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Back Stage Reels: Mastering the Art of the Video Resume

Back Stage has teamed up with ActorIntro.com to offer discounted professional video services to actors, models, and performers in New York. In the following article, "Top 10 Rules for Marketing Yourself with Video: Mastering the Art of the Video Resume," Brad Holbrook—an Emmy Award-winning TV journalist and the founder of ActorIntro.com and AuthorIntro.com—provides 10 essential tips to help actors everywhere create the best videos possible.

Whether you're shooting an "introductory interview" style video for your resume, editing a reel, videotaping an audition, or creating your own short film, we hope you find the following advice helpful.

Top 10 Rules for Marketing Yourself with Video

Mastering the Art of the Video Resume

In my 20 years as a TV news journalist, I learned that video is the single most powerful way to communicate who you are and what you bring to the table. A well-shot, well-edited video can even surpass an in-person meeting since you have complete control of your image and no chance of letting nervousness or factors outside your control ruin your first impression. Brad_Holbrook_Actor_Intro

In 2010, video is everywhere. Thanks to online tools like YouTube and Vimeo, videos can be uploaded, linked, and sent almost instantly, and they serve every purpose from entertainment to education. And as we all know from viral phenomena like ObamaGirl and The Evolution of Dance, sometimes all it takes is a flipcam and an idea to get seen far and wide. 

But when it comes to using video to sell yourself professionally, a few rules apply. Video interviews have already become a must for aspiring actors and other on-camera talent, and now professionals in all industries are using video to get an edge in today's competitive job market.

Follow these 10 simple rules for video self-promotion so that—just like a great resume—your video enhances who you are, your experience, and talent:

1. Quality is Key: This is the #1 rule—everything else is secondary. In the age of HDTV, Hulu, and digital photography, a flipcam or webcam video screams "amateur!" Especially in industries like performing arts, entertainment, advertising, and media, your video has to be the best quality available on the market: High-Definition with clear audio.

2. Be True to Your Personality & Product: Unless you're taping a film audition, this is not a time to play a character or try to be who you think they want. Show your authentic self, and make sure your video shoot environment is comfortable so you can be fully present.

3. EngagBrad_Holbrook_Editing_Actor_Introe Your Audience: Tell a story, laugh, smile, give thoughtful answers. It's painful to watch someone who is self-conscious or over-thinks their answers. Which brings us to… © 2010 ActorIntro LLC

4. Edit: Feel free to giggle or mess up or answer questions twice during your shoot… as long as you have a professional editor doing post-production. The final product should only show the best clips, especially in the first 10 seconds.

  5. Get Professional Help: "Why can't I do it myself?" This is the question I hear most often. The answer is twofold: quality and perception. We've already covered how important quality is for putting your best foot forward. But remember—the way you see yourself isn't objective, you need a third party to help capture what's most marketable about you.

6. Own Your Video: When hiring someone to shoot your professional video, make sure you will be able to get the video itself and/or a link to where it's hosted online, and that the rights allow you to use it as you see fit. Note that to keep you video on your YouTube or Facebook page, you neBack Stage Reels Half 
Page Ad - Low Rezed the whole file, not just an embed code.

7. Don't Over-Disclose: Nothing makes a viewer cringe like a "TMI" moment. Just like your Facebook status, you never know who might see your video, even years down the road, so keep your secrets to yourself. 

8. Keep it Brief: No matter how much work you put into your video, over half the viewers will stop watching after the first 15 seconds. A video resume should never be more than 3 minutes; best to keep it around 60 seconds. Keep 'em wanting more. 

9. Know the Top Places to Post: This varies depending on your goals, but many sites that show job listings now give you an opportunity to add video. This is sure to give you an edge over the (yawn) same old resume and picture approach. 

10. Update Often: If you work on a new project every few months, consider re-shooting your video once a year. This shows you take your career seriously and that you're in demand.

Brad Holbrook founded ActorIntro.com after 20 years in TV journalism and five years as a professional working actor in New York City. You can see examples of video interviews at www.actorintro.com/backstage/actors/ and www.authorintro.com/samples

Plus, videos created by ActorIntro.com and/or any other videos that you upload to YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular video-hosting websites can be easily embedded into your BackStage.com Multimedia Resume. For more info, visit http://tinyurl.com/Back-Stage-Reels or http://yellowpages.backstage.com/products/backstagereels.html.

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