Instructions for putting yourself on tape:
To send in a self taped audition, please follow these guidelines.
1. Check With Us First: In most cases, you’re not going to know how we are submitting talent. We can only send in taped reads outside of the office if the client is accepting them electronically; if we have to submit a DVD or miniDV, then it has to be done in the office. There is almost no option to tape an audition in place of a live audition with a client. If you would like to self tape, always ask before doing so.
2. Record to Quicktime: Digital video cameras only – sorry, a webcam doesn’t cut it, but most handhelds are fine. Record in WIDESCREEN… most programs allow you to record to the computer and then convert to Quicktime (which is what we do.) You will most likely NEED some sort of software to do this, just read the manual and find out how to compress to Quicktime (.mov) – if you can’t figure it out, call tech support. We use a Mac here with iMovie, so we can only answer questions that pertain to that program. Make sure to start close up and say your NAME, HOUGHTON TALENT, and ROLE. Then, pull back for a full body shot and say your NAME and HEIGHT. Unless the script calls for it, DO NOT read directly to camera.
3.Compress the File: Raw footage makes for HUGE files, so in order to send them out you need to compress them. The majority of our auditions are compressed to a size of 240 x 320 and are 12-15 fps (frames per second.) There are other options for compression, but these are the most important and usually result in a file that’s small enough to email by itself. For auditions that come from Fincannon Casting, the size is a tad different — 680 x 720 and 15 fps — you need to make sure the settings preserve the widescreen aspect ratio with a letterbox so that the video isn’t stretched vertically to fit those settings. This usually results in a larger file.
4. Name the File: Name the file Role_FirstName_LastName.mov – for example, an audition for the role of “Agent” would be: Agent_Chase_Paris.mov The only exception to this (at the moment) is Army Wives, which would be FirstName.LastName.Role.HT.mov — example, Chase.Paris.Agent.HT.mov Naming the file saves us a lot of time!
5. Send the File to Us: In order to send the file, it needs to be under 10 megabytes, otherwise it takes forever to send. If the file is too big, you can use www.yousendit.com (a free sharing site) and upload it there. It will notify me through email and I can then go download it. The file then can be up to 100 megabytes, much larger than anything you should be sending; DO NOT check any of the boxes with sending options, just hit send and it’ll be free. When you send the file, make sure the subject is Audition – Project Title – Role and then your name in the body of the email. We don’t always recognize who you are by your email address.
6. Make Sure All Websites are Updated: This is VERY important because when we send an electronic audition, we’re usually sending an electronic headshot and resume. If you haven’t updated it in 6-12 months, that’s not going to look good. Make sure you have up to date headshots and resumes on all of the websites and that all possible media is up there. If you have headshots that are more than 2-3 years old on any site, it’s time to upload more (and if you haven’t TAKEN new headshots in that time frame, it’s time to make an appointment!)
If you follow these simple rules you should have no problem sending in your auditions. Remember, this is a luxury and not always a possibility. So, always ask BEFORE you send in an audition or you might be wasting our time and yours. As always, if you have questions please let me know.