We have been preaching this for years; but it is more important than ever for you to deliver your best self tape. Wendy Braun came up with this fantastic checklist for self tape success to help you deliver your best self tape every single time!
- Have I checked my sound and listened to playback?
- Have I made sure there are no dogs barking, planes or wind noises?
- Is my mic plugged into recording device and have I made sure that I sound louder than the reader?
- Have I checked my frame? Am I being shot from the chest up or closer?
- Where is my eyeline? Have I made sure I’m not looking in the lens?
- Have I set up marks if I’m speaking to more than one person?
Lighting & Landscape
- Am I well-lit without giant shadows behind me or any lighting equipment in my frame?
- If I’m shooting on a phone, is it setup horizontally (landscape mode) and not vertically?
- Does my backdrop fill the entire frame? Is it free of wrinkles (if it’s a sheet)?
Find a Good Reader
- Have I printed sides for my reader? (Or sent them if it’s digitally?)
- Have I highlighted their lines so they can easily pick up their cues?
- Have I rehearsed with them, practiced my eyeline and know they are not louder than me?
Take Time for the Slate
- Does the audition ask for a slate?
- Does the audition ask for any other information? (ie. height, special skills, location)
- Did they ask for a full body shot? Read instructions carefully and do exactly as they ask.
Audition Mindset Prep
- Have I tuned out the needs of my ego and tuned into the needs of my character?
- Have I let go of trying to book the job and instead focus on serving the story in my unique way?
- Do I need expert guidance to compete at the highest level?
- Did I double-check the formatting and labeling instructions that I’ve been given for this project?
- Did I create a proper file and send it via a file transfer service like Dropbox, WeTransfer or Hightail?
- Did I make sure to not share the details of this project publicly in any way?
Expedite your Audition and Eliminate the Extras
- Have I waited until the last minute to record? Casting happens fast. Prepare. Record. Submit.
- Am I over-thinking my audition with tons of takes? Your first three are most likely your best.
- Have I kept it clean and simple? Did I eliminate lots of props, fancy fades or special effects?
Remember to put your best effort into each self tape no matter how minor or major the role is. Keep shooting for the stars!