ReFresh Talent Agency
28 Mar 2024/ Latest News

Self - tape Do’s and Don’ts

Basic tips for shooting a strong self tape audition

Self - tape Do’s and Don’ts

The ability to self tape auditions has opened up a whole new way for casting directors to see talent for roles.  It has saved a lot of effort, drive time and stress to not always have to do the initial audition in person.

It is so important to understand the way to create a compelling self tape for an audition.  This is your first and only impression on casting.  You need to have a well put together audition and you need to show you can follow instructions.  You do not need expensive equipment or locations, it can be produced on your phone.  

Here is what you need:

  1. Good natural light.  If it cannot be produced in daylight, a decent ring light that is not too bright will do.

  2. Please find enough space to shoot full body without distracting obstructions.  A simple plain wall,  backdrop/curtain or drape will do.  No clutter in the background.

  3. Audio:  Please make sure you are clearly heard.  Project your voice.  No noises in the background like lawn mowers, helicopters, A/C units, etc…

  4. Framing:  Make sure that the frame is Landscape (Horizontal), NOT Portrait (vertical).


  1. Slate:  Close up introduction (see diagram) and full body 360 (see diagram).

    1. Make sure to follow the slate instructions!  Pay attention to details.  Some ask to introduce yourself and state your height.  Some may ask other basic intro questions.  Make sure to address all the items asked on the audition instructions.

    2. See the diagram in how NOT to frame your shot.

    3. If you do not have enough room indoors to do landscape full body 360, take a clip outside with more space (against a wall), place camera far enough away to do a 360.

  2. Any additional instructions.  Follow the instructions for the audition, sides or actions requested.  This also should be shot landscape (horizontal).  

  3. Follow instructions on how to save and name your files for submission.  Most likely it will be your first and last name so it is easy to identify your submission.

  4. If you have questions, ask your agent.  Don’t produce the audition and submit without having your agent review.

Last tip:  Try to produce your audition as soon as you get the notice.  Don’t wait until the last minute and submit right at the cut off time.  Some days things do not go as planned and you need to account for reshoots and multiple takes to get it right.  And if you wait til the last minute, you may not even have a chance if lots of other talent have submitted and casting feels they found their person.  You have better odds of being considered if you are one of the early talent seen by casting.

What a great opportunity to craft the perfect audition for yourself.  A self tape allows you to practice, take a look at how you look and sound.  You can reshoot and make adjustments.  Try different deliveries, and really perfect your audition.  Be grateful for the opportunity to audition and give it your best shot!  Now go book that project!

Ps.  If you haven’t worked on a slate video…you should.  Work on an introduction of yourself, acknowledge your representation, state your height and show profile (left), right, straight on, smile and turn 360.  You should be wearing very simple, well fitting clothing.  Minimal makeup and styling.  No distracting jewelry or patterns.  Provide a solid slate to your agent to keep in your profile.  Update it as your look changes including hair style and color changes.

Happy Shooting!
















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