Self Tapes

After 2021 everything changed. Before going to the audition waiting room, you must record a self-tape. If you're new to making self-tapes, it'll be good to get at least one self-tape recorded within a professional recording facility under the supervision of an acting coach from your acting school. If you have the required equipment, you can do it at home. 

Camera Orientation

Selt-tapes have to be recorded in landscape more, full stop. Below is an explanation of what is a landscape mode.


This is portrait mode


Your camera is at an angle


All good this is landscape mode

Zoom Level

Ensure you're not too far or too close to the camera. By default leave just a little bit of space above your head and just enough to show your shoulders and the top of your torso. Always follow framing instructions by the casting director.


You're too far from the camera


You're too close to the camera


All good, your whole face is clearly visible

Non-distracting background

Make sure that the background is not cluttered, dirty or messed up. Keeping it simple and plain, the focus needs to be on your acting, not on beautiful painting or the annoying wrinkle behind you.


Cluttered background


Wrinkles on the backdrop


All good, backdround is clear and boring

Properly lit face

Make sure that face is properly lit and there are no sharp contrasts. Use the key light and fill fight accordingly and make sure the light is at the right level not too high and not too low.


The key light is too strong


Key light is too high and eyes are not visible


All good, the face is evenly lit

No sharp shadows

If you're standing too close to the backdrop, you'll cast strong sharp shadows on the background. stand far enough from the backdrop so shadows are blurred or not visible. If you have a LED light try moving it further, if it's not possible you can put a piece of white fabric or paper in front to diffuse the light or decrease its strength. 


You're too close to the backdrop


The light is too close


All good, shadow blends with the background

Maintain proper eye line

When recording the self-tape make sure to look slightly off camera not straight to the camera and not completely off the camera.


You should only look straight at the camera when you're slating not when you act


You're not looking at all into the camera and the casting director does not see your eyes


All good, you look natural and look slightly off the camera, you do not break the fourth wall.

Record the slate

For slating always follow the instructions provided by the Casting Director. You tell the age an date of birth if you're less than 18 years old. You indicate the representation if you have an agent. Always remember to tell something specific at the end - the casting might not remember your name but they'll remember the fun fact. 

Hi, my name is Berry Brown. I'm 16 years old, I was born on the 1st of April 2007. I'm five foot five, and I'm located in Vancouver B.C. I'm self-represented. The interesting fact about me is that I play bagpipes. 


Hi, my name is Berry Brown. I'm five foot five. I'm located in Vancouver B.C  and I'm represented by Alan Smithee from Smithee and Smithee Talent Agency. The fun fact about me is that I collect four-leaf clovers.

You can type the text of your slate info into the Notes box of the Actors Access ecoCast submission form.

You'll make the life of the Casting Director's Assistant easier.

Extended slate

Sometimes you might be asked to do "the other thing" - this is an ask to show the front and back of your hands, then the left and the right profile to the camera.

Show back and front of your hands

Show your left profile

Should your right profile

Process the file

Right after doing the scene, download it to your computer. Check that the audio got recorded and that your reader is not louder than yourself. If it is, repeat the recording. Ensure that the audio is not clipping - you do not hear cracks and noises in the speakers. Finally, cut the front and the end of the take if necessary, and export the recording to mp4. When exporting, try to aim at having each one of the files at no more than 100MB. If it's bigger, it might get difficult for the casting director to view your performance when on the set and the network connection is not great. 

Name the video files according to the instructions

In the breakdown, the casting director asked for a specific name format for your files - make sure files are named correctly. This is important. You don't want your recording to end up at the end of the line because you've messed it up, and someone has to rename the file before it is sent out? 

If the format is not specified, the standard is:

CHARACTER - Name Surname - SceneN


There's a good technical reason for naming files in this way. If you use the format above, the casting director will see all of your scenes in order, and then at the end, your slate before he moves to check the recordings of other actors. If you don't name your recordings in this way, the files on the disk will be mixed up with other actors, and if they like your performance, they might never know who you are because your slate never showed up on their screen. 

Are you a casting director from British Columbia, and do you believe we've missed anything?  Please let us know immediately by reaching out to, and we'll be happy to make appropriate adjustments.