Why Self Tape ?

What 's this obsession with 'self taping'?

Is there any point in an actor investing the time,energy & money producing a show reel if some people insist on submitting a 'self tape'?!

The irony of the 'selfie tape' is that it can be rehearsed several times before submitting therefore the actor's true ability is unseen where as a live audition (filmed) provides an ideal opportunity for the actor's true ability to be assessed by the casting team. ( and several other mutual advantages for example does the actor take direction well?!)

I appreciate location may be an issue at times i.e. the production company is based in the North Pole and therefore the self tape could be useful perhaps which brings me back to my point/question; What's the point of having a show reel in the first place?!!

CD


  • 6 years ago
  • 11,201
  • 53
Carrie Cohen
Actor

Of course you need a showreel in the same way you need decent photos even though they'll take a rubbish polaroid of you at the casting. The showreel will get you through to the next stage for either live or self-taped audition for tv/film work. I presume that for well-paid work actors the re-call will be in person.


  • 6 years ago
  • 1
Keith Hill
Actor

The point of self taping is that :
1)it saves on the cost of hiring a room. The increased expenditure in time spent agreeing castings under this system escapes most casters notice.
2)It saves on having to be organised enough to get a quorum of the casting panel in one place at one time
3) it saves any of the casting panel from exhibiting their inability to direct any of the applicants
4) failing to reply to someone you have actually met makes you feel much guiltier than if you've only seen them on tape.
5) a conversation with an actor at a casting might open one's eyes to a different way of playing a scene; this is distressing. That distress is avoided by simply sitting at home waiting for some poor desperate soul to give, by sheer coincidence, the precise performance that was playing in one's head when one wrote it.
6) strangers send you film of their living rooms. This enables one to enjoy the fact that one's own is much nicer than theirs.

I could go on.


  • 6 years ago
  • 2

I agree,directors are getting lazy. Maybe we should ask them to send a video of them directing to us.


  • 6 years ago
  • 3
John Doughty
Actor

Self Tapes are fine after an initial submission but I am seeing more and more jobs on CCP requiring a self tape first, before even being shortlisted as suitable / what they are looking for. And some of the scripts are huge.


  • 6 years ago
  • 4
Vicki Glover
Actor

I don't think some of the employers realise that by ticking the 'video audition required' box that we can't apply without one. I've certainly met some of them in person who didn't realise that, and they couldn't understand why they had a lot fewer applicants than usual.

I think there need to be some clearer guidelines laid out as to how it actually works. I saw one a while ago where they had ticked the 'video audition required' box, but when you scrolled down to the script it just said 'N/A'!

I agree completely with John - although I have also had an employer cast me from a video but say that if they had only viewed my headshot and CV they would have thought I was not appropriate for the role, so I'm a little unsure as to where I stand on that any more.


  • 6 years ago
  • 5

I've been cast from my show reel several times as it's purpose is to
showcase a range of characters to assist the casting team in deciding on my suitability for the role in question

Why then should i have to produce a 'selfie tape' ; as well!!!

If they short list me I'm more than willing to attend a casting naturally which is a process enabling other mutual advantages as already mentioned above.

Another The 'selfie tape' request I find amusing is when your sent a script with 5 other characters required; So lets go and get hold of 5 other actors that happen to be close to my living room and expect them to give up their time for me ect!!

I've even been sent a shooting script for a 'selfie tape' expecting certain camera angles,shots and prop list!!

Quite ridiculous really!


  • 6 years ago
  • 6
Keith Hill
Actor

And, thankyou, Vicki, for restoring some dignity and compassion to the mayhem. Good points really well made.


  • 6 years ago
  • 7
Vicki Glover
Actor

I have decided that I like you, Keith ;)


  • 6 years ago
  • 8
Karen Brooks
Actor

Well, I think I like Charles Delaney! Good point!!
I applied for a job recently that required the 'self tape' and several actors to produce it, and as there weren't any others in my living room, I did them all myself! Now if that doesn't show versatility..what does? I'm still waiting to hear...their loss if I don't hear back, of course!


  • 6 years ago
  • 9
Vicki Glover
Actor

I like you all of course :) and wasn't intending to hijack a good rant - I just thought the guidelines thing needed mentioning as I think it would eliminate a lot of the issues we have with self-taping; and probably a lot of self-tape requests before shortlisting as well!


  • 6 years ago
  • 10
Julia Lacey
Actor

There is a lovely self tape opportunity up now to earn £52 a day. You just need to be baking with a Spanish man then play a board game which then needs to be thrown across the room. Once you have submitted your self tape you could be invited to audition. It's a joke.


  • 6 years ago
  • 11
Keith Hill
Actor

Having just had a long conversation with a senior casting director I am in two minds: he gets 800-1000 applicants for each part. He discounts 9/10 on look ALONE, then invites self-tapes from about 100, of which he will discount 9/10 as not near the performance he wants, especially not having bothered to learn the lines, then he may call in if there is no outstandingly right single candidate. So the self-tape is a secondary stage for him, which works fine. He really, REALLY doesn't mind shonky technical quality, or fussy backgrounds. ( I have always thought that couldn't be true - it has to matter at some self-conscious level, I thought, but he convinced me). He reckons the relevance of a showreel is declining; He estimates no-one watches more than the first 40SECONDS, maybe dipping in a bit later in the hopes of something different. He wants to see if you can do the exact job he is looking for. The chances of that being on your reel are tiny. But, for the time being, with the majority of CD's you need a reel to prove you're serious.

He also points out that you MUST get your tape off as soon as at all possible after it's requested. There is a rush as the deadline approaches, which plays havoc with internet connections, and late arrivals might not get seen at all.

So we are right to be suspicious of those who want ALL applicants to self-tape: They obviously haven't a clue what they are letting themselves in for, and if yours is not one of the first couple of dozens they get it won't get seen, so the only point in going with those is if the script or the money or both is/are brilliant.

That being said, my new-found enthusiasm evaporated under the strain of doing one on my own the next day. So, my final conclusion:
Hate them or not, they're here to stay, and:
The best and most indispensable kit to have is a friend. To operate the camera for you.


  • 6 years ago
  • 12
Julia Lacey
Actor

Hi Keith, I have to ask, how do 1000 actors get to know about his casting? If he casts from Spotlight then self represented actors won't get to know about any decent roles, only a small amount of agents get to see more than a quite low percentage of the castings as well. So how are they all able to find out about about the part he is looking to cast? Surely if he is such a high level casting director he wouldn't be casting from CCP. No offence meant but this site is hardly advertising top drawer work. I am curious to know. Julia


  • 6 years ago
  • 13
Keith Hill
Actor

Through their agents, Though he does also directly contact actors he's used before if they're a possible fit. that and we weren't talking about anything much north of small roles.


  • 6 years ago
  • 14
Julia Lacey
Actor

I suppose it can be a problem sorting the wheat from the chaff for the small roles that CDs wish to fill but from an actors point of view these self tapes can be highly complicated to accommodate and are usually low paid so unless it becomes necessary for roles that are better paid and the direction given to create a self tape is more defined and less complicated in having lots of involvement from other actors and props I shall steer clear.


  • 6 years ago
  • 15
Keith Hill
Actor

Julia I Absolutely know how you feel. One of the bleeders can ruin my day. But the message I am getting is very clear. If you decide not to do them you are deciding not to work in film. I have plan. Rgather than give up lets help each other out. Self tape self help exchange anyone?


  • 6 years ago
  • 16

....best way to get cast in film is go out & 'get smashed' in the 'King of Clubs'
I did last week.....got cast in a new major indie feature playing a support lead role...much more effective than 'self tape'...!
btw, Keith, that Cd who gets 800-1000 and requests 100 self tapes has got it all wrong for the reasons I mentioned above.
'selfie tapes' are not real acting. Period.

Anyway, if self taping is becoming so important I'm gonna keep on the networking initiative and just turn up for live castings (filmed) when asked by Cd's who don't rely 'selfie tapes'

I'm also an associate feature film producer and any Cd's my team employ in future will be informed of my zero interest in watching 'selfie tapes' all day! (Unless we're casting an Eskimo from Alaska and want a real one of course!)

Also just to mention,, i refused to do a 'selfie tape' very recently for a feature film role and they decided to cast me anyway because of the sheer audacity and self confidence...or arrogance !! (& show reel!)

The above stories are true.


  • 6 years ago
  • 17

Dear CCP,

Can you please confirm if premium members agreed unanimously to offering this service to employers? (please see attached)
Why have you not consulted with your clients with regards offering a 'selfie taping' service before hand?

We would appreciate an explanation please.

Thank you.

CD

attached:
Post jobs using our new Self Tape audition service!

Hello,
Our new Self Tape service is now available for members. It's a really quick and convenient way to post jobs and audition for roles. Find out more!
EMPLOYERS
Receive high quality video submissions for your castings.
Only see the professional actors who fit your breakdown.
Review video submissions in minutes!
Read our handy Self Tape Employers guide.
Post a Self Tape job
Kind regards
The CCP Team
Unsubscribe from future emails.



(Then this, more strongly worded on 18th Sept 2014)

Hello,
NEW FEATURE: SELF TAPE AUDITIONS

You may have heard, we've launched another great new feature to make casting actors quicker and easier.
When posting a casting notice on CCP you can now request candidates to use our new Self Tape feature.
This will ensure that you receive a self taped video audition with every submission. It also gives you the chance to see actors reading a piece of text or script of your choice, before you invite them in to audition.
Post a Self Tape job



Tips for Employers:

DO include the script you want the actor to record - to avoid very long submissions, just extract a short scene you would like them to perform, don't include the whole script.
DO include any guidance i.e. would you like them to perform straight to camera?
DO include any guidance regarding the character in the character details.
If you have any queries or questions about this new service don't hesitate to get in touch. Call 020 7288 7404 or email [email protected]
Kind regards,
The Casting Call Pro team.
Unsubscribe from future emails.


  • 6 years ago
  • 18
Vicki Glover
Actor

As I thought, it does not mention/explain anywhere that clicking the 'self-tape' button means we can't apply without one :(


  • 6 years ago
  • 19

Ask yourself WHY are you an actor and a creative in the first place and how far you would go to secure a part in any a project? Are you there just to tell a story or to help make money?
A selfie comes no where near creativity!!
As I live near the coast and hate to come to Londinium at £30 a throw, it is very satisfactory....but as I have had 'neer a job this way, I fear it is not, I think I am a better actor than camera person. BC


  • 6 years ago
  • 20
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