So you’ve been asked to self tape your audition, or you want to record a few of your monologues and put them up on your site. So you whip out your your phone, head to the quietest room of the apartment you’re sharing with six other people, stand near a window (or surround yourself with every lamp in the house), and conscript one of your roomies to hold the phone while you hold forth. You soar – you shine! It’s your best work ever! You check the tape, and the result looks like you’re auditioning for a jr. high production of Our Town.
So you go online and learn a few things about how to get a really good self tape, and you do indeed make it better – or at least as good as it can be.
But then THAT audition comes along – the one for the role you would die for. They want a self tape. Or you meet a young director at a party and she asks you “Do you have anything on tape I can see?” And you’re thinking “how do I make this really stand out from the herd?”
Well, the answer to that is simple – having the right equipment and knowing how to use it. When you walk by a professional film shoot, you don’t see them recording with lenses and microphones small enough to fit inside a thimble – they’re using professional cinema glass, and a high-end bullet microphone. Also, they’ve taken the time to light the actors in a way that brings out their best features – makes their eyes pop and with just that hint of backlight in the hair… They’re not going to come out all flat and pasty, their voice all echoey and far away and mixed with traffic noise.
They’re going to look three dimensional, their voices full and equalized and rich.
The hurdle here? Cost. It will cost you several thousand dollars to collect the tools needed to create a controlled and professional filming setup, including the lights, lenses, the camera, the mic, the editing software… and then you need to learn how to use it all. Three-point lighting, focal depth, editing, titling, video codecs for distribution…
But do not fear! There’s another way – just come to me! I’ve been spending years as a filmmaker collecting the gear and learning the skills necessary to capture you in your best light. What’s better, it’s all portable, so I can come to you at your convenience.
My equipment includes:
Canon C100 Mark ii Video Camera
Rokinon Pro Cinema Lenses
Sennheiser 416 Pro Bullet Mic
Neewer 660 LED lighting setup
Final Cut Pro X for post production
A professionally produced video clip of your work can be an amazingly powerful tool, whether you are submitting for a job on Actors Access, or just want to have a few links in your email signature or on your website.
I work in blocks of 1 hour. If you have your monologues well rehearsed and ready to go, I can record up to two monologues or short scenes for you in that time, and deliver a link to you on the same day of the final distributable files, including title card and slate, if requested. I’ll also be your reader, if you don’t have one.
I currently charge $75 for every session hour or fraction thereof, not including my setup and teardown time – this also includes all post production work on your clip, including editing, title cards, etc. We will work together to capture your best take, then a few hours later, you’ll get a shareable link of your finished work that you can send immediately to your casting office or producer.
I also provide monologue or scene coaching during your session, if requested. Typically, if coaching is added, we’ll be able to capture one monologue/scene per hour, working the material for 30-40 minutes, then capturing your best take.
Let me know if that is something you’d require. I’ll usually ask you to send me your audition materials ahead of time so I can be fully prepared to help you.