Friday, March 1, 2024

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 (a whole lot?), solely to by no means hear something.   Within the casting world, it’s simple to ask anybody and everybody to “ship in a tape” from wherever they’re, and weed out those you wish to convey within the casting room for considered one of their valuable audition slots.   Self taping is turning into extra of a “pre-pre-read,” and it permits casting administrators to open up a wider web, to scroll by means of the movies on their laptop or telephone at any time when they’ve time (generally the director is wanting too—wink wink), to determine whether or not an actor is nice/proper for the function after solely listening to a couple of strains (versus a number of scenes within the room).    Generally your slate is all they should hear to determine “Nope.”  

This is the reason it’s extra vital than ever so that you can be firing on all cylinders while you ship in a self tape, whether or not it’s by means of a self-submission, or by means of your agent and supervisor.   I imply you want good lighting, sound, appearing (duh), selections, be “digicam prepared,” perceive tone, be ready and memorized, have a robust standpoint, the entire deal.  It ought to be as in case you are stepping on set.   These little .mov information 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’re at auditioning, which immediately ends in how onerous they push you to get into the room.  You’re feeling me?

I’m in no way a casting director, however have been on the receiving finish of a whole lot of self-tapes, each by means of directing a couple of quick 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 recognize these “Actor Slate” issues on Actors Entry?  You may inform an terrible lot about somebody from simply having them look into digicam and say their title.  Don’t be loopy.  First impressions are all the pieces.   You both look like a pleasant, pleasant individual you wish to hang around with on set for a couple of weeks, otherwise you appear to be you strangle cats in your yard.   For enjoyable. On Sundays.  Simply be regular.

2.    Lack of Prep.   Deal with this like you’re strolling right into a display screen check.  You know the way they are saying your eyes are the home windows to your soul?  Properly, 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.  In case you aren’t related, how will you anticipate the viewer to be?  This is without doubt one of the few stuff you CAN management.  Don’t drop the ball.  Don’t give them a motive to skip over your tape.  Memorize your script, however have it in your hand.   Be so accustomed to the scene you can actually hear and hook up with the reader.    Seize the viewer by the *&*% and maintain their consideration.  It’s essential.   Crucial elements of a scene are the little moments between the strains, the place the ideas kind, the discoveries occur.   That’s when most actors look all the way down to seize their strains.   So.. no extra of that, cool? 

3.  Sizzling Mess.  Why you look so drained?   Perhaps comb your hair?   You need to appear to be you’re stepping onto set—hair, make-up, wardrobe, the entire deal.   Not that you’re simply getting back from an all night time bender along with your 80 yr previous roommate.   Get some relaxation, placed on some basis (you too, guys), put on garments that suit you and colours that flatter you.  It issues.   At all times keep in mind that another person will probably be placing in additional effort than you, will probably be hitting up Drybar the second it opens, and will probably be going to the Mac retailer to seek 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 to be you murdered your finest good friend.    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.   Search for 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 digicam.  Please?  Purchase a $25 greenback one on Amazon and plug it into your iphone.  Good sound fixes quite a lot of issues.  Unhealthy sound makes a pleasant wanting video unwatchable.   I do know your mother/roommate/sister/finest good friend was an additional on All My Kids 10 years in the past, but when they’re standing proper subsequent to the digicam, they should chill with the shouting.   The main focus 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.  Preserve it easy.  A pleasant medium shot, chest or shoulders up, with you within the middle, a bit of room above your head.  

6.  Low cost issues it’s essential have.   Smooth field lighting, lavalier microphone, tripod, iphone tripod adaptor clip, grey or blue sheet for a backdrop, modifying software program (iMovie or Closing Minimize Professional), a good friend who by no means will get uninterested in studying with you, and a few good pomade.

Consider it this fashion: A breakdown goes out for a small scene in a giant 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’re watching 100 tapes of individuals saying the SAME LINES.   50 received’t be memorized sufficient, 10 can have unhealthy lighting, 20 unhealthy sound, 15 will appear to be they simply stepped out of a hurricane, and 5 can have it memorized, coached, professionally lit, have nice sound, BE RIGHT FOR IT,and provides the casting director/producer/administrators no selection however to rent you.     The manufacturing worth will probably be terrific, and folks will all wish 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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