Updated: Jun 12
WHAT IS A TAPING?
When an actor receives a tape request from their agent or producer, they are asked to put themselves on video and submit their audition for consideration by a specific date and time. Below are examples of what they mean when they specify the size of the Frame. An audition is your chance as an artist to show a Casting Director, Director and possibly Producers, what you will bring to the cast for their project. When you are requested, they already have shown interest in who you are from your resume, headshot and reel.
PRINT OUT ALL INFORMATION AND BRING TO VIDEOGRAPHER, AND BRING TWO COPIES OF THE SCRIPT. IF SELF TAPING, READ EVERYTHING THREE TIMES BEFORE YOU ASK YOUR AGENT ANYTHING!! READ YOUR INSTRUCTIONS, AT LEAST THREE TIMES!!! 3!!!
If your taping requires two versions, you need to tell your videographer, otherwise we are just doing the standard audition, and you just wasted your money.
Decide there is something different in this audition, and look for what that is. This is also a way of choosing between actors after it gets narrowed down. I mean, who they would they rather work with-someone who pays attention to detail and brings that to life, or someone who skips and assumes?
Use sites like, Hightail.com, Dropbox, or We Transfer, to send the files, usually under 100mb's or 50'mb's.(again-READ)
(Extreme Close Up) An E.C.U or extreme close up will get the actors face in the frame, top of head to chin. The smaller the frame, the more minimal the movement, FYI, and the opposite is true! Only used for Comedic or Dramatic Close ups on set, never an audition. Medium Shot The frame is the middle of your belly to the top of your head, approximately 18 inches from your shoulders. Gives the actor more room to move while still being able to see their eyes.
One Button (Close Up) This frame is from the top of the head to the clavicle, which is approximately where your first button on your shirt would be. (It's not literal!) Often used for Close ups, and tapings. This shot doesn't afford a lot of movement. Cowboy Shot The frame of this shot will be knee to top of actors head, about two feet off shoulders. (Called a Cowboy shot because back in the day of the westerns, they wanted to get the gun holsters in the shot!)
Two Button This is the most common! Actor will be framed from where the second button on your shirt would be to the top of your head, to about a foot off your shoulders. This is the 'norm' for live auditions, and often for tapings. Full Length Shot ,Actor will take up the full frame head to toe and finger tip to finger tip arms outstretched. Commonly used in both Commercial and Film auditions.
A slate normally goes at the end of a taped audition (unless otherwise noted), that gives the casting director more personal information. In every slate (unless noted by casting director) the actor will state whatever is asked for: their NAME, AGENCY, LOCATION, HEIGHT, AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL HIRE OR MODIFIED LOCAL HIRE and ROLE AUDITIONING FOR. Different casting directors request different slates. Examples are below. Slate with Full Body Shot The majority of casting directors will ask for a full body shot at the end of the actors' slate in order to see what he or she looks like, and you state your name, height, agency, and role, as specified (this will change from audition to audition)Slate with Face Profiles When a casting director asks for profiles, the actor will turn their body fully both to the right, nose pointing to the wall, and then to the left, nose pointing to the wall, and then back to camera before the fully body shot.Slate with Extended Information Casting directors are also known to ask for information like the location, height, if they are part of the union, available for local hire,etc. Sometimes they will ask you for a story about yourself, and this is specifically to see your real personality and if it differs from your acting. (They don't want to ever catch you ACTING, it should always look like it's just a moment in your life, whatever that 'life' entails.)