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SELF TAPING - How to do it!

We get a huge number of self tapes through Bay of Plenty Actors Studio and here's some tips below to create a fantastic self tape!

  1. Utilise a smartphone or tablet such as an iPhone or iPad, common devices. Set it up on a book or invest in a budget-friendly tripod (available for $20 on Amazon) along with an iPhone clip. After recording, conveniently email the file directly from the phone instead of resorting to platforms like WeTransfer or Hightail. The process couldn't be simpler.

  2. iPhone should always be landscape not horizontal.

  3. Opt for a neutral backdrop, preferably a wall, or acquire an inexpensive gray or blue bed sheet to pin on the wall. Keep the setting simple and free of clutter—no one needs a glimpse of your weird doll collection in the background.

  4. Select a quiet room for recording. Turn off the TV, silence your phone, request your roommate to refrain from singing, and close the windows. External noises like car alarms and sirens can significantly detract from the quality of your self-tape.

  5. Pay careful attention to lighting. Avoid overhead lighting, as it can cast strong shadows under your eyes and chin. Opt for natural light, or if your space is dim, purchase affordable clip-on lights from your local hardware store. Position the lights slightly above eye level on either side of the camera, using daytime fluorescent bulbs for optimal results. Tungsten bulbs should be avoided, as they create a less appealing "candlelight" effect. The key is to ensure that your eyes are well-lit and in focus. Natural light is great.

  6. Secure a proficient reader. A subpar or overly loud reader can significantly impact the quality of your audition tape. Ensure the reader speaks at a lower volume than you, as they will be situated next to the camera. This balance ensures that the voices complement each other. Additionally, instruct the reader not to include stage directions during the reading.

  7. Never read the direction in a self tape - only the dialogue.

  8. Thoroughly review the slate instructions. Pay close attention to any specific requests from the casting director, such as a full-body shot or a tight close-up with profiles. Read the initial email carefully for any specific instructions. If the submission method is through YouTube or Vimeo, ensure it's a private link. If using iMovie for editing, you can directly send the video to Vimeo or YouTube from the application.

  9. Take Self Taping Workshop - sign up with BOPAS and we will let you know when our next self taping workshop is!

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