This is the learning hub for the agency where we will share advice and tips on lots of aspects of the industry including how to self-tape and tips on castings. It is also where you will find details of forthcoming headshot, show reel sessions, acting classes and other events that the agency is running.
How to self-tape
Introduce yourself to the camera stating your name, if a child, your age, and your agency name Spotted Talent Agency.
You can film with a camera or phone but position the camera horizontally rather than vertically when taking the film.
Film in a well-lit and quiet room, preferably in front of a neutral backdrop (white, blue, grey colours are all acceptable).
Learn your lines. This might be an obvious one, but a lot of actors think that it’s alright to read from the script in the self-tape and then be off book if they get asked to come in for an audition. Best to learn the lines straight away and be comfortable with the material.
Find someone to read the other roles. Ideally another actor/actress, but your mother, brother, grandmother will be fine too. Try coaching them a little bit before filming the scene, so they can give you the right cues to strengthen your performance.
Having your friend give you the lines over Skype is best avoided, as it can sound like you’re interacting with a robot.
Good sound is vital. If you can’t get a clip-on mic position yourself close enough to the camera/phone to get clean, crystal clear sound. Do several takes in different positions before you start filming the self-tape and pick the best one. Self-tapes with bad sound are unlikely to be taken seriously, merely because it’s hard to understand how you are delivering your lines and therefore distracting from your performance.
Carefully consider what kind of role you are taping for. Is she a high-flying businesswoman? Dress to impress. Show the casting director that you have thought about the character, their background and current situation.
Self-tapes are a way to see how you interpret the scene. If no directions are given, read through the scene several times out loud and try different approaches. Most casting breakdowns will provide a synopsis and a character description.
The casting director has asked for an ‘About me’ video what should I talk about?
About Me videos are a great way for the casting director, director and producer to get to know you as a person, rather than you as a character.
The casting brief will usually give some instructions, such as “tell me a funny story” or “when was the last time something truly moved you”. Try following the instructions as closely as possible in no more than 2 minutes, unless otherwise specified.
If no instructions have been given, introduce yourself (“Hello, I’m Joe Smith, I’m a half American half British actor living in London.”) and talk about something that doesn’t have anything to do with acting. The casting director will already have your CV and your showreel now they want to know more about you as a person. Tell me about your last trip, about a hobby or about a peculiar outlook you have on life.
Here is a good video reference guide provided by Equity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzWxlQ8vTSw