The importance of Self Tapes and how to get them Right

More and more casting directors are requesting self-tapes when they send out casting calls.  These self tapes are your chance to impress the casting director – and you might get offered the role without even having to meet them in person!

So – what can you do to make sure you get the most out of your self-tape?

Here are a few tips that we have found that work:

Always film in landscape, in a well lit room with no clutter in the background.

Always record an ID slate at the start of the self-tape – stating your name, age, height in cms, where you are based and your agent. You should say this looking directly at the camera, and then show your face in left and right profile.

Then – onto the sides!

Best to be off book.  You probably won’t have a great deal of time to prepare the sides, but that’s how it works on set.  You might be given lines for the next day’s filming literally the night before, so get into the practice of memorising scripts quickly and accurately.

If you can get someone to read the other character lines for you, then this is best.  Make sure the person reading the other lines is not trying to steal the limelight from you!  They should read in a natural way, with a natural tone.

Look off camera to them whist you deliver your lines.

Try to give a natural and spontaneous performance.  

Millie Bobby Brown was cast in the role of ‘Eleven’ in ‘Stranger Things’ as a result of her self-tape, demonstrating just how seriously a casting director views self tapes – so, you should too.