Top ten tips for recording and uploading your pre-screen videos:
1. Choose a solid background (a blank wall or any solid surface) – if it’s a dark or colored background, be sure to wear a contrasting color or you’ll blend in too much. Create a clean backdrop for your work, with no distracting windows, doors, lamps, light switches, or fire alarms. Keep it simple.
2. Stay away from wearing distracting stripes or patterned clothing – these get distorted on camera.
3. Use a video camera, a Smart Phone or I-Phone, or any digital camera. You may need to adjust the resolution higher or lower to achieve the results you want. Using a higher resolution may complicate uploads. Take a short test video for practice.
4. Stand a few feet away from the wall – this eliminates distracting shadows.
5. A full-body shot or medium shot (waist up) is preferred for your songs and monologues, so we can get a sense of your overall connection to the piece, as if we were watching you in a rehearsal room. This is a recorded theater audition, not an audition for on-camera work, so close-ups are not necessary. Keep the camera in one place.
6. Light the Face. Try to have the light source in front of you (face the window if you’re just using natural light, or a table lamp or floor lamp), so your face is lit and we can see you clearly. Don’t have your back to the light source, or you’ll be in darkness.
7. If you have prepared a slate as part of your audition video, then feel free to include it. A slate is helpful, but not required. If you choose to slate, all you need is: “My name is _________, and my first piece is from (play title) by (playwright). My second piece is from (play title) by (playwright).” No extra information or introduction to the piece is necessary.
8. Try not to obsess over a little mistake – we’re all human. Do a couple of takes of each monologue or song and choose the one to upload. Make sure the sound quality is good and watch your videos all the way through before you upload them.
9. For your actual monologues and songs, you can choose to look into the camera, slightly above the camera, or slightly off-center to the right or left of the camera (but not in profile please).
10. Keep the upload process simple. There is no need to add captions or graphics.