Self-Taping | TOP TIPS

In the past few years we have seen a significant rise in the number of commercial clients and casting directors that are requesting self-tapes and casting online, instead of an in-person casting. Self-taping (or sometimes a video call / Zoom) is often treated as the initial casting phase, followed by a “recall” for the selected pool of talent the client is considering booking.

What is a self-tape?

A self-tape involves the talent recording a short video to send to the client. Often you will receive direction from the casting director, maybe a small scene to act out or a few questions to answer. A self-tape is your first chance to make an impression on the casting director, so it’s important to make it count!

Top Tips (A.K.A. How to nail your self tape)

  • Check your framing. Ideally, use a tripod and shoot in a big enough space that you’re able to step back if the client would like to see a full length shot.
  • If you’re using your phone to film, make sure it’s in landscape mode (unless specified otherwise!).
  • The best light is natural light. So whenever you can, always record in natural light.
  • Carefully read all directions from the client on what to include, and make sure you don’t miss anything!
  • Double check which role you’re casting for, and ask your booker if you’re not sure.
  • Generally, you can keep your outfit simple, but if there are notes on wardrobe, stick to them as best you can.
  • Speak confidently, smile and show your personality!
  • Submit your self-tapes ASAP. Clients usually work to very tight deadlines, and you want to make sure they aren’t waiting for you!
  • Be sure to label your self-tape correctly, follow any direction from the casting director, otherwise FULLNAME_AGENCY_JOBNAME is a safe bet

What’s next?

The next step is to wait to hear from your booker with news. Fingers crossed for an option or recall request!

Remember, you can always ask your booker if you have any questions about your self-tape, and remember to relax and have fun!