- Dos and Don’t's in Shooting a Self-Taped Audition
- Compression Settings
- Methods of Transfer
- Using and iPhone/iPad/Mobile Device
- DO treat it exactly how you would if you were auditioning in the room
Treat this audition the same as you would if you were physically in the room with the casting director.
- DON’T use a web cam – it is unacceptable
Ideally, get a digital camcorder that fits your budget and have a friend operate the camera for you.
- DO use a backdrop
Tape in front of a solid colored curtain because the fabric provides depth. A good second option is to find a blank wall. Clutter in the background distracts from you. Wear a solid color that doesn’t blend into the backdrop.
- DON’T rely on overhead fluorescent lights
If it’s all you’ve got, you can make it work with overhead lights but they may change your appearance and often create deep shadows. In a small room, just one light can work but ideally, use two incandescent lights (bulbs with filaments). One placed off the side of the camera and pointed at your face (key light), and one placed to the opposite side of the camera a little farther away and pointed at your side (fill light). Be careful not to over-light, which will wash you out.
- DON’T do more takes than requested
Doing more than is asked could be considered presumptuous and is not “following directions” which the client takes very seriously.
- DO find a quality reader
- Reader stands behind the camera or at least directly next to it so the eyeline is right
- Reader volume should not overpower the actor
- Never show your reader on camera with you unless requested by casting
Always check the taping instructions included in the audition email. Following directions is crucial when submitting a taped audition.
Make sure that each video file is less than 40 mb. Follow these recommended codec and compression settings to ensure that your files remain under that threshold:
Quicktime (.mov) or Mpeg (.mpg, .mp4, .m4v) files: Medium-High quality, between 640 x 480 and 1280 x 720.
If file is still too large, lower the quality one level. For more detailed instructions on using each of these programs for video capture, export, and compression, see the official documentation for that program. Another good resource on this is Vimeo’s Compression Guidelines.
Do not upload your tape to a public site like YouTube or Vimeo Due to confidentiality issues, never.
We prefer (in order of preference): WeTransfer, Hightail, or Dropbox. We especially recommend WeTransfer if you wish to receive a download confirmation. It is only appropriate to send the file directly attached to the email if it is under 25MB.
Normally there is no problem with recording on a mobile device if you follow standard procedure: plain background, good reader, good lighting, and correct filename.
Horizontal/vertical positioning is the biggest issue that comes with using a mobile device for taping, see this diagram for clarity: