The 10 Second Rule for your Showreel

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stopwatch showing 10 seconds

Did you know that on average, a casting director will watch only the first 10 seconds of your showreel?

That makes the first 10 seconds of your showreel perhaps the most important 10 seconds of your acting career because what happens then will get you the job or lose you the job.

10 seconds to lose the job

If the first scene is just some music over your headshots, or an action scene where you don’t speak, or a confusing shot with loads of people… then the casting director will get frustrated and switch off and you will have lost the job.

We cannot stress this enough. The first 10 seconds of your showreel are the most important and must show you acting in a good scene.

If you don’t start speaking right from the opening shot, you might as well not apply for the job in the first place.

10 seconds to get the job

Begin your showreel with either a very, very, short intro card (your picture/contact) or dive straight in with the first scene and a small caption at the bottom with your name (and possibly the production where the clip is taken from).

Make sure you the first scene is of you talking.

And make sure you are easily identifiable; we’ve seen showreels where we literally do not know who we’re supposed to be watching!

So make the first scene you and someone of the opposite sex or someone who is physically very, very, different from you. The CD runs the showreel and knows immediately who they are watching and sees them acting from the word, go.


For a casting director, time is money.

They might get hundreds of applications and showreels to see for a job and so they don’t want to waste time waiting for your showreel to start.

They want to see within 10 seconds:

  1. What you look like
  2. What you sound like
  3. If you look good on camera
  4. If you can act

It’s not rocket science. It’s simple fact.

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