How to do a Self Tape

how to self tape
how to do a self tape

Self tapes are a way for actors to audition for a role or opportunity without attending a casting. Learn how to do a good self tape by following our simple how to guide below.

1. Production quality

You want your self tape to look professional so consider these things:

  • Camera - record your self tape on a camera or phone that has a high enough resolution so the quality is not grainy.
  • Sound - sit near to your camera/phone to make sure the audio quality is good.
  • Lighting - make sure you are lit, natural lighting is best, and you can see all of your face. There should be no obvious shadows.
  • Filming - make sure the camera is still, the best way to do this is to mount your camera on a tripod.

2. Filming your self tape

A self tape is a virtual casting, it's your opportunity to impress, so make sure you are centre stage and visible at all times. Remember:

  • Select a script, or part of a script, that is no longer than 1 minute in length.
  • Always film in landscape (not portrait).
  • Face the camera but never look directly into the camera lens at any point.
  • Be in a close up (head and shoulders)¬†throughout the self tape.
  • Sit or stand, whatever feels more comfortable.

3. Picking the right script

When recording your self tape you may already have been asked to read a particular script. If you do have to choose your own script, we recommend:

  • Choose a script that is only from TV or film.
  • Research scripts that suit your casting type.
  • Use a reader. If you aren't reading a monologue, ask a friend or fellow actor to read the other part in the script.
  • Want some inspiration - check out this website

4. Prepare in advance

Rehearse your performance before filming. Learn the script, and know what you're trying to achieve.

  • Set up the room. Choose what your backdrop will be.
  • Make sure your clothing is appropriate for the character.
  • Only use props if they are essential.

City Academy are a creative and performing arts company in the United Kingdom. They offer a range of acting classes, taught by professional actors, in London and Manchester.