SELF TAPE BEST PRACTICES
What You Need to Know
First and foremost, please know that less is more. All I need is to be able see and hear you clearly.
Here are the basics, unless otherwise instructed in the self-tape request -
Backdrop: Slate grey or blue backdrop. You can invest in a proper backdrop off of Amazon or elsewhere, or you can go to a fabric store and get a cut of a piece of cloth in the aforementioned colors (avoid having a white or black backdrop).
Camera Equipment: iPhone/Android and a tripod, or use the camera on your laptop if the quality is close to a match with your phone. A fancy camera or professional set-up is NOT required.
Audio: Nothing special is required here, although if you feel like you need something extra to help the audio feel a bit more immediate...you could always explore a small boom. But it is NOT required or necessary.
Framing: Frame auditions roughly mid-bust up, in horizontal orientation.
Wardrobe: Stay within the tone of the role! Let the role influence your wardrobe choices but don't go overboard. If you're auditioning for a cop or doctor, we don't necessarily need to see a uniform or white coat...just dress professionally. And the reverse is true for a more relaxed or casual character.
Props: Best rule of thumb is to use any props that you would normally carry on your person (i.e. phone, pen, water bottle, etc.), avoid bringing any sort of weapon into your tapes.
Eye Line: Set your eye-line in the general direction of the camera, but not down the barrel of the camera. If you are speaking to multiple characters within the scene, create multiple eye lines around the camera. Avoid staying in profile for more than a few seconds at a time.
Lighting: Feel free to use a ring light set up, natural window light, or invest in a reasonable set of soft box lights for balanced lighting.
Readers: If you are unable to find a reader in the room with you, do not fret! Virtual readers are 100% okay. Pre-recording your lines is not ideal, as I'd prefer that you give yourself the opportunity to connect with someone while self-taping. That being said, it is totally acceptable if that is the only option! Please just avoid essentially changing your scene into a monologue, and not having anyone or anything on the other side of the scene.
(Resources: WeAudition, ReadThrough)
Slate: Please ALWAYS include a slate, stating your name, height, where you are currently based, and where you are usually based. If you are a minor, be sure to include your DOB. (Resource: Slatable).
In addition to stating the above information, include a full-body frame and profiles if it's an office you've never auditioned for before.
* It is not absolutely necessary to do a new slate for every single audition. Shoot a slate at the beginning of the year and tack it on to all of your auditions for the year...unless you change your look, then update the slate.*
When naming your file, please include your name and role name and/or project (ex. Jessica_Sherman_DoveWillow
Vimeo (Password protected & downloadable)
Dropbox (Be mindful of security/permission settings)
Directly upload to Eco-Cast or Cast It
Please AVOID YouTube
*If you have decided to submit two different takes per scene, separate the scenes by providing multiple links
Scene 1_Take 1
Scene 1 _Take 2
Scene 2_Take 1
However, if you simply submit one take, just put all scenes and your slate in one file/link.
Please remember that at the end of the day, the part that matters most about your self-tape is NOT the kind of camera your using or the very fancy mics and lights you have. Having all of the bells and whistles isn't going to matter if the performance isn't there! Most importantly, if you have questions, please remember that you can ALWAYS ask! We want to help you do the best job possible!