A Perfect Self-Tape

What is a self-tape? A self-tape is an audition the actor films on their own and then sends in remotely. It is requested by a casting director and then submitted to them electronically. They will provide the sides, instructions, and deadline, and then it is up to you to film, edit, and return it to them on time.

  • The most important part of a self-tape audition is to provide truthful, engaging acting, while employing technical advantage. You must pay attention to the quality of the image, sound, and lighting. You must also make smaller choices to help yourself out, like having a neutral background and wearing flattering clothing choices.

  • Unless otherwise specified, a tight frame from your chest to just above the top of your head is best for self-tapes. It’s also best to not move around a lot while acting, especially taking care not to walk in and out of the frame. Give yourself a mark on the floor to ensure that you’re centred for all of your takes.

  • The sound of your self-tape must be clean.

  • Lighting for a self-tape should not be dim, however, it shouldn’t be so bright that it overpowers or washes you out. Aim to shoot during a time of natural lighting, but that alone won’t be enough. Casting directors need to be able to clearly see your face in the shot. The lighting you use should never overpower you, causing a washed-out look, or be so dim that it creates shadows on your face.

  • Your filming background should be neutral in colour, even throughout, and look good when well-lit. You can go one of two routes: Use a blank wall in your home, or purchase a professional screen if a blank wall is not available.

  • Wear a form-fitting top (since the shot will likely be tight); avoid patterns as well as colours that match the background behind you. Also, avoid colours that wash you out or match your skin tone too closely. It is important to look your very best for on-camera auditions. This is especially true for auditions for TV and film because casting directors tend to look at these types of auditions more like a finished product.

  • For the best self-tape, memorize as much of the sides as possible with the time frame you’re given. However, be sure to always keep the sides in your hand just in case you draw a blank, and also to illustrate that this isn’t necessarily a “finished product.”

  • The Slate – IF REQUIRED – should be delivered directly into the camera, state: your full name, your height, your nationality and Who you agent is

Please use these steps when making your own self-tape.

Thank you,

Head of Casting

For bookings and enquiries please email: peter@littlebigdoor.co.uk

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