Top 10 Tips for Self-Tapes by Gemma Sykes at Dan Hubbard Casting

  1. Make sure you can be seen. Do a test. Check the light is good and all of your face can be seen (not half in shadow for instance).
  2. Check the camera is in focus. If there is movement required, do a test and watch it back to check whether you are in focus when you are moving and also that you are in frame throughout.
  3. The best frame is head and shoulders (fairly tight shot) so that all of your expressions can be seen.
  4. Make sure you can be heard. Do a test. Try reading a few lines from the scene to make sure your mic is picking up your voice and the sound is clear and a decent volume.
  5. Get someone to read with you off camera. In an ideal world it’s best to use someone who has some acting ability because a terrible reader can be extremely distracting and can detract from your performance. Regardless, make sure that whoever is reading with you isn’t louder than you are because this can again be very distracting.
  6. Only send 1 or 2 (max) takes of a scene unless otherwise instructed.
  7. Record your clips landscape NOT portrait if using a mobile phone.
  8. Use a site such as vimeo / Hightail / Wetransfer to upload and send the clips.
  9. Keep your clips / takes as separate files.
  10. It can be useful to Ident yourself at the beginning of the tape, either talking or by adding some text. Either way, keep it brief.

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