Many actors find themselves wanting more work. (Yes, that’s a joke – almost EVERY actor wants more work, right?) If that includes you, one way of branching out is to learn the value in a taped audition. Agents, casting directors, and producers want to see what a talent has to offer and one low budget way of seeing the most submissions is to accept an audition via email or DVD. Being live may give you a better advantage of using that natural charisma and being able to respond to direction and/or show versatility, but when you can’t walk through the doors, a taped audition is second best when done well.
Before focusing on the nuances of nailing a taped audition in order to get the live audition opportunity, we should become pros at the technical side of taping. Let’s start with what is needed in order to submit a taped audition. A short check list should include a quality video camera, a way to edit the video captured, and a tripod.
Every day new devices are put out on shelves that allow us to capture video. Some of these technologies are better than others. Phones and lower end handy video devices are likely to not have great resolution. Sure, the director may think you are a good actor, but if they can’t see who you are because the picture is grainy, they are most likely going to pass. Video capture quality is imperative to making a good impression, so be sure your image isn’t going to be pixelated or blurred when viewed.
A tripod is also necessary in order to make a professional audition video. Camera angles are important to flattering your features and capturing a shot that isn’t going to make the director sea-sick. Everyone appreciates having a friend willing to hold a camera to support your dreams, but the bottom line is that no one wants to watch a shaky scene. Tripods don’t have to be expensive or fancy, but they do have to be a part of your taped auditions!
Last, but definitely not least, is the video editing. Mac computer come standard with iMovie software to edit videos. Your PC may have video editing software on it, too. Finding the software isn’t usually the challenge. Becoming a good editor is where most talent stumble. It may take a while to learn, so start practicing now! Asking a friend to edit for you can cost you valuable time, which is everything in the casting process, so don’t rely on other people for something you have the ability to learn and do yourself. Editing may also require certain cords to attach your camera to your computer, so ask for help at your local Best Buy or Radio Shack. If your camera turns the file into a digital format for you, great, but you still have to learn how to edit together the best takes.
Most industry professionals prefer taped auditions in a Quicktime format (the extensions .mov should follow the file name). Every request will have it’s unique specifics on how the video should be edited, so be sure to follow directions!!
What challenges you most when taping yourself?