A showreel is a short video containing examples of a professional’s work for showing to potential employers. It appears a valuable marketing tool but my personal experience of working as a videographer has made me question its necessity?
Clients who require wedding videography, for example, would ask not for my showreel but for my best wedding film ever.
Video production companies would ask you for both your showreel and complete portfolio of work because a showreel on its own could be misleading. It could contain examples of work that don’t belong to you. In addition, employers will always ask you to clarify your role and exact responsibilities in each project.
So why bother spending hours building or updating your showreel when you could direct potential clients or employers straight to a few of your full-length videos that are most relevant to the skills needed?
There is indeed a good point of having a showreel as an aspiring media professional (videographer, actor, director, cinematographer, voice-over artist or else). A showreel is like a window. It provides a glimpse into your professional abilities. It teases the viewer to come inside and experience your work in its entirety, and eventually hire your services.