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Acting Portfolio Cost


How Much Does an Acting Portfolio Cost?

 
low costBasic Headshots Package: $60-$250average costProfessionally Prepared Resume: $80-$350high costReel Video: $150-$600

An acting portfolio typically consists of a resume, headshots, and an acting reel of video footage from the actor's performances.

Typical costs:

  • A basic headshots package with a professional photographer typically costs $60-$250. Hollywood Photography in Hollywood, CA, offers a $195 acting headshots photo shoot with up to 200 Shots (three different looks), a digital photo CD and an 8x10 print of the final headshot. The company also provides headshot examples online.
  • An actor's reel video typically costs $150-$600 to produce. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Starchitects[1] offers a basic reel video editing package for $150-$285, including an opening and closing title card with the actor's name and a montage of existing film scenes. The site also contains sample actor reels[2] .
  • A professionally prepared resume may cost $80-$350. An actor's resume should list formal training and previous roles and performances. Acting Auditions includes a sample acting resume[3] .
Related articles: Talent Agent, Modeling Portfolio

What should be included:
  • An acting portfolio should include at least two headshots, according to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts[4] . For television and commercial work, actors should submit a commercial headshot (smiling expression). Actors should submit a theatrical headshot (more serious facial expression) for theater or film auditions. Headshots may be of just the face or show as much as three-quarters of the body but the standard varies in different parts of the country.
  • If more photographs are included in the portfolio, they should display the actor's "other looks" which are photographs of the actor in costume and makeup for a variety of past performances.
  • An actor's reel is an edited video of performances, and may include clips of the actor in a theater, TV, or film production. Typically five minutes long, acting reels may be part of the actor's personal website or may be shared with potential casting directors on a CD or DVD.
Additional costs:
  • Website hosting for an acting portfolio typically starts at $4 per month, and a custom domain name costs $7-$10 per year. Companies like NewFaces[5] offer free online portfolios with limited customization.
  • Video editing services in addition to a standard actor's reel package typically cost $60-$75 per hour.
Discounts:
  • Casting Calls lists seven tips for creating an acting reel with personal video editing software.
Shopping for an acting portfolio:
  • Like a regular resume, an actor's resume should be accompanied by a cover letter to the casting directory and should be no longer than one page. It's common to staple the resume to the back of the headshot or print directly on the opposite side of the photograph.
  • The Screen Actors Guild[6] , the leading union representing actors, advises actors to be on the lookout for scams in the entertainment industry, and warns actors to never pay casting agents or producers as part of an audition. Though the trade group does not endorse any specific vendors for creating a portfolio, entertainers may find their website helpful in staying on top of the latest rules and industry standards.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.starchitects.biz/ActorReelEditingRates.pdf
  2.  www.starchitects.biz/ActorReels.htm
  3.  www.acting-auditions.org/2007/11/headshot-and-resume.html
  4.  www.sft.edu/tips/resumes-headshots-portfolios.html
  5.  www.newfaces.com/acting-modeling-advice/actingcost.php
  6.  www.sagaftra.org/content/scams
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