You may know now from reading our previous posts that there is no exact science in writing to Agents & Casting Directors. There are however, things you can do to improve your success rate, in getting what you want from industry professionals (in this case: as a result of writing to Casting Directors they go on to view your showreel.)
However you’re writing to Casting directors (email or postal) you can be fairly sure of two things:
- You’ve got approximately five seconds to grab their attention.
- They haven’t got time to read it.
The chances are that you’re skim-reading this now. Why?
Because you want to make absolutely certain that the content is right and relevant to you and because most people skim read things initially and then go back if they feel the information is important.
Baring this in mind, following these simple steps can improve your chances of getting what you want from Casting Directors (in this case, viewing your showreel.)
Viewing your showreel is a particularly difficult one because it involves more of their time and ultimately, you want them to do it now, not click the link later when they’ve forgotten all about you.
1. Be concise, polite and honest.
Keep it short and to the point (200 words absolute maximum). Being polite is a given but it’s surprising how much sentence structure can be misconstrued as arrogance (especially when you’re being concise.) Being honest means, don’t fabricate your CV, or name drop people you don’t really know – in fact, don’t name drop at all.
2. Write in short paragraphs. Not bullet points and not in one long messy blurb.
3. Ensure that the first three words of each paragraph are relevant and important. Why? Because these are the bits that will be skim read…
“I am writing to you because…” Has very little effect whereas:
“My showreel features two contrasting scenes…” Has much better impact.
4. Include a relevant ‘PS’ at the end of your letter of email. You may not be a fan of PS’s but rest assured, if there’s one on there and your letter is being skim read, that’s what people will skip to first. In which case, don’t make it completely separate from your letter, entice the reader back in to the main body of your letter in the PS.
Following these four points, means that even if you get the standard ’5 seconds worth of attention’ at least you’ll get your message across in that time.
If you haven’t skim-read this then you’ll be delighted to learn that you can have 20% off of the three products below as a big ‘thank-you’ for giving this article your full attention. If you have, then you won’t be reading this so you’ll have missed out. Use the coupon code SKIMREAD in the checkout, it’s valid until Friday 26th April.
Finally, remember not to embed your video in emails as it takes too long to load and the file size is too large. Upload it to YouTube and Vimeo and include a link. If you’re posting it out, think about the presentation of the disc. It’s worth getting that right too.
All the very best,
Adam (& The Already Labelled team.)
PS. Two paragraphs before the end of this email is quite important, in order to really get the most out of writing to Casting Directors.