Filmmaking & Videography

Making a video editing demo reel allows editors to put together samples of their work in an engaging way. It’s an important step when reaching out for job opportunities, brand deals and other opportunities, so it should require thought, preparation and skill. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner editor, let’s take a look at how to make a brilliant video editing demo reel!

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How To Make A Video Editing Demo Reel

Feature Your Best Work

This sounds like an obvious one, but it’s an important one to follow!

To create an amazing demo reel, you need to show off your uniqueness, technical skill and creativity. For this reason, select clips that you believe are your best work. Try to be objective and think about not only the clips that are great, but the types of footage that will attract employers or pique the interest of those you’ll be sharing the reel with.

Your clips should show individuality, be assembled in a way that shows your personality and highlights your range as a video editor.

Choose A Style

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There are various ways to create an editing demo reel, but it essentially comes down to two styles: college and scene.

College style reels usually cut to music and show a rapid succession of footage. This style is great for showing commercials and short-form work.

Scene style features longer clips of around 15 seconds in length. This style helps to highlight techniques, themes and so on. Scene style works best for narrative work, long-form documentaries and so on.

Keep It Succinct

It can be tempting to cram tons of footage in, thinking that ‘the more, the better’. However, video editors need to be able to look objectively and cut what isn’t necessary… and this is no different for making a demo reel.

Typically, your demo reel should be no longer than 60 seconds – and 90 seconds is the absolute maximum. Be sure to capture the viewer’s attention in the first 20 seconds so that you don’t lose them, and use the remaining time to highlight skills, achievements and so on.

Remember that your video editing demo reel doesn’t need to be a total compilation of all of your work. A more succinct, targeted and well compiled reel will always prevail over a long-winded, large file.

Feature Important Information

It’s easy to get swept up in selecting clips, editing and so on – but don’t forget that there is important information to include. This can be:

  • Your contact information
  • Your name / the name of the company producing it
  • Brands you’ve worked with
  • Titles of the projects

In your demo reel, remember that the most important things are showing who you are, your skill and personality and letting the viewer know how to get in touch.

Think About Where & How You Will Share Your Reel

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Once you’ve put your demo reel together, it’s time to start thinking about how you will get it to those who need to see it.

Your options include:

  • DVDs (although this is somewhat outdated now, and a lot of companies etc won’t accept this format anymore)
  • Sending via email
  • Flash drives
  • Google Drive links
  • Online demo reels

Online demo reels are usually your best bet for video editors, as it saves time and energy and ensures that viewers will be able to watch it without software issues or file type drama. You could post your film reel on YouTube, Vimeo, your own website and so on.

Make sure to preview before making your video public, as your project may be re-encoded to a smaller file format. You don’t want the quality to be compromised, after all!

Use Great Music

Well-thought-out music selection is an extremely important element of any video project – and demo reels are no exception!

Take note of what your clips involve, as well as the tone, mood and energy you are trying to convey. If your clips include tons of high energy action shots, you’re not going to want to use a slow, melancholic song for your reel.

Avoid copyrighted music – not only is it illegal, but it will be a turn off to potential employers. Make sure you research what music you can use, and look into music licensing options such as Audiosocket. We’ll tell you more about us and our music in a second!

Final Thoughts

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Creating your video editing demo reel should be exciting, fun and feel authentic to you and what you’re about. Don’t misrepresent yourself and remember that if you’re asking yourself a moral question of whether a credit is yours or if you can wholeheartedly say you edited the clip – it’s not worth it.

Be objective, be smart and most of all, have fun and show your personality. Showing a sense of humor alongside your skill and technical expertise will put you above the competition, so remember that you’re a human being and not just a video editing machine. Good luck!

How Audiosocket Can Help

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If you are looking for authentic, top-quality music for your video editing demo reel (or the videos themselves), why not check out Audiosocket? Your content deserves the best, so sign up today and access over 85,000 songs, plus sound effects & sound design to bring your vision to life – starting from only $10 a month for unlimited access to our library!

Also, feel free to check out our helpful articles on and best free video editing software in 2021, creating a film press kit, Cinematography & Filmmaking YouTube channels & All About Nikon NX Studio!

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