How to Win Television and Film Roles with Self Tapes

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How to Win Television and Film Roles with Self Tapes

Taping Your Audition Remotely Is The Easiest Thing In The World If You Are Prepared For It.


We want to make sure you land the role of your dreams, and you can by following the roadmap below.


Things you will need


  1. A camera – every audition will need to be recorded on a digital video recording device. Whether you have a $10K Cinema camera or a used $200 smart phone, the most important thing is that you have a device that records. After that, the quality of your tape relies on your acting ability.
  2. A friend – we have seen it many times. An actor will turn in a self-tape without anyone reading with the. THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST THINGS YOU CAN DO! Find a friend, have them read lines with you. It makes the scene make sense.
  3. A blank wall – recording your audition tape against a blank wall serves a number of purposes. The top being, it declutters the audition tape. When casting directors, producers or executives watch you r audition tape, they want to focus on your read/your acting chops – not your dog running around in the background. But, if your read sucks, who knows, maybe your dog will get a call. j/k. Focus on doing what you can to make the best tape possible
  4. Good light source – this is HUGE for self-tapes. Often times talent will tape in a very poorly lit room. This is just another distraction that deters decision makers from taking your tape seriously. Can we over look these details? Sure, but your tape better be on fire!
  5. A good talent manager – above all else, you will need to get the opportunity to audition for roles. Good talent managers and agents will help you with that. If you need to learn how to land a great talent manager or agent, click the link for help pointing you in the right direction.

What to do


Here is a good at home set up.
If you are using a smartphone, make sure to turn the phone to the side and record. Tape in landscape. Any tapes recorded in portrait are IMMEDIATELY laughed at, shared around the office as we shake our heads as and ask ourselves why we signed this talent in the first place. As talent, part of your job is to know how to present yourselves for auditions. But, if you are reading this article, bravo, you are on your way to learning how to do things properly, and I salute you.

Be off book. There is nothing that says I am ready more than a talent that knows his or her lines. Typically audition turnaround times range anywhere from 24 hours to a week. If you have a week…there are NO excuses. If you have 24 hours, you should still try your best to be off book.


Here is the perfect framing in a self tape/remote audition.
Framing yourself in the video is something else you will need to get right, but we will dial that in, in another blog post

Of course, there are many other things you should be doing, but your acting coach should be on top of you maintaining the line of sight for your eyes, owning the moment, voice/pitch control, etc.

What not to do


There are a million things you should NOT be doing for self-tapes. Never hold the camera like you are taking a selfie. The camera should sit on a tabletop or a tripod. The last thing we want to see is camera shake. You are not filming an action sequence – we want to focus on you…your expressions, your pitch, your presence, your ability to deliver the lines.

Final thoughts


Like everything else out there, self tapes/remote auditions are something you will need to work on to perfect. With a little effort, you will be landing roles with your eyes closed. If you think you are ready to take on the world of television and film, give us a call. At Bolt Entertainment, we look forward to working with hard working professionals who take the time to learn the craft – and reading this blog post was a big step in the right direction.

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