We are increasingly getting requests for self-tapes from casting directors. It is an easy way to reach a larger number of performers without the expense of an audition. It also gives them the opportunity to see what you look like on camera before inviting you to a casting. If done properly it is beneficial as a performer, saving the cost of trip to London and giving more control over your audition. All casting directors have different specific requests when they ask for self-tapes but there are some general simple rules to follow, which are listed below.
1. Make sure you are off book!
You are usually given a couple of days to prepare for taping so rehearse throughly and learn the lines.
2. Taping with your mobile is absolutely fine, but try to lower the resolution of your camera, making it easier to send the file.
3. Shoot in Landscape mode, this enables a closer headshot, do not shoot in portrait!
4. Shoot against a plain background and check that you can be heard with no background noise. Unless told otherwise, only get your head and shoulders in the shot. The room should be well lit or in natural light so that you can be seen clearly.
5. Don't try and tape yourself. Either have someone tape you or set up your camera on a stable surface. Set your focal point just slightly of camera and try to maintain focus throughout.
6. It is fine to do several takes, if taping different scenes stop after each one and record separately. We will edit your tape for you so it helps if we have a few different selections to choose from.
7. If possible get someone to read in the other lines, they do not need to act, they can just feed the lines to you in a neutral voice. Try to react to all parts of the script not just your lines.
8. All self tapes will have deadlines. If we have given you a date please make sure you have sent your tape to us in plenty of time. It is time consuming to edit and send off. Any late submissions will not be sent.
9. Lastly, don't overthink it, just follow the brief that you will have been given and do your best. If your tape is sent to us in plenty of time we will check it and can give you advice if it needs to be done differently. You can send your tapes to us by email, whatapp or messenger.