to build a new showreel. It's quicker, often easier and more convenient than waiting to be cast in something - eventually obtaining the footage from the production company.
There are many reasons why you may be considering getting your own 'showreel from scratch' so I wrote an article titled
Why Produce Your Own Showreel From Scratch? for a more detailed answer.
But for me, the main reason is
control. You choose what type of script/character is best suited to your 'casting type', which will hopefully show off your cast-ability. You can also pick who is going to produce your footage (not necessarily with me), which should also guarantee the quality you get back.
The second main reason is
time. Even if you're fortunate enough to get cast in something, you may be waiting around months, even years, for the footage to arrive. It's a slow process, and one you may wish to avoid. If you shoot your own 'showreel from scratch', everything could be sorted in a matter of weeks (if the schedule allows).
Why should I choose Daniel Harding Showreels?
I genuinely care about producing the best possible scene(s) for you and your new showreel. I want you to be happy, which means producing work I can be proud of too. I also have a lot of experience working in the industry, across various roles and production sizes and I believe this experience is invaluable to the process and will go along way to making your experience easy and stress-free (or at least, I try to).
I also focus everything towards you and what you want to achieve - the footage isn't a showcase for my nifty new camera slider for example. I don't use basket scripts, which means everything is totally unique to you, which goes a long way to making your footage look professional.
Another reason is that I've been self-producing my own work with
23½ Films for almost ten years, work which includes;
recording sound - all the elements you need to shoot a professional scene.
I am able to keep costs lower than most because I film by himself. However, I'm confident this does not compromise on quality, but rather keeps the production efficient. I pride myself on the quality of the work I produce, so be sure to check out some of the previous
example scenes I've produced.
How long does it take?
Completion time varies depending on a number of factors, but I estimate that a 'showreel from scratch' takes anywhere between two weeks and a month (from script writing to full showreel completion). My advice is to be realistic with what you hope to achieve, and taking our time is always better than rushing. If you are editing a showreel from pre-existing footage with me, time will be considerably quicker and we would hope to get the finished showreel to you within a few days after we've recieved the footage.
After we've had our initial consulation, I will trypically write your script(s) within a day or two after receiving a deposit and the Welcome Pack, unless I tell you otherwise (any delay will likely be because I am already booked on a job).
Once we've filmed, I will try to get the draft scene(s) to you within a few days after filming - I will typically book a few days after our shoot date to make sure this is possible. You are then able to feedback on the edited scene and ask for any changes you feel are necessary, but I ask that you do this ASAP as I'll likely be moving on to the next showreel and I wouldn't want yours to be delayed.
Can I provide my own scripts?
Of course you can, no problem! But please visit our using your script page before booking, because there are some limitations to what we can do, and I'll want to agree and sign off on the scripts before proceeding.
Where do we film?
Typically, I will write the script(s) tailored specifically to locations that are easily accessible and free to use, but please bare in mind I am not responsible for providing you with locations for your scenes.
Also, please be reasonable with your expectations and try to keep things easy, free and simple, whilst also allowing plenty of time to find somewhere if you have something specific in mind. It's helpful for me to know if you have some locations in mind before starting the process because this means all the pre-production and script writing can be geared to what we have available and when. So if you have a house, place of work or a favourite outside location that is free to use, we should start there!
You're more than welcome to be a bit more adventurous if your ideas dictate, but please discuss this with me before settling on anything, as often your ideal location is not very ideal to film in.
Once again, I am not responsible for finding locations for you. If you insist on shooting a scene in a particular setting, I can try and help you if I am free to do so - or at the very least, give some advice on how you might go about securing the location. Admittedly, locations that have been well thought out and perhaps even paid for, do make a difference in the 'production value' of the showreel.
How many scenes do I need?
This is completely up to you. I know that no two projects are the same, and I am more than happy to be flexible and discuss any specific requirements you may have.
If you are starting from scratch, I recommend going for the
3 Scenes option, as this will provide you with ample footage to cut together your new showreel - potentially cherry picking your favourite bits.
2 scenes work well if you've just graduated or know you've got more footage coming and want to wait before cutting a showreel together. This still manages to show some range in your performance, and we've shot many successful projects this way.
I would recommend getting
1 scene if you're dipping your toe back into the industry, or you need something specific for a potential casting. 1 scene isn't classed as a showreel per-se, but is definitely better than nothing!
What happens after we've shot the scene(s)?
I will attempt to start the edit, sound mix and colour grade of your scene(s) the day after we film, and I aim to have the finished scene(s) to you within a few days after that. I will also bill you for the remaining amount owed of your project fee (minus the deposit).
Once I've received the final payment, I will send the scene(s) to you via WeTransfer, and you'll have a chance to feedback on the scene(s) and give one round of notes - please try to be concise and prompt with your notes as a second round of alterations will likely incur a cost of £30, and any notable delay will likely result in you waiting longer for your finished scenes than perhaps necessary.
If you are shooting two or more scenes, I can then cut together a 'showreel' using the scenes we've shot (i.e. cherry picking your favourite bits), which also includes bookended info titles. You will need to provide me with a headshot (if you have one or want one attached), and any useful contact if you may have, i.e. spotlight pin, contact and/or agent info.
I'm unsure about something, what do I do?
Please don't hesitate to contact me directly with any questions you may have and I'll endeavour to answer as soon as possible.
When do I pay?
You pay a 20% deposit before any work commences, and the remaining project fee is billed after we film but before I send over the edited scenes.
If you are unable to pay please do let me know ASAP.
Can I split the cost of a showreel with another actor?
You are more than welcome to 'split' the showreel with another actor or actors - but please let me know before booking. I don't charge any extra for this service, but if you would like an additional edit to give you more screen time, there is a charge of £20 per scene. Otherwise the script and edit will be evenly focused on both of you.
I would also request that you and the person you're splitting with have chatted about the sort of scene you'd like to play before booking, and agree on your characters you both want to play. You can then chat with me about the ideas with some clarity about what you both want to achieve - making it easier for everyone involved. I will still ask you to fill out the Welcome Pack, which is a useful way of getting your ideas down on paper.
Splitting your showreel is a great way of getting some footage whilst cutting the cost, but it obviously does pose some more hurdles to over come. Shooting a showreel by yourself is often quicker and simpler, so carefully consider your options before booking a split showreel. If you have any questions about doing this, please do let us know and we will try our best to answer them.
What happens on the day of filming?
I will meet you at the arranged location and time we have scheduled. Once you are ready to do so, I will ask you to rehearse/read through the script with your scene partner - I will also answer any questions you may have about the script/character. l will then begin to set up my equipment - this typically takes anywhere between fifteen to thirty minutes. This gives you and the scene partner plenty of more time to run lines and rehearse. Once I'm ready, I will block the scene with you (where you sit, stand and/or move to). We will then start by filming some general wide coverage to make sure you are comfortable and the nerves have settled - this is still considered rehearsals, but it just gets the ball rolling.
I typically shoots 5/6 different set ups in total, covering you in various angles and frame sizes - this is to make sure I have plenty of footage to play around with in the edit. This also makes the scene look professional, and not simply a showreel scene shot quickly.
I will encourage you to review the takes as and when it's convenient to do so. If you are unhappy with anything we are doing, that moment would be the time to tell me. Unfortunately, if you wait until the edit to mention something you're unhappy with, it will be too late to change it.
Each scene roughly takes 3 hours to film.
Where are you based?
I am based in Hove (near Brighton), but can easily travel to anywhere in the UK, and London is only an hour away. I want to make the experience of shooting a showreel with me as stress free as possible, so please do not consider the fact that I'm not in London an issue - if anything, it helps to keep my costs down!
I cover my own travel expenses (providing you live within London, the South East or surrounding areas), so I am more than willing drive to you if you prefer to shoot closer to home (it may be easier for the London-based scene partners), or alternatively, the south coast may be a welcome break!
If you live outside of London or the South East, please ask me about travel expenses before booking, as this will likely incur an extra cost to your project.
Why do I pay a deposit?
Paying a 20% deposit of the sum total of your project protects both you and I from any problems that may arise. A considerable amount of work goes into pre-production, and writing a script takes a reasonable amount time and a lot of creative thought, so I don't do any work until receiving the deposit.
A deposit also secures a scheduled date for you to film - something we can discuss once you've paid. The deposit is non-refundable, so please be 100% sure you're happy to move ahead before paying it.
What is the Welcome Pack?
The Welcome Pack is an online questionnaire that I've designed to help you think about and answer some of the initial questions I need to know before starting your showreel. I will send this to you once you've booked and paid the deposit.
I understand thst all my clients are different - they have different casting types, age ranges, preferences and suitability, and you are no exception. Therefore I need to know more about you before we start (especially when it comes down to the sort of character or scenario you want to play). I will happily collaborate with you on your ideas, but certainly a basic understanding of what you want is important to know before starting the process.
Can I reschedule my shoot date?
I understand that sometimes you may need to reschedule your confirmed shoot date. Unfortunately, due to a high volume of rescheduling requests, I've had to introduce a £75 rescheduling fee if you do not give two weeks notice prior to our scheduled shoot day.
To prevent this from happening, I recommend that you do not confirm a date until you are 100% sure that it is suitable for you (and for all involved, including our scene partners).
When someone cancels last minute, it's impossible for me to fill that gap in my schedule and I'll be without work. Also, please consider that I am regularly booked up at least a month in advance, so if you do request a reschedule, you may be waiting sometime for your new date.
My scene partner wants the footage too, is that okay?
It's completely up to you what you want to do with the footage once you've paid for the project - the scene(s) belong to you. I will not do anything, or send anyone the footage, without your permission. But if you want me to, I will.
If we've cast scene partners and they're not being paid, the overhwhelming probability is that they'll want the footage as payment. If you don't want to do this, please let me know - but we may struggle to find scene partners willing to help us out for nothing.
If a friend is doing you a favour by being our scene partner, this does not change the set up of the project. You will still be the only point of contact, and any feedback or changes must still come through you - to keep things simple, I only want to discuss the project with one person (i.e. you).
How difficult is producing a 'showreel from scratch' going to be?
This completely depends on you. I am experienced in producing films, showreels and casting actors, but if you're coming to this for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming. Rest assured that this is normal, and nothing to be concerned about. The difficult part of producing a showreel from scratch is always the organising and preparation part, as often it takes a bit of brain power to bring everything together. I am always available via e-mail, and will try my best to reply ASAP and advise you along the way.
In terms of the actual shoot, I am aware that you may be inexperienced or anxious about being in front of camera. But I do this type of thing all the time, and I can help walk you through the process. Do let me know if you have any concerns and I'll try our best to help you out.
I already have footage, can you help?
I sure can! I can edit together all your clips into one, concise and focused showreel. Feel free to contact us about this service, or visit the Edit My Reel page for examples.
A 'showreel edit' is £80, and I take payment upfront before any work starts. Once I've received all the clips (I recommend sending them to us using
WeTransfer and send to my e-mail address:
DanielHardingShowreels@gmail.com) and payment, I will begin working on your new edit. If you have a certain preferences to the running order or preferred clips you want to use first, do let me know, otherwise I will choose what I think works best.
This includes 1 round of notes included in the price you pay, so if I don't get it right first time, you can make any changes you feel necessary free of charge.
Can you help find me scene partners?
If you know some actors who would be suitable and willing to be your scene partner, then great! It works for me, and I can write specifically with them in mind if you pass on some of their info to me. But rest assured, the scene(s) will still be 100% yours and focused on you.
If you don't know any actors, it's easy to find some who are looking for showreel material. I recommend posting online, either using facebook or twitter, and just give some details about what you're doing and what you're looking for - it'd probably be best to do this after the scripts have been finalised. I can also help you find some actors by posting to my mailing list.
How do I book?
Head over to Prices & Booking and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Fill in your details and press book, and I will be in touch ASAP with details about the next step.
What's the best way of contacting you?
If you want to book, head over to the Prices & Bookings page. If you want to ask a question, you can Contact Us direct by using the email DanielHardingShowreels@gmail.com.
I would prefer to keep our correspondence to e-mail if possible - it is the easiest way for me to keep on top of everything. If you text, whatsapp, facebook message etc. it's hard for me to keep track. Thanks in advance!
How do I decide what type of characters/scenes to do?
I have designed an online questionnaire called the Welcome Pack which should help you think about the sort of things I need to know before writing the scripts. It's specifically focused on finding out about what you hope to achieve from your new reel, as well as the sort of roles you are suitable for - because at the end of the day, making sure your reel demonstrates your cast-ability should be our number 1 priority.
I suggest thinking about your 'casting type'. I wrote an article that gives a detailed explanation if you don't know what that is. You can read it here
What's My Casting Type? I also recommend thinking about what sort of films, shows and characters you enjoy watching. I have a tonne of examples on my website, so if you want to have a look at them and tell me which ones you like, this is also a useful way for us to get on the same page.
I am always flexible and open to suggestions, and I can help you decide if needed. Let me know, and we can discuss it. I've been making showreel scenes for almost four years now, so I've got a fair amount of experience and tend to know what works and what doesn't.