A Guide to Self-Taped Auditions for On Camera roles


What’s the biggest change in the audition scene for on camera film projects? 

Casting directors nationwide are willing, and now almost requesting , to first view pre-taped auditions of actors reading for select roles.

How does my local agent know about the national castings for TV pilots, shows, webisodes, commercials and campaigns? How does that affect actors? 

As an agency, we use two main resources for casting opportunities in the local and national marketplace:

Breakdown Services is an LA-based casting service that spans the gamut of national opportunities in commercial, TV and film. Once you register on Actor's Access, you will become live in the Breakdown Services database which is an agent-only resource for national opportunities. Some of the openings will be posted to both sister sites: Actor's Access (talent friendly) and Breakdown Services (agent friendly). The Breakdown Services sites allows our agents to view and submit you to premium opportunities across the country.

Casting Networks is another national casting service. This network is a great resource for agents to find commercial work for talent. Primarily the jobs coming through are based in Chicago and sometimes New York.

Actors are now able to be submitted by agency for local, regional and/or national auditions by submitting actor photos and resumes through the casting services for projects that could be shooting in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, USA or International. Casting requests submissions through the database (which means actors must sign up to be on the site – free for minimal photos and a resume). If the agency has a request to see you, the information for the audition will be sent to you by your agent. 

Okay, my agent sent me sides, now what? 

The actor must find a resource to tape the audition. Key word in the industry is Self-Taped. Good lighting, good sound, and of course a great read is pertinent. Videography resources are available at the agency, with costs ranging from $35 to $45, including editing and uploading. Should you decide to do-it-yourself, please note that a professional quality video is expected of you. Please see the Do's & Don'ts of Shooting a Self-Taped Audition below for guidance on a professional quality video. Lighting is one of the most important parts of obtaining a quality video, here is an inexpensive light kit you can pick up.

Editing? 

Edit the piece to make it look seamless. Create a visual slate with your name, agency and date.

Sending Digital Video?

The video file needs to be sent to your agent for submissions. The best formats to use are .mov, mp4, and  .m4v. Several good services area viable for free to send files up to 2G, such as hightail.com (formerly yousendit.com) OR wetransfer.com.

My agent tells me I have a call back for the project out of town. Now what?

Most callbacks happen on short notice, where the casting director is located, which is an out of pocket expense for the actor to travel. Don’t audition for out of town auditions unless you are available for the shoot dates and have enough funds to travel to the designated location for casting. 

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