Representing Professional Actors and Print Talent in the Southeast
  
  

Taped Auditions

 Requirements for Taped Auditions

Whenever possible, we save you the time and expense of traveling to first round auditions by submitting a taped audition. Many roles are cast directly off of tape so it is important for talent to submit high quality taped auditions. Casting Directors (CDs) need to SEE and HEAR the actor well in order to FEEL the truth in their performance. Please follow the instructions below when taping your auditions.

1. WARDROBE & PROPS:  Avoid wearing logos or busy patterns on clothing. Bright solid colors work best. Generally, costumes should not be used, but some CDs find a doctor’s lab coat or soldier’s military uniform acceptable. A period piece may dictate conservative dress. When in doubt choose simple neutral clothing that shows your body type. Some CDs find it acceptable to use props like a cell phone during the audition. However, make sure that your audition does not become a scene about the prop(s).

2. LIGHTING:  The lighting must be good enough to see the color of the actor’s eyes. Do not rely on overhead fluorescent lights. If that’s all you have, you can make it work with overhead lights; but be aware that overhead lights create deep shadows on your face which can make you look older or change your appearance completely. Also, fluorescent lights tend to make things look more yellowish-orange. Ideally, use two incandescent lights (bulbs with filaments). One as a key light, set off the side of the camera and pointed at your face, and one as a fill light, set to the opposite side of the camera a little farther away and pointed at your side. Just be careful to not over-light as you could become washed-out.

3. BACKGROUND:  Film your audition in front of a well-lit, neutral background. Do not film outdoors. Ideally, you should perform in front of a solid colored curtain or backdrop because the waves in the fabric provide depth. Use a heavy muslin fabric or light weight canvas in blue, green or tan for your backdrop. A good second option is to find a blank wall. Too much clutter in the background can distract from your performance. Also, make sure that you wear a color that neither blends into, nor contrasts with the color of your backdrop.

4. SOUND:  Turn off phones, radios, fans, AC units and loud appliances. Close windows to reduce unwanted noise like traffic, neighbors, or pets. We do not want anything to take attention away from your audition. Invest in a good quality microphone.

5. READER:  Choose a quality reader; an actor is best. The reader should read opposite from the actor and stand behind the camera or at least directly next to it to ensure that the actor is performing towards the camera. Never, unless the CD specifically requests it, should the reader appear on camera with the actor. The reader should read in a low tone so as to not overpower the actor. Have the reader stand further back from the camera if they read too loud. This is not the reader’s audition and we do not want anyone to take attention away from the actor.

6. CAMERA & MODE: Film with a HD camera – 1080p with a tripod. Some smart phones record in HD 1080p. If this is the only option you can use, film in landscape mode w/ tripod or something to keep it stable. Ideally, get a camera that fits your budget and have a friend operate it for you.

7. FRAMING:  The best framing is from the shoulders up. CDs really want to see the actor’s eyes –where the truth of the role lies. For most taped auditions, you should stand to keep your energy up. There are some exceptions…for example, if your character is driving in the scene, or if the scene specifically instructs the actor to sit. SEE CD SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS for proper slate & if a full body shot is needed.

8. CAMERA DIRECTION:  When recording the audition, the actor should look at the reader, rather than directly into the camera lens. There are exceptions: for instance, if the audition is for a “News Reporter” it would be appropriate for the actor to look directly into the camera. However, as a general rule, eye contact with the reader works best. If the actor is talking to more than one person in the scene, the actor should make sure that their eyes appear to move from person to person.

9. SLATE: Actors should slate at the END of their audition, unless otherwise instructed. Some casting directors are currently requesting NO SLATE at all. Please read taping instructions carefully for each audition. The actor must slate with their name, agency, role and height; then pull the camera back for a full body shot. Also if the actor goes from their performance straight into the slate, they should pause for a few seconds between each to allow some separation. Let the audition play out in its entirety. It helps if the camera stays on the actor for a few seconds after the audition to make sure the CDs see reactions or something else that an actor may be doing near the end of the audition, particularly if the reader has additional lines after the actor’s last line. Do not cut the video as soon as the last line is out of the actor’s mouth. Do not add a text slate to your audition.

10. FORMAT AND DELIVERY: Files must be in in either.mov, wmp, or mp4 format. Whenever possible keep the file size 50 MB to allow faster download for your agents and the CDs. Name your audition as follows unless otherwise specified:

ActorsFirstName.ActorsLastName.CharacterName.AgencyAbbreviation.extension

Do not upload any audition videos to any public site for any reason. Confidentiality is taken very seriously.  Send us your audition file(s) using a free service such as www.hightail.com.