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  • Writer's pictureVal Agnew

A New Reel: Less is More

I recently completed a reel for Citlali Cuevas. It began like every other process, with Citlali sharing all of her samples with me and my review of the footage. As soon as I'd watched through, two things were clear:

  1. There was some really stunning work on display

  2. There was too much footage for one reel

So then the challenge became figuring out the best way to highlight the great work and not let the reel get bogged down or too long. Reels more than three minutes just aren't effective (see my article about best practices to learn more) and Citlali's could have easily been twice that long. Fortunately, the footage itself made my decision for me.

The most top notch pieces were all examples of Citlali's dramatic acting chops. Just within those options there would be more than enough to fill three minutes, so with Citlali's approval, we decided to focus on making her a dramatic reel.

Even within the dramatic samples there was an abundance of wonderful moments. I worked backwards by taking the pieces with the fewest options and then when I got to samples with more to choose from, I identified diverse representations of Citlali's range. I also had to resist the temptation to select more than one clip from each piece in order to avoid the idea that she did not have enough samples overall.

When the process was finished, we ended up with a well-paced, diversified representation of the actor's dramatic chops.

When Citlali is ready, we'll put together a separate comedy reel as well. But with this setup, her drama reel is focused, clear, and effective.

If you'd like to get your acting demo reel done, please reach out to me for pricing and more information at

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