Filmmaker Portfolio examples - Tips on making a killer portfolio and show reel

This post will showcase a range of filmmaker portfolio examples from various film crew job roles.

There are many different ways you can create and design your portfolio and we will be looking at the main programmes that you can use. The second part of this post will look at tips and resources on how to make a show reel.

 
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Do you need a portfolio?

Having a website, social media presence and examples of your work could help you stand out from the mass of filmmakers applying to jobs.

For visual job roles a portfolio or show reel may be required. For admin based jobs such as Production Assistant, Producer and entry level job roles then a CV will suffice.

Film making job roles that would benefit from a portfolio are – Director, Cinematographer, Art Director, Set Designer, Special Effects CGI, Animator, Costume and Make Up Artist. Some less visual job roles could also benefit from a website and self promotion - Screenwriter, Music Composer, Film Editor.

Tools for Portfolio design

FREE - WIX & TUMBLR

The best free website for building a Portfolio is Wix.

Wix Examples - Natalie Kennedy Filmmaker | Art by Arr |Lenka Costume and Fashion Designer

Wix has it’s limitations, there will be an advertisement bar at the top of your website and your URL will have ‘Wix’ in the title.

Another free tool is Tumblr.

Although mainly used for blogging, you can design portfolios on Tumblr and include links to videos. The URL will feature ‘Tumblr’ in the title and there will be design restrictions.

Tumblr Examples - Jon Edwards Filmmaker | Illustrator Joe Spix | Krisztian Tajti Director Of Photography

 Filmmaker Portfolio Example - Made on Wix

Filmmaker Portfolio Example - Made on Wix

PAID - WORDPRESS & SQUARESPACE

If you have the money to spend you can create a more professional website with a unique URL title.

WordPress has a large range of website design and template options. You will need to buy your URL separate from sites such as Go Daddy, Blue Host or Site Ground and install WordPress later. This will cost you around £20 - £70 per year. However the price will go up if you want to buy a more premium template or hire a web designer to help you.

Examples - Templates included with WordPress Preview

This guide helps you set up a WordPress Website - Kotryna Bass - Building your first website where to begin?

SquareSpace is an alternative option although more pricey it is easier to use, has customer service and you can buy the URL and web design all inclusive. The blog you are currently reading is SquareSpace and I would highly recommend it if you are going to be running a business from your site and are not a web designer. This option will cost you £120 - £250 a year.

Examples - Templates included with SquareSpace Preview

In short for web design you get what you pay for.

 Filmmaker portfolio example - made on Squarespace

Filmmaker portfolio example - made on Squarespace

OTHER - BEHANCE, ADOBE PORTFOLIO & VIMEO

Behance – Is a free tool from Adobe. You can sign up and create a page for free however premium portfolio themes are only available if you have Adobe Portfolio.

Behance for Free examples - Animator A Rather Lovely Thing | Fraser Macedo Motion graphics Artist

Adobe Portfolio - is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. This will cost from £10 per month for their photography plan to £50 per month for the full video plan. The video plan comes with the Adobe Premier Pro editing platform, After Effects, Photoshop and Adobe Audition.

So if you have the creative cloud you can get all of the software needed for film making and a portfolio platform on top of it all.

Adobe has Major discounts for students too! More Info Here 

Adobe Portfolio examples - Preview

Vimeo – You don’t need to have a website for a Video portfolio or filmmaker demo reels. Vimeo is more suited to this than YouTube as it allows employers to be focused on your work only, it has no advertisements and allows high quality video playback. A link to a Vimeo page is enough to include on your filmmaker CV. Vimeo costs from £72 per year.

Vimeo Examples - Ace Norton Director | Sveta Aparina Cinematographer

Instagram - If you only wish to show images on your portfolio and not video then Instagram and other free social media platforms could do the job just as well.

 Filmmaker portfolio example - Made via Vimeo

Filmmaker portfolio example - Made via Vimeo

More Filmmaker portfolio and show reel examples -

Film Producer - Mario Kassar | Film Director - Chris Cronin, Jessica Sanders | Music Videos - Felix Brassier | Screenwriter - CJ Walley | Film Editor - Chris Roebuck | Art Director - Max Lincoln | Production Designer - Felix Coles | Music Composer -Tim Benjamin | Cinematographer - Adam Scarth

How to make a show reel

A show reel or filmmaker demo reel is used to show case your work to potential clients. Traditionally the best material you have is edited as part of a montage. The style of a show reel can change depending on your job role.

A cinematography reel is more visual than a directors. A director could opt for the montage approach or cut a series of short scenes together. Filmmakers could also have separate show reels for specific job roles i.e. a separate Narrative reel and a Steadicam reel.

SHOW REEL TIPS

  • Keep your reel updated every year

  • For Directors and Editors piece together scenes to show that you understand cutting, continuity and story telling

  • Keep your reel short 1-2 minutes is enough

  • Your reel should include only your most impressive work

  • Show your best and latest work first

  • Keep the content relevant to the work you are applying for

  • Link your reel to your CV, Website and Social Media

Additional Resources - Making a Filmmaker Demo YouTube | Premium Beat Show Reel advice |Why Camera Assistants don’t need a show reel |Creating a Wix site for Filmmakers

I hope this guide has been helpful if you have any more advice to add on Filmmaker portfolios and show reels then let me know via the comments section below. What do you think makes an impressive filmmaker show reel?