It’s All About the Sssizzle


In reality TV, if you don’t have a sizzle reel, you don’t have a show. It’s that simple. Since reality shows don’t have traditional scripting, these brief video presentations are the cornerstone on which all unscripted shows are built. Interestingly, the best practices for the reality world have now become essential marketing tools in every medium. And with post-production technology becoming increasingly more cost effective, the barriers to creating a great sizzle reel have been dramatically reduced.  When every word counts, sizzles help you get to the heart of your story by saving valuable time. No more need to risk losing a client’s interest with a longwinded explanation of what can be conveyed through visuals.

The benefits of using a sizzle reel in a pitch are manifold. First and foremost, they save time by getting ideas across quickly. Rather than typing out a comprehensive vision for a project, rather than forcing key decision-makers to read lengthy descriptions, a 1 to 3 minute reel immediately sets up the mood for a project. In terms of establishing different reference points, they allow you the filmmaker to frame the conversation. Would you rather have your project remembered as the next Inception or the next What Dreams May Come? A carefully edited mood reel will define the tone, cinematography, casting, performance, production design and visual effects.  If you’re not particularly great in meetings, sizzle reels can do the heavy lifting for you.  Imagine yourself deftly pulling out your ipad, pressing play, and letting the video punctuate your pitch.

Many sizzle reels are structured to feel like movie trailers. They serve as a tease, enticing the audience to want more.  Others are simpler and communicate a desired mood or a look and feel. And in a town inundated with paper, they all liberate your vision from the page.  Sizzle reels allow you to take advantage of the entire visual and audio spectrum, give you audience something to experience rather than intellectualize, and ultimately give you a leg up on the competition.

We’ve put together a grouping of sizzle reels we’ve done over the years to give you a sense of how diverse they can be. Click here to view.


1 Comment

  1. Back in shcool, I’m doing so much learning.

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