Self-Taping is a quick and easy way of auditioning your character skill. If done right, it will attract the attention of casting directors and producers, increasing the chance of you landing your dream role. So whether you’re stuck for time or need to quickly showcase your talent, here are some essential and very helpful tips on how to produce a unique and professional self-tape.
USE A SUITABLE AND HIGH QUALITY CAMERA
You don’t need to break the bank to create a great self-tape. Nowadays most smartphones are fitted with cameras with great resolution. Just make sure that both the image and sound are clear, and then you’re good to go! The camera quality is key. A video with low resolution can mean the casting director can’t see you properly. It can also poorly reflect your professionalism. But don’t panic!
You don’t need to break the bank to create a great self-tape. Nowadays most smartphones are fitted with cameras with great resolution. Just make sure that both the image and sound are clear, and then you’re good to go!
FIND APPROPIATE SPACE
Space is key. Pick a location away from all that day-to day noise. Background noise on a video can be very distracting for a viewer and it can take all the attention from those important words you speak! So find somewhere nice and quiet.
Another important part is lighting. Choose a spot where you will be clearly visible whilst filming. You might want to consider filming using the natural daylight as it is less harsh and much more flattering. Casting directors want to see your face! If you want to go down the more professional route, you could use photographic soft boxes, or (if you’re on a budget) a lamp and a white reflective screen to disperse the light evenly.
USE A BACKDROP/WHITE WALL
Another key element to consider is the background.
No one wants to see your DVD collection or what stationary you own; they want to see you and only you. Keep the focus on yourself with the camera at eye-height, against a solid-coloured wall/sheet. Preferable colours are neutrals, such as white or off-white.
THINK INSIDE THE BOX
Remember to frame your shot properly. You don’t want half your face or the top of your head missing. You want it to capture your image from the top of your head to the mid of your chest with space around your head. You also want to make sure that you don’t look straight into the camera, unless specified otherwise, to maintain the fourth-wall between you and the audience. This makes your performance more realistic and it is also the way that all professional reels are produced.
Once you are done filming you want to edit your video and cut out any unnecessary shots. You don’t want to waste a casting directors time with any long silences or needless dialogue. You want your reel to flow smoothly with good timing.
Bear in mind though, that the best reels are those filmed in one sitting, so run through beforehand to avoid too many cuts to stay clear of over-editing.
It’s the same with the aesthetics of your video. Remember- do not over-edit. This can be just as bad as not editing at all.
Last but not least- your video should also have an introductory slide at the beginning which includes your name, the role, name of the production, and your agent’s details.
Happy self-taping from Team IPM!