5 Tips For Making A Self Tape Audition

First of all, what is a self tape?

Self tapes are becoming more and more popular in the casting industry so you must become aware of them. Essentially a self tape is a video of your audition which you film yourself and then send to the casting director or client.

Max Agency receives self tape requests of our talent every week, so we thought we’d share some of our tips for creating them!

  1. Good lighting

Good lighting is a MUST for a good self tape! You want the clients to be able to see you, don’t you? In reality, even if you are the best actor for the job, if the lighting is bad in your video it could cost you the job. Do not make the mistake of having too much light as that will completely wash you out. It is best to use natural lighting or incandescent lights if possible, one pointed at your face and one pointed to your side.

A diagram from Breakdown Express can be seen here:

2. Good Sound Quality

You must be sure to have decent sound quality for the obvious reason that the person casting needs to hear how you deliver the lines. One way to ensure this is to perform the lines at a volume that the device you’re using can pick up. That means no mumbling! Another way to ensure quality sound is using a digital camera with a built in microphone, no need for anything too fancy. With the quality that smartphones provide now, recording on a phone is even acceptable!

3. No distractions

When filming a self tape, the least amount of distractions the better. That means visually and orally. Make sure there is no distracting background nosies happening whether that’s a loud family member or the A/C. Go to a quiet room in the house or wait until everyone has gone to bed. In terms of visuals, be sure to film in front of a solid coloured background, such as a blank wall. Make sure your clothing is also not too distracting, no logos or crazy designs just like for in person auditions! You want the focus of the video to be your performance not your surroundings.

4. Listen to instructions

Most self tape requests come along with a set of instructions from the casting director or client. Be sure to read over them carefully to ensure you are doing exactly what they want and submitting it properly. For example the instructions may say which props to use, how to act, the sides aka lines to say, etc.

5. Show your personality!

Just like any audition, the client is watching tons of actors and actresses performing the same lines over and over. Be sure to make yourself standout by showing your personality! This can be done while slating, before getting into the actual audition. Don’t be too monotone or serious; be professional and friendly!

Filming self tape auditions can be great! They allow you to audition from anywhere in the world, including your own home.  However, there are many mistakes that can be made which could cost you the job, so you must pay attention to the technical side! Re-watch your takes, reshoot if you have to and remember these tips!

Good luck!

Max Agency is one of the most successful model and talent management agencies in Canada representing menwomen and children. Max Agency is involved in providing actors, models and entertainers for the film, television, fashion and advertising industries as well as appearance in trade shows, promotions and special events.


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