Video auditions are IMPORTANT and getting MORE IMPORTANT all the time.
That’s why we offer taping services at the Actorsite Awesome Acting Club…our SELF-TAPE STUDIO is FREE TO USE for MEMBERS! Or, your coach can use it for a small fee…
Shooting your VIDEO AUDITION:
- BEFORE YOU TAPE YOUR AUDITION, BE SURE TO PRACTICE YOUR SCENE AT LEAST 50 TIMES OUT LOUD! If your child is a slacker and doesn’t want to practice a scene many times, they might be happier doing something else…repetition is the key to success in acting and in life.
- All of this preparation won’t help if you suck at your acting, so BE SURE TO PRACTICE IT OUT LOUD at least 50 times. Most scenes are just one to three minutes, so that means that an hour of prep will help you ROCK YOUR AUDITION! PREPARATIONS is the MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT!
- GET COACHING AHEAD OF TIME, so you can absorb it and practice using the coaching suggestions!
- READ THE DIRECTIONS TWICE! As any carpenter will tell you, “MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE” and you’ll be successful!
1. BACKGROUND: Keep a simple background but DON’T USE WHITE unless you stand at least 4 or 5 feet away from the background. In fact, it’s best to be 4 or 5 feet in front of any background, so you are separate and it helps eliminate shadows. Automatic cameras like shades of blue and gray, but browns are great too! Keep it simple and not too busy, but not white if possible.
2. CAMERA: Use your IPHONE or SAMSUNG phone, or a suitable HD Camera. The subject should be close to the phone for good sound, about 3 feet or so. Make sure you are in a room with curtains and carpet for better sound, they keep the room noise down. Don’t be 4 or more feet away, as the sound will be lost. Remember, on a film or TV set, the sound recorder needs you to speak loud enough to record, don’t swallow your words thinking you are being emotional. Emotions are expressed, not suppressed in film/TV. If you use a camera, be sure you are close for good sound or use a separate microphone. I like the phones better because they have super microphones.
3. TRIPOD: Use a SELFIE STAND on a table or mount on a tripod. Tons of these at amazon.com . They are cheap and very effective.
4. LIGHTING: Use a huge window if you have one—no direct sunlight, only reflected light, or use a SOFT light source like the 5 head lamp at TARGET. Put 100 W CFL lamps in it and you have a super light source. Place it behind the phone/camera so it lights the face from the front, not the side. Or, if you wish you can order a softbox set like those shown here:
5. Frame your audition in a head and shoulders shot, unless directed otherwise. Make sure you don’t leave a lot of space at the top of the frame. The top of the head should be close to the top of the frame.
6. Go right into your scene at the beginning. No photos, no title, etc. Go into your scene. Don’t try to be cute, it’s your PERFORMANCE they want to see, not a photo montage or other time wasting items.
7. The READER should stand 3-4 or more feet BEHIND the camera, so your eye line as you read with the reader is good. The reader should NOT be closer to the camera than the Actor, because their voice will be too loud. Actor should look at the READER for the audition, and at the camera for the SLATE. You should be able to see the actor full face but not looking into the camera, but at the reader. Don’t look at the camera during the audition, only in the slate, unless, of course, the casting instructions say otherwise.
8. When you slate, speak slowly and clearly. Follow the directions on what they want, every slate is different. Usually they want NAME, CONTACT INFORMATION, HEIGHT, CONTACT INFO and sometimes they request other information. If they want a full length shot in the slate, it’s best to do a full length shot unless they ask you to scan the body up and down quickly! If you want to put a slate card with your contact information, this is when you put it up. Some auditions, they want you to hold a paper with your info in the video, make sure it is clearly written and do a close of up of it.
9. NAME YOUR VIDEO: TITLE-ROLE-YOUR NAME. For instance, if the ROLE is SAM and your name is SUZY SMITH and the project is call ICEMAN, name your video ICEMAN-SAM-SUZYSMITH.m4p. Use abbreviations if the title is too long.
10. If you are uploading or emailing, be sure to include your CONTACT INFORMATION in all correspondence. That would include your PERSONAL CONTACT if you are not represented, and your AGENT and MANAGER if the tape is for them. If it’s a personal submission like on Backstage or LACASTING, most agents and managers don’t want their info listed, so put your personal information. They can’t hire you if they can’t find you. You would be surprised to see the fantastic audition videos sent in without any contact info.
11. Casting likes uploads to sites where they can download the video if they like your performance and send it to the producers with their other videos. So if it isn’t on ECOCAST, then you can use DROPBOX or HIGHTAIL or GOOGLE DRIVE. You can post a comment if you have good luck with other services. I personally like YOUTUBE if you just want to view videos, and you can send the link.
12. MOST IMPORTANTLY: FOLLOW THE VIDEO AUDITION INSTRUCTIONS YOU GET FROM THE CASTING OFFICE! It’s so important that you FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. The advice I give here is general advice, but SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS SHOULD BE FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER!
SUPER! NOW ROCK YOUR VIDEO AUDITIONS!
Here’s a funny take on Video Auditions from BACKSTAGE.COM!
JOIN US FOR ONLINE OR LIVE CLASSES AT THE ACTORSITE AWESOME ACTING CLUB!
All the best,
COACH JACK TURNBULL