Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How To Self-Tape Auditions (According To a CD)

CD Billy DaMota shares his advice on self-taped auditions:

Been watching self-tapes all day...
So I thought I'd add my 2¢
Some pretty simple rules that I can see. Add more if your think they make a difference in the way self-tapes are considered.
  1. iPhone (anyone who spends $700+ for a camera to self-tape is a moron). And you can get an iPhone tripod for as little as five bucks on Amazon [may be closer to $15].
  2. Make sure your face is well-lit.
  3. Make sure they can hear you (avoid noisy environments).
  4. Wear a character-specific outfit. Homeless? Attorney? You get it.
  5. Framing? Depends on what your action is. Always. You can't do "chest up" framing if your action is "a chant in the lotus position" or "Elvis grinding while playing guitar."
  6. Follow the CDs instructions (props, direction, number of takes, how to slate, etc.).
No need to edit. Shoot it, review it, save it and send it. The only other suggestion I'd give is to state at the end of the tape or in the notes with your submission that IF they like what they see but want to redirect you, you can get them a redirected self-tape within hours. The biggest problem I run into is seeing actors who are SO good and SO close, but who need a minor tweak I know the director would like...and I can't do that with a self-tape!
What I see with most self tapes I get is that actors are thinking too much about the production value and not enough about the performance. I will always forgive you for less-than-perfect production value; you will not be forgiven for a mediocre performance.
So.
Have fun, make it your own, and if you don't like what you've recorded...do it again until you're happy.

There you have it, one casting director's take on self-taped auditons. If you'd like acting coaching for your auditions, let me know; break a leg!

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this posted by David August at 1:45 PM 

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