Skip links

The good the bad and the ugly of Self Taping

Self Taping is here to stay. Like it or hate it!

The best part of self taping is that it puts you, the actor in control. You control the background, the position of the character (are you standing, sitting etc?), the lighting, the sound, the direction of performance, and finally the edit.

What you don’t get is to create the relationship between you and the Casting Director, and hence miss the opportunity to be directed by the CD in the way that he/ she has been briefed by the director.

So, speaking about the good. Self taping gives you the opportunity to give YOUR version of the character. 

But please be aware this is not just about you learning the lines and putting a camera in front of you with your microphone turned on. 

It means you have to KNOW your character and KNOW what the CD is looking for. CDs are not interested to know what you can do with the lines. They are interested to know how you can fit into the overall story and the other characters around you.

So be sure your research informs your choices. 

As far as the bad goes, how many times have we seen rookie mistakes of actors having their camera in portrait rather than landscape, windows (lighting) behind them, sound being distorted, not labeling their self tapes correctly? 

All of these things impact the way the CD looks at you the actor. Though your character choices might be right on point for what they are looking for, if you have made any one of these mistakes, you can bet the CD will look no further. 

You have presented yourself as an amateur. Can they trust you will understand the etiquette of being on set? It’s easy for the CD to judge you unfavourably when your name next comes up.

This is the problem with self taping. It is up to you the actor to understand the fundamentals of the technical requirements to self tape. It is up to you the actor to know what the CD and producers are looking for with the character you are submitting.

Think about this, if your agent has put you up for a self tape to a CD, you know that there are others your agent has also submitted for the same role. 

If the other actor has followed the brief, and presented themselves professionally, but you have not, guess who your agent will be submitting? 

Not you! But more than that, will they be submitting you next time the opportunity comes up? 

Remember, you are the product the agent is selling to the CD and the producers. 

You are if you like, the face of the agents business. 

The actor is what makes the agent look good or bad to the CD. The better you are and the more you know your shit, the better you look for the agent. 

The more you can show your agent that you are a professional working as a team, the better they look to the CD and the producers. Your agent will then promote and look after you.

In other words, to put it in sales speak, your agent is your sales person and you are the product. The better the product is, the more sales will be made.  

So now you have the good, the bad and the ugly of self taping………

Join The Audition Technique family

Where you learn not only the fundamentals, but we give you all the tips and tricks of the self taping world – understanding character as your base – to stand out in your next audition. 

Because you can bet your bottom dollar, your next audition will be a self tape, and if you don’t self tape professionally and stand out amongst the crowd, you’ll be left behind!