How to make an editing reel!

Are you an aspiring editor looking for ways to get your reel noticed? Here are some tips.

First, have a reel that is edited well and showcases your skills. 

Next, start making connections with other editors or production companies in the area.

Offer to work for free on projects they might need help with. This will allow you to show off your skills more while also gaining experience under your belt. 

Lastly, make sure you are staying up on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so that people can find out about new posts or updates from you quickly if they want to follow what’s happening in the world of editing!

What Should I Include In My Editing Reel

How To Make An Editing Reel - Why do We Need by
  1. Make a short, clean and snappy reel that will give you a chance to show off your editing skills in the best possible light.
  2. Edit together some of your favourite work to demonstrate your creative eye and attention to detail when it comes to storytelling.
  3. Don’t include any unfinished or rough footage since that will give the wrong impression.
  4. Edit together at least 3-5 pieces that show different styles and genres, like trailers, interstitials, montages etc., to demonstrate your range as an editor.
  5. Include credit rolls at the end of your reel with artists’ names (but don’t forget about yourself!). The length of the credit rolls should take up no more than 10% of the total length of the reel.
  6. Make sure that your credits are formatted consistently and include your contact information at the end of the reel in plain text (don’t use acronyms or fancy, stylized formatting).
  7. Ensure you make industry friends along the way and never burn any bridges you might need to cross later on.
  8. Create a website for your reel, if possible (even if it’s just a primary WordPress site). 

That will give you more control over how people find out about you and include extra information that might be of interest or use to potential employers.

  1. Don’t include any copyrighted material in your reel, trailers or other work that you put online – it’s illegal and infringing copyright could jeopardize your career or get you into legal trouble.
  2. Use good quality video hosting sites like Vimeo to host your reel (avoid using YouTube because there are too many distractions there).
  3. Ensure your editing software is visible in the reel (e.g. either at the beginning or end) so people know what you are working on and with which tools you are working. Don’t assume they will understand by looking at it.
  4. Don’t include music unless you have permission to use it! If in doubt, don’t include it.
  5. Make sure your editing skills are visible, don’t be afraid to use text overlays to explain what you are doing 
  6. Give your reel a clear title and always name your files appropriately so people can easily find your work online.
  7. Make sure you have at least one contact email on the site (if you want people to email you for work!)
  8. Make an effort to get people to watch your reel by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networking sites.
  9. Don’t send links directly to editors or production companies if they haven’t asked for them. Ask first whether they would like the link sent through or not.
  10. Don’t include outdated or irrelevant information in your email – keep it short and sweet with the most relevant information only!
  11. Create a new reel every few years that includes your most recent, best work.

Why Do You Need An Editing Reel

An editing reel is a way for you to showcase your skills and demonstrate your artistic vision when putting a story together. 

It’s a great way of flagging up, in a short amount of time, the best examples of what you do professionally and creatively – why would someone hire you without watching your reel?

How Long Should An Editing Reel Be

How To Make An Editing Reel - Why do We Need by

As short as possible, ideally between 1-3 minutes (or less). You can always include some extra footage on your website or DVD!

Editing Reel Examples

How To Make An Editing Reel - Why do We Need by

Jodie Foster’s Editing Reel from The Overnight Films on Vimeo. Many of you will remember Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver, Silence of the Lambs and Contact. 

She has picked up 2 Oscars and 4 Golden Globes for her acting – we wanted to look at her career behind the camera with her directorial debut, The Beaver. 

We think her editing reel is worth showing to people who are just starting in the industry so they can see what you need to do to get a good editing reel together.

Editing Reel from The Beaver from The Overnight Films on Vimeo. 

This is the second video in our “Editing Reel” series, showing you some things that will go into putting your reel together! 

This time, we’re looking at editing an independent feature called The Beaver, written and directed by Jodie Foster. It’s an excellent example of an offbeat drama with plenty to edit in the way of humour and some severe material.

We think it’s well worth watching so you can see how we put something like this together and learn from it yourself!


How can I put together editing demo reels?

By picking the best work you have done, editing it together into a short reel and uploading it to a video hosting site.

Where should I host my reel online?

On sites like Vimeo, they are easy to navigate from other places on the internet.

How many videos should I include on my reels?

Anywhere between one and three, depending on the type of work you are showing. Generally, more than this is too much to sit through!

What else should I put on my demo reel besides editing footage?

You can also include sound design work, music or anything else that you think will help demonstrate your skills and show what type of editing you would be good at.

I'm only really interested in narrative storytelling. Should I include other types of videos on my edit reel?

Yes! It’s a great way to show off the various things you are capable of.