How to Record a Self-Taped Interview
by eev-hastings Aug 26, 2022 Views (490)
Self-tapes, which performers can create from their homes, are the new norm in the entertainment industry for video auditions. Actors seeking acting jobs with video production services can audition without necessarily going into offices through self-tape auditions.

The last few years have seen a landslide shift in the casting process, with actors being asked more often now to “self-tape” their interviews and send them by e-mail directly to the casting office or production team. Every other private coaching session I run is now auditions on tape, where I help my clients capture their absolute best performances.

This change is exciting since it allows you to apply for employment even when you're out of town. Outside the "business" cocoon, you can be anywhere on the globe and still attend auditions. However, it is also true that certain offices will still insist on seeing you in person, so be ready to board a ticket to apply for that position!

For some advice and detailed directions on creating your own self-tape, continue reading.

How Do Self-Tapes Work?

An actor records and films a self-tape as part of their audition process. Usually, a performer may act out a scene or a monologue at a casting director's request in the hopes of getting a particular commercial, movie, or TV job. Casting directors have always demanded that actors appear in person for auditions, particularly in big cities like New York or Los Angeles. However, it is becoming more common in the contemporary entertainment sector for both aspiring actors and musicians to submit self-taped for casting calls.

Although certain acting studios might provide self-taping services, it is also common to make a self-tape at home in order to acquire your ideal job in Hollywood.

6 Tips on How to Make a Self-Tape: 

You should adhere to a few industry norms for self-taping if you want to improve your chances of getting a callback. Make the best self-tape by using these helpful suggestions.

1. Recall the sides. Casting directors might require you to hold your sides—the section of the script you're reading for an audition—in the audition room, but memorizing your lines for a self-tape makes you appear more competent. By deviating from the script, you may concentrate on truly inhabiting the character rather than stressing over where you left off on the page.
2. Compose and illuminate the shot. If the casting director doesn't specify otherwise, always hold your video camera horizontally rather than vertically for a nice self-tape, whether you're using a mobile phone, DSLR camera, or other high-quality equipment. Casting directors can notice your facial reactions just like an audience by framing the camera as a close-up that focuses on the top third of your body. Set the camera so that your face is in the middle of the image, just like in a standard headshot. Choose a position for your self-tape that makes the most of the available natural light. If you don't have access to natural light, order a lighting kit or a ring light. For a more lasting tryout, spend money on studio lighting such as a softbox light.
3. Designate a search area. Mark the walls at eye level on either side of the camera with painter's tape. You will refer to these markings whenever you refer to another character or an item. The markers need to be level with your eyeline unless your sides are telling you to gaze up or down at someone or something. They ought to be directly in front of, and either to the right or left of, the lens. It may be difficult for the casting director to read your facial emotions if you set your markers too far to either side of the camera.
4. Make use of plain backgrounds. For your self-tape, choose a plain grey or white background to take out any potential outside distractions that can make it difficult for the casting director to concentrate on your performance.
5. Educate your reader. You will need a reader present to narrate the lines for the other characters in the script, unless you are filming a monologue. Any pertinent background information on their character that you have obtained from the outside should be given to them (especially if your reader is not another actor or your acting coach). If they pronounce their words with intonation and meaning, you'll be able to respond to them more honestly.
You should be the only person on camera because it's your audition, so ask your reader to take a seat or stand to the side. Ask your reader to stand squarely in front of the camera if, throughout your performance, you'd want to focus on them rather than the marks on the wall.
6. Put on a plain color. For your self-tape, dress in neutral, unbranded, solid-colored attire. Make sure your attire does not match the background or has bold prints because these can distract because your body language won't be apparent.

Creating Self-Tape

For the audition procedure meant for a video production company, having a top-notch self-tape is necessary. To record your self-tape at home, simply follow these step-by-step directions.

1. Examine the sides and arrows.. Before starting your self-tape, carefully read your script and any casting director's instructions. Make use of whatever script information you find to enhance your performance. You can choose your acting style wisely by using the environment, time of day, and character descriptions.
2. Recall your lines. To be present while you tape with your reader, review the script and learn your lines.
3.Set up your home recording studio. Establish a plain background. To set up the ideal frame and capture the upper third of your body, mount your camera on a home tripod. Make a mark on the wall so you can always face the same direction when chatting to the other characters.
4. Take away the ambience noise. To get the finest sound quality possible, keep background noise to a minimum in the area where you're self-taping. Any windows should be closed to keep outside noise from entering the room. If your environment is really noisy, think about buying an external microphone to hook up to your recording device.

Find a reading partner. Ask a friend or acquaintance to read the opposite sides of your screenplay for your self-tape. If there are many characters for the reader to play, use different colours to highlight their lines.

Make a tape of it. Record your tape by following the self-tape casting call guidelines. If there are any unique guidelines regarding how to slate for this specific role, abide by them. If necessary, take several recordings.

7. Video editing Clean up your best take with at-home editing software to make the start and end of the video appear seamless. Include the entire take; do not combine numerous ones. Include any editing features that your casting director would have asked for, such as a title card.

8. Send the tape in. Follow the directions that the casting director provided to submit your taped audition. Make sure your video file is not too large to share by saving it as an.mp4 extension. If the file is too big to send through the submission site, compress it.

The Bottom Line: 

Although the "how" of your job interview may change, the objective will never change: Present the best version of yourself to the interviewer by emphasizing your familiarity with the position and the firm, as well as your ability to articulate your qualifications in concise responses and anecdotes. It is possible for you to succeed!

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