Creating a high quality demo reel is now a mandatory part of the video editing industry. As an individual, it is the most important piece of work you can edit. As a corporation, your reel serves at the public image of the entire company’s work. To say that it is dire to pay utmost attention to detail when editing a reel may be an understatement. We’ve put together a list of our top five tips and tricks to make sure your video editing demo reel is the best it can be.

1. Choose the best of the best.

When making a demo reel, quality is definitely more important than quantity. Instead of trying to squeeze all of your work into the reel, go through and pick out the top 25%. That should help you narrow down what is really impressive and representative of your style, and what is just filler.

2. Choose music carefully.

The best demo reels are typically cut to music. Make music selection one of the first priorities when starting your reel. While most video editors seem to choose some type of fast paced techno beat, you can also make a splash with something simple and though provoking. Either way, use the music to your advantage, but remember that not everyone will watch your reel with the audio on. Your reel should be enhanced by the sound, but also be able to stand on its own.

3. Include your contact info.

It is amazing how many people compose beautiful reels, but forget to incorporate their contact info! Remember, you demo reel is your first shot at making an impression and branding yourself, so your name (or company name) should be a predominate part of that equation. Including your name in the beginning and the end of the video, as well as within the YouTube or Vimeo description, is a wise idea.

4. Be original.

This piece of advice is two-fold. Be original first means to think outside the box. Try to make a demo reel that represents your style and personality. Be original also means to avoid using tutorials or stealing ideas from other reels you’ve seen. Chances are if you’ve seen it, your potential employer or client has seen it as well. Keep everything original and you’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd for all of the right reasons.

5. Keep is short.

In almost all scenarios, a demo reel should never be longer than 60 seconds. It is not meant to be a compilation of all of your work, just a highlight reel of the best stuff. Your goal should be to capture their attention in the first 20 seconds and to impress them with your skill and style in the following 40 seconds.


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