What is a Film Reel?

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What is a Film Reel?

The term “film reel” was once widely accepted as that. Which was in reference to the circular unit that the long rolls of film were wound onto. In order for them to be played on a projector in a theater. Film reels of that time were able to hold the lengthy rolls of film. That were once a part of everyday cinema life. And allowed the footage to be guided into the projector for viewing. But what is a film reel in today’s society? And what does the term mean to use now?

Film Reel, Old vs. New

Old film reels were metal wheels that had long strings of film wound upon them for the purpose of viewing through the projector in a theater or at home. Certainly, we’ve come a long way since the days of using a film projector to watch movies.

In fact, the term film reel is not commonly used to describe the old reels for a movie but instead to describe a look at a filmmaker’s greatest works and achievements – on video.

What is a Film Reel?

A film reel, today, is basically the term that is used to describe a filmmaker’s best works and to show off the best shots of a film. You might think of a film reel as more of a trailer.

It’s the way of showing off the greatest points of a film, the best features, and why an audience should watch it.

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “demo reel” this is more commonly used for a film reel. The demo reel represents a filmmaker’s best works and achievements. The film reel is to a filmmaker what a Plastic Surgeon’s before and after pics would be.

This is the filmmakers chance to show off their ability to perform all the necessary tasks involved in producing the desired film. But, with just a short two to three minute video.

How to Make a Film Reel

So, after answering your question, “What is a film reel” and helping you to understand that a film reel could have multiple meanings. Old meaning being that it was the reel that film was wound onto in order to be fed into a projector.

New meaning as it being basically a filmmaker’s greatest works and a trailer if you will of what they can provide.

Let’s look at how to make a film reel that your audience will love:

  • Always include your greatest achievements.
  • Showcase your skills upfront.
  • Include interviews for dialogue.
  • Showcase your most unorthodox resources.
  • Structure it to the pace and tone that is most reflective of your success in the industry.
  • Be bold and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

In Summation

Learning how to create a film reel that will showcase your best features in the industry is something that many filmmakers work on for several years. Don’t be afraid to keep honing your skills and improving as you go.