Some of the Best Cinematic Showreels of 2016

Some of the Best Cinematic Showreels of 2016
An attention-grabbing showreel can be one of best ways for you to put your video work out there. Whether you shoot weddings, commercials, narrative films, or wildlife, putting together a short, visually appealing montage of your best work is essential for your clients to see your abilities and quality.
These five showreels show off more than just technical ability. They combine beautiful imagery, compelling and varied subject matter, great music, and are edited in ways that display trends and storytelling ability. If you’re in the process of putting together a new showreel (or even your first one), here is why you need to look no further than these examples for great inspiration. 

Salomon Ligthelm

If you haven’t seen any of Salomon Ligthelm’s work, do yourself a favor and visit his Vimeo channel. He is a source of inspiration for filmmakers and musicians alike as he is a contributor to Film Supply for stock footage and Music Bed for his original music compositions. This, his most recent showreel, is spectacular in showing off his versatility as a filmmaker, yet it all stays true to his style of a raw, degraded film look.

Ed Reiss

Ed Reiss displays some great creative concepts in his 2016 showreel. His song choice allows the dynamic introduction of slow motion, which is contrasted against some energetic content and fast-paced cuts. The edit in general is paced well, as it doesn’t feel too rushed or too slow, which is not always easy to achieve when balancing shots of contrasting energy.

Severin Strauss

This showreel is balanced so well between broody cinematic content and what might possibly be standard corporate content. Severin Strauss introduces some great aerial shots with nice inclusions of what looks like Hitchcock-effect hyperlapses and finishes it all off with a great-looking color grade.

Mauri D. Galiano

This epic, fast-paced showreel covers a wide variety of content and locations. Mauri D. Galiano displays great use of light in both interior and exterior locations and shows dynamic use of camera movement (including the drone footage) to cover often quickly moving subjects. 

Alan Nogues

Alan Nogues introduces intrigue and suspense with his choice of music. His use of well-graded, vibrant color and slow motion in portraying a multitude of interesting environments and characters (including macro nature shots) aids in grabbing the viewer's attention. The eclectic montage is beautifully arranged and displays Nogues’ well-rounded technical abilities.
If you have enjoyed these showreels and would like to see more of a similar quality, PremiumBeat has a curated list of showreels and demo reels on Vimeo, which include VFX and motion graphics too.
Tom Collins's picture

Tom Collins is full-time filmmaker with credits in directing, writing, cinematography and editing. His work has included content for television, commercials, short films and music videos. Tom is originally from South Africa, but currently lives in Dublin, Ireland, where he creates video content with his brother, James, as The Collins Brothers.

Log in or register to post comments

Take note, take hipsters around the world and make them go swimming, got it.

Jesus I need to update my showreel!

^The thought going through everyone's head

The first 4 reels are under 2 minutes? Wow is this becoming the norm? Guess when I update my reel I should cut it down even more...

That's an interesting point, Chris. It might have something to do with who's attention they're trying to grab with their work. I know for myself, I try to show as much variation of locations and subjects as possible to indicate high volumes of work which maybe appeals to corporate and commercial clients. This results in quite a lot of varied content being shown very quickly, which gets tedious to watch if it's too long. On the other hand, I remember sitting through very technical 10-15 minute reels in film school of Directors and Cinematographers who are working in TV and features films where I guess it's more important to tell a story through your craft and not just show great looking shots.

It's not just these demo reels, as a whole I see a lot more these days that are under 2 minutes. Sure I have a separate reel per genre of shooting (i.e. Cinematography, commercial, music video, etc.) in addition to my main demo reel which features a bit of everything... But all of them are 2.5-2.75 minutes.
Guess since everyone's attention span online is getting shorter-there's a drift towards shorter reels

At what point does it become too long? Do you have a highlight reel and a more indepth reel as well, in case they want to see more? It seems that if "they" are looking at your reel you already have piqued their interest.

I was involved in a discussion about this very subject a while back, I think it was on this site. The gist of that thread was that the demo reel should be used as a business card, something quick to pique the client's interest. The whole width of your work should be presented in more detail on your site, but perhaps not in the demo reel.

Being able to present yourself in such a short time is definitely difficult, but then again it shouldn't cover every nuance, but it should give a hint of what your style is and what kind of work you like to focus on.

Just my amateurish two cents =)

I'm not that well educated in the field of cinematography, and I haven't been into this sort of thing for that long to tell, but please, could anybody tell me when this slow-motion craze came to be? Personally, some of the slow motion shots look absolutely phenomenal, but from what I've seen, an absolute majority of the scenes shown in these show reels are slow-motion. I want to get into cinematography and shoot something artsy, but it really seems to me that's hard to do, considering I don't have a camera capable of slow-mo capture, and everything these people consider their best work is just that.

Perhaps it was always like that. Perhaps it came with the growth of the high-FPS video-capable cameras, now that "everyone" has them.