Tuesday, November 22, 2022
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That is Why Your Self Tapes Suck

I’ve had many actors ebook television and movie jobs off of self tapes.   I’ve had much more actors ship in dozens of tapes (tons of?), solely to by no means hear something.   Within the casting world, it’s straightforward to ask anybody and everybody to “ship in a tape” from wherever they’re, and weed out those you need to convey within the casting room for certainly one of their valuable audition slots.   Self taping is changing into extra of a “pre-pre-read,” and it permits casting administrators to open up a wider internet, to scroll by way of the movies on their laptop or telephone each time they’ve time (generally the director is trying too—wink wink), to resolve whether or not an actor is nice/proper for the function after solely listening to a number of strains (versus a number of scenes within the room).    Typically your slate is all they should hear to resolve “Nope.”  

For this reason it’s extra essential than ever so that you can be firing on all cylinders once you ship in a self tape, whether or not it’s by way of a self-submission, or by way of your agent and supervisor.   I imply you want good lighting, sound, appearing (duh), selections, be “digital camera prepared,” perceive tone, be ready and memorized, have a robust standpoint, the entire deal.  It ought to be as if you’re stepping on set.   These little .mov recordsdata are all the pieces.  Get. Good. At. It.  Don’t put mediocre work out into the world.  Deal with each tape prefer it’s being seen by Martin Scorsese. Severely.   ESPECIALLY in case your brokers and managers are watching it.  The way you do in your self tape reveals them how good/unhealthy you might be at auditioning, which immediately leads to how laborious they push you to get into the room.  You are feeling me?

I’m not at all a casting director, however have been on the receiving finish of tons of of self-tapes, each by way of directing a number of brief movies, asking actors to indicate me their self tapes, being a coach all these years, and asking brokers and managers their ideas.    Let’s repair this, we could?

High causes your self tapes suck:

1.  The Slate From Hell.   You understand these “Actor Slate” issues on Actors Entry?  You possibly can inform an terrible lot about somebody from simply having them look into digital camera and say their title.  Don’t be loopy.  First impressions are all the pieces.   You both look like a pleasant, pleasant individual you need to hang around with on set for a number of weeks, otherwise you appear like you strangle cats in your yard.   For enjoyable. On Sundays.  Simply be regular.

2.    Lack of Prep.   Deal with this like you might be strolling right into a display screen check.  You know the way they are saying your eyes are the home windows to your soul?  Effectively, your eyeLIDS are home windows to… properly, sucking (oh snap!).  The extra you look down at your script, the extra you set up a wall, and the extra the viewer drops out.  When you aren’t linked, how are you going to anticipate the viewer to be?  This is likely one of the few belongings you CAN management.  Don’t drop the ball.  Don’t give them a purpose to skip over your tape.  Memorize your script, however have it in your hand.   Be so aware of the scene you can actually pay attention and hook up with the reader.    Seize the viewer by the *&*% and maintain their consideration.  It’s essential.   A very powerful elements of a scene are the little moments between the strains, the place the ideas type, the discoveries occur.   That’s when most actors look right down to seize their strains.   So.. no extra of that, cool? 

3.  Sizzling Mess.  Why you look so drained?   Perhaps comb your hair?   It’s best to appear like you might be stepping onto set—hair, make-up, wardrobe, the entire deal.   Not that you’re simply coming back from an all night time bender along with your 80 12 months outdated roommate.   Get some relaxation, placed on some basis (you too, guys), put on garments that fit your needs and colours that flatter you.  It issues.   At all times keep in mind that another person might be placing in additional effort than you, might be hitting up Drybar the second it opens, and might be going to the Mac retailer to search out some “male basis.” (simply me?)

4.     Blair Witch Lighting.   Chill with the overhead lighting, the iphone flashlight lighting, and all the pieces else that makes you appear like you murdered your finest buddy.    A correctly lit tape makes the casting director WANT to observe you, as a result of it lights up your eyes, flatters you, offers you dimension, and takes out all of these loopy shadows.   Lookup 3 level lighting on Youtube.   Mess around with it.   

5.  Your Reader is Loud and Sucks.   Love you, imply it.   You must have a lavalier microphone that sticks onto your shirt and plugs into your digital camera.  Please?  Purchase a $25 greenback one on Amazon and plug it into your iphone.  Good sound fixes quite a lot of issues.  Dangerous sound makes a pleasant trying video unwatchable.   I do know your mother/roommate/sister/finest buddy was an additional on All My Youngsters 10 years in the past, but when they’re standing proper subsequent to the digital camera, they should chill with the shouting.   The main target ought to be YOU, your ACTING, your CONNECTION, your EYES, not the wild animal that you’re studying with.  

6.  Handmaid’s Story Framing.  You know the way they shoot actors on Handmaid’s Story, and put their closeup within the decrease left nook of the display screen?  Superior on that present.  So good. So unhealthy in your tape.  So unhealthy.  Hold it easy.  A pleasant medium shot, chest or shoulders up, with you within the heart, just a little room above your head.  

6.  Low cost issues you could have.   Delicate field lighting, lavalier microphone, tripod, iphone tripod adaptor clip, grey or blue sheet for a backdrop, enhancing software program (iMovie or Last Lower Professional), a buddy who by no means will get uninterested in studying with you, and a few good pomade.

Consider it this manner: A breakdown goes out for a small scene in an enormous movie.   Each agent and supervisor on the town submits their shoppers for it.    Let’s say they obtain 2,000 submissions.   Of these they ask 100 actors to ship in a self tape.  Now change sides and picture you’re the casting director.  Let’s say you might be watching 100 tapes of individuals saying the SAME LINES.   50 gained’t be memorized sufficient, 10 could have unhealthy lighting, 20 unhealthy sound, 15 will appear like they only stepped out of a hurricane, and 5 could have it memorized, coached, professionally lit, have nice sound, BE RIGHT FOR IT,and provides the casting director/producer/administrators no alternative however to rent you.     The manufacturing worth might be terrific, and folks will all need to watch your tape.  

See what I’m saying? Now don’t go sending me emails saying how the “Stranger Issues” man despatched in a self tape whereas he was sick in mattress. Kay?   



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