SELF TAPE AUDITION GUIDANCE

Written by Majestic on 26th February 2023 

Self Taping is becoming increasing popular in the industry. Simply, it is where you do an audition but on a screen (audition to camera) in your own time and ideally with your own equipment, at home or at a studio. It’s become its own style of audition and should be looked at from a different angle. You are creating a piece of work. An idea | A conversation | A moment.

So when you do a SELF TAPE always look off camera as you will notice in TV they never look directly to the camera lense. 

When you do a SLATE, always look straight to camera and say what is promoted from us in email. (Will always be different) An example: An actor’s slate contains important identifying details, such as their name, height, location and agency representation.

Please ensure head and shoulders and landscape filming. (Unless stated otherwise) Video must ALWAYS be below 80mb and sent via wetransfer to your agency booker.

FILMING YOUR SELF-TAPE

When filming your self-tape, consider the following:

Your eye line should be close to the camera as they want to see both sides of your face. When doing self-tapes, framing is so important. Your camera needs to be around eye level. If it’s too low or too high, it’s not going to look right. Your eyeline to the reader or imaginary person needs to be not too far off the camera. When doing actual dialogue, it needs to be somewhere the viewer can still see your face well.

  • If you’re using a reader, make sure they aren’t too loud.
  • Don’t go too far from the camera (unless you have an external microphone).
  • Frame in a mid-close shot unless requested otherwise (mid-close shot means seeing from your chest to the top of your head).
  • Sit or stand depending on what feels comfortable/appropriate for the scene.
  • Don’t do too many takes – If you can’t get it in three takes, take some time to pause and then then try again
  • It’s easier said than done but don’t overthink it!
  • Setting up to film… Ensure that background noise is kept to a minimum and that the camera is at your eye-level. Your light source should be in front of you and not in the shot – don’t sit with a window behind you as it can put you in shadow.
  • Try to find a plain background to film against – we find that grey, white or black works best.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TAKE

When you send your self-tape, how do you choose which take to send? Give yourself a break, then come back and watch your takes to decide.

Which one interested you the most? Which one surprised you? That might be the one to send. The one that’s usually the best, is the one where you aren’t suddenly worrying too much about it because you get drawn into the story – that’s the one.

ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR SELF-TAPE IS LABELLED AND RESIZED TO 80MB OR BELOW

This is so important, you really do need to label. We will always guide you what to label your tape, usually label it with your name, the role and the project, so the casting directors can file you correctly.

From experience, it is always worth testing out your self-tape by sending it to yourself to check its labelled correctly, as sometimes that can get lost between naming the file on your device and sending via WeTransfer. Even when you’ve labelled it on your phone, send it to your computer and check that it comes in labelled and hasn’t gone back to the default file name. This can happen, which becomes frustrating. If it has, relabel it on your desktop and send it off again.

PLEASE PLEASE Don’t leave filming your self-tape to the last minute.


Try to film as soon as you reasonably can to give yourself time to fix any problems. Always try to be off book. We know sometimes it can be hard, especially if you’ve been given a very short amount of time to prepare, but often the casting director will be eager to see audition tapes from the moment the first one is submitted, partly to picture you in the role and you never know they may have found what they want sooner (which does happen, specially when they have a fast turn around).
Unfortunately, the last few minutes before the deadline is when a lot of the self tape auditions will be sent back to us, which is not practical, we always advise to send them in earlier, this way we as your agent can review them and if need be ask you to retake with feedback and also you’ll have a better chance of standing out and will make the casting director (or their assistants) job a lot easier, please TRUST us on this, we have been doing this for a very long time.

Make sure you read the instructions you’ve been sent.


Sometimes these can be easy to miss, so it’s worth double-checking everything before you start filming. Something we come across a lot is a small error, like filming in portrait when we’ve asked for it to be filmed in landscape, this can cause quite a lot of additional work for the casting director or their assistant and sometimes they will choose not even to view it as you have not listened to their instructions. Hence, we at Majestic try to guide you as much as we can, we also do not have the time to resize and label your self tapes. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to view your tape and give yourself the best possible chance. During the self-tape auditions/castings they’re going to be incredibly busy – so giving us and them more work to do isn’t ideal!

More to come….