Looking for a way to show off your content and make it pop? Look no further than the always versatile sizzle reel: a fun, quick way to spotlight all of your creative projects. A tool used by freelancers and longtime industry professionals alike, the sizzle reel provides a variety of different ways to quickly engage audiences with content that speaks for itself.


What is a sizzle reel?

Sizzle reels are a fast-paced, branded mix of media that help convey messaging in a stylized video. While all sizzle reels are videos, not all videos can be sizzle reels. It is important to consider brand identity and messaging when creating your own reel. They usually consist of video and audio with strong messaging that quickly promotes brands and portfolio—or presents a topic in the form of a quick video around two minutes long.

Here at VideoBlocks, we absolutely love sizzle reels as a way to show off our content in a fun, exciting way. Illustrating how our product can be used in people’s own creative endeavors makes our sizzle reels sparkle and pop with potential. Take a glance at one of our sizzle reels for an example of how a sizzle reel can communicate and connect with audiences in just a few short moments.



What can I use a sizzle reel for?

The greatest thing about sizzle reels is how highly versatile they can be. From showing a personal portfolio to pitching an advertisement, the options are endless. Most viewers will probably recognize them best from watching teasers or trailers of new movies or tv shows, while many filmmakers rely on them to showcase their work.

Remember sitting in the dark theater and seeing a two minute rush of clips and noise? You may not even be sure what you’ve seen, but when the title of the show and release date appear at the end, you’ll find yourself turning to your friends with one thing on your mind, I have to see that.

From these sizzle reels, audiences gain quick insight into character arcs or suspenseful plot points, effectively drawing audiences in and priming them for more—all without giving the whole story away.

Sizzle reels can be used to show off just about anything, including your own work and portfolio. They’re effectively used to promote products and services and convey prioritized messages to key audiences, using use indirect marketing to excite a user’s potential interest. Keep in mind that the look, feel, and message of your reel should also be determined by your audience. A business’ promotional reel for a new project will be much different than a demo reel created for a job interview.

sizzle reel


How do you make a sizzle reel?

There are several elements to focus on when creating your sizzle reel including content, presentation, and simplicity.

You want to make sure the video, images, or audio you’re incorporating into your project fit—and that they project your message in the best way possible. Creating a short narrative and considering what and how you want the video to make an impact are all important questions to consider. Most filmmakers use both After Effects and Premiere Pro to edit together your sizzle reel.

Pro tip: You should storyboard your sizzle reel long before you start shooting or editing.

Easily customized After Effects templates from the VideoBlocks Library are the perfect tool for helping you create an overarching theme while highlighting your content without much hassle. Make sure to keep any actual words short and sweet and check that your audio matches the overall mood of the video in order to keep viewers engaged. You can use Premiere Pro to edit together your template, content, and audio as the final step in the editing process.

Keep in mind, less is always more: Create a branded feeling for your video, choose a template, collect your content, and let the sizzle reel give them a taste and ‘reel’ them in. After engaging and making them want more, end the video with a call to action.

Ready to start making your sizzle reel? Explore our library of royalty-free stock footage and After Effects templates for the building blocks you need to tell you story.


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