Self Tape Tips
Remember the point of a self tape is for them to see and hear you as if you were in front of them at an audition. You don’t need fancy equipment to do a self tape and this can be shot on a mobile phone. Always use the back camera - forward facing cameras tend to be lower quality.
Please follow these tips below to give you the best chance of being cast for the role.
1) LANDSCAPE: Always shoot your tape Landscape, not portrait.
2) MEDIUM - CLOSE UP: It is important your framing is correct. There is no need for the casting director to see your legs or the room you are shooting in. Please see the example below for reference.
3) KEEP IT STEADY: Ideally use a tripod to keep the camera level and study. However if this is not possible, ensure whoever is filming has a steady hand.
4) READER: Unless the part is a monologue always have someone read in with you. Make sure when it is their line you are listening and reacting to them.
5) LINES LEARNED: Unless the request is last minute you should always be off script. If you have to use it, make sure it is out of shot and only used as a safety blanket to glance at. DO NOT hide your face with the paper.
6) EYE LINE: Make your reader stand just slightly to the left or right of the camera. Your lines should be fed directly back at them. This is to open your face up to the camera without looking down the lens.
7) LIGHTING AND SOUND: Film your tape in a well lit, quiet room. Ideally on a plain background.
8) LONG HAIR: Should always be tied up or put behind shoulders. Do not let it cover your face.
9) PROPS: If the script has small props in we would advice you to use them. The most important thing is that it is not distracting from the action. For example if you are talking on the phone, it is fine to actually hold a mobile. However if the script states you are playing tennis you would not want to actually run around the room. It is important you are seen and heard clearly.
10) IDENT: Begin your tape by looking at the camera and introducing yourself. “Hello I’m XXX, I am represented by Blake Close Management.” Take a beat, then begin your script.
11) SENDING: Please send your tape to us uncompressed via WeTransfer. Do not attach it to an email or upload it to YouTube.
There are usually some differences from tape to tape. For example some casting directors will also ask you to chat about your hobbies or acting experience. If you are under 16 they will usually ask for your age and height too.
Ensure you read your email carefully before filming your tape.
All scripts sent through are highly confidential and must not be shared in any way. There may be occasions where you will have to sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement) before the script is released to you.