Self-Tape Tips to Nail Your Hollywood Film Auditions
When it comes to nailing the perfect self-tape for Hollywood Film Auditions, knowing the right steps for success is essential. Whether it’s having the right lighting or choosing the best reader, getting your self-tape on point is key to nailing your Hollywood auditions. Check out these 5 tips for the perfect self-tape and book your next Hollywood film audition.
Step 1: “Who Framed …” Your Self-tape
One of the key factors in whether a casting director will make it through your self-tape starts with the technicalities of it. Whether your shooting on your iPhone or video camera, you should always have a horizontal frame. The focus of the camera should be at the center of your chest and slightly above the top of your head.
Step 2: “All of the Lights”
The next big technical factor?… “All of the Lights”… Well some of them to be exact. There is nothing a casting director dislikes more than a poorly lit audition. That’s why it’s always best to shoot when there is natural light. You should never have lighting that overpowers you or cast shadows in the back. While having natural light is ideal, it is not entirely reliable when the weather is less than predictable. That’s why it is it is also important to have two additional light sources: a key light (from the front) and a fill light (from the side). Ensuring these steps are followed lay the foundation for a successful self-tape audition.
Step 3: “Ready Reader One”
You should always have a reader when filming any self-tape scene. Aside from finding the perfect scene partner, you should ensure your reader is off-camera but still close enough to be heard and positioned in the direction of your eye-line which should never be directed at the camera. While your reader should not take away from the scene, being the opposite gender of who they are reading for is perfectly fine as long as they read the scene at a maintained pace that does not hinder your performance.
Step 4: “The Never-ending Story”…About being off book
It is the story we have all heard a thousand times in various ways. Being off-book! While not everyone is a whiz at last minute memorization, you should always do your best to be as off-book as possible. Casting directors do not want to see actors reading, they want to see actors living and breathing the moment. When it comes to the perfect self-tape, knowing your lines is like knowing your ABC’s.
Step 5: Fashion Forward
Dressing the part is crucial in selling the role. While your acting skills are what drives the game home, how you present yourself at the moment is pivotal. If you happen to be filming a self-tape in the comfort of your home, leave your pajamas for bedtime. That means, whether you are playing the role of a math student in their best sweater vest or a jock amping up the team for the big game in your varsity blues, you should always dress for success. It is best to avoid clothing with bold patterns that can be distracting. For women and young girls, makeup should be TV natural (avoid dark lipstick and heavy liner) and hair should be styled to the role. For men and young boys, the translucent powder can go a long way to avoid camera sheen and nicely styled hair is equally important.