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How to get great Self Tapes and Video Auditions!! (and what NOT to do)

How to get great Self Tapes and Video Auditions!! (and what NOT to do)

With faster connection speeds facilitating same day video uploads, self taping is an increasingly popular way to audition. It’s a different beast from auditioning in person: You don’t have the advantage of a Casting Director in the room giving you notes and adjustments BUT you are able to try out as many readings as you need to get your best take (and without the jitters that might come with all those people in the room!). Whether you’re doing self tapes on your own or with Callback Studios, here are some tips on how you can make the Self Tape work for you.

This blog was written for the wonderful acting community of Actor’s Connective Toronto.

Be just as prepared for a self tape as you would be for an in person audition (this IS your audition): Being off book is a must. You should have done a script analysis before going to tape and have made choices for your character. Are you sitting? Standing? What is your wardrobe? What are your eye lines? Come prepared.

Make sure your reader understands the scene: We’ve all been to those auditions where the reader flatly stomps all over your pauses or gives you zero energy back… With self tapes we can prevent that happening. Make sure your reader knows what to expect from you and gives you back a read that helps you shine.

Framing: Medium to close framing packs the biggest punch. If you absolutely have to move around just let your camera person know so they be wide for that and then zoom back in.

Sound and Lighting: We want the viewer to focus on your performance and, just as with any film, technical gaffs like audio crackles or a too-bright or too-dark set can take the viewer out of it. We always use LAV mics on our actors for nice clean audio devoid of car horns and jack hammers.

A Few Examples of Self Tapes with Callback Studios


What not to do?

You don’t need to recreate the set on your self tape:  I’ve seen actors try and film a forest scene in the woods, shoot multiple angles… It’s not necessary. Let your acting do the work and have lighting and audio that works for you.

Resist the temptation to send additional content: Your self tape doesn’t need your demo reel off the top… If they want that they can ask for it.

Bad Auditions (what NOT to do on commercial auditions)

Callback Studios does more than great actor headshots. We also put together great DEMO REELS and SELF TAPES for actors and performers.

A professional studio with multiple backdrop options, LEDs for lighting, LAV mics for great sound quality, and a professional actor/filmmaker to read with you. Check us out at www.CallbackHeadshots.com

Good luck on your next audition!