Writers ask me a lot about making short film clips or “sizzle reels” for their scripts. Here’s the answer: “Yes, if it’s this good.”

Not if it’s “Sort of that good.”

Only if it’s “That good.”

The thing about writers making “sizzle reels” is the “sizzle reels” usually don’t “sizzle.”

They usually have horrible production values, footsteps echo like everything is being shot in an abandoned warehouse (ambient sound is your friend, people), lighting is terrible, shots and camera work are unimaginative or worse, flat out bad, if the actors can act that’s a plus, but they usually can’t, or at least some of them can’t, and sound tracks sound like they were laid down in a garage using questionable equipment while someone tried to pay off a neighbor to get the dog next door to stop barking.

That won’t sell a project.

That will convince everyone who watches the “sizzle” reel that the writer in question should never, ever be handed a camera again.

But it won’t sell a script. Or convince anyone to read it.

This student clip is what you’re up against, if you make a sizzle reel. Can you match this? Then yeah, go for it. Otherwise, save your cash and concentrate on the writing.

The same goes for lookbooks. One of the best lookbooks to ever go up online is the lookbook for All My Sins. Hit that. Hopefully the link is still working when you do. The All My Sins lookbook is a lookbook on a par with the Dear Brother clip. It’s the lookbook you have to match or beat.