Tips for creating virtual auditions
For those of you who know me, you know that I love live castings. I usually attend all our preliminary castings as well as callbacks. I have learned more about directing from actors while attending castings than all the shoots, education and experience in the world could offer and for that, I thank you.
Here are a few things I think can help you, all talent in the world, as we move forward. I sense a change coming. During this pandemic we have been doing remote castings, we are requesting people send in their self-created photos or video auditions. Even as we come out of the lockdown, this is a trend that may stick around for the first round of castings. It is more efficient. If done this way one will only need to go to callbacks. It would be a time saver for everybody. Don't get me wrong, it is not perfect but there are some definite pros and cons to doing it this way. Here are a few things I have noticed that may help going forward into this new landscape.
Create a space where you can do these auditions.
-Find a clean well lit neutral background.
-Make sure the lighting is decent, if this is indeed a trend that sticks around, invest in a light, remember it will only take one job to pay for it.
-Do some tests on yourself or friends before you post and make sure you like how the light looks and how you are coming across.
-If you have hair (I do not) change it up and do a version with it back and one with it down.
-The same goes for if you have glasses, one with them on and one with them off.
Remember we can only judge what we see, unfortunately, we will not have have the luxury of personal interaction at this stage.
-Figure out how to size deliverables all in a uniform fashion. Remember the files can't be too big or too small. For a screen they do not have to be bigger than 72 dpi and 1024 px on the long side. Anything bigger is probably a waste and if it is too small we not be able to zoom in at all.
For video uploads, there are a few schools of thoughts. I know a lot of casting agents only look at one take. We will take two or three. Give us different reads of the script. Show us some range, but again please be clear and to the point.
-Your agents will probably create some easy guidelines for you to follow.
Do a slate-for instance- Hi my name is …........, I am represented by the …..........agency. Reading for …...........
Please give us a full length look at you as well as a close up/headshot
Let us know what we will see, like: Here are two takes, this is take one: etc
It does not have to be anything fancy but please remember that we are sitting in a room going through 100 or more of these, simple and to the point works.
We posted a casting the other day with scripts and trust me, I had to really think about what we wanted to see. There are no changing what we want to see on the fly, we need to learn to be very clear and direct on what we are looking for.
One good thing is that you will not need to drive around town to castings all day, every day. Think about if you could get your castings schedule for the day and knock them out in your own home in 30 minutes as opposed to driving around town all day. Time saved! Then you can focus on callbacks and jobs.
Another thought is to save all the auditions you do and put them on a Youtube page. That can be such an easy way for Casting Directors, Directors, and Photographers to see your range.
I am sure life will come back to normal and production will resume but self-castings will be part of the landscape. Think about what you are sending out and please put your best foot forward. I hope this helps.
Thanks for the effort you all make everyday.