INSTRUCTIONS FOR PUTTING YOURSELF ON TAPE

Many of you have asked about the possibility of taping yourself and sending in auditions when you cannot make it in to the scheduled auditions or are out of town.  In order to send in an audition for a project you need to make sure you follow the below guidelines:

1. Check With Us First – Usually you’re not going to know how we are submitting, and we can only send in taped reads outside of the office if they are taking them electronically; if we have to submit a DVD or a miniDV then it has to be done in the office.  There’s almost no option to tape an audition in place of a live audition with a client.  If you would like to tape yourself always ask before doing so.

2. Record to Quicktime – You must have a digital video camera – sorry, a webcam does not cut it, but most handhelds are fine.  We record in WIDESCREEN.  Most programs will have a way for you to record to the computer and then convert to Quicktime, which is what we do.  You will more than likely NEED some sort of software to do this, just read the manual and find out how to compress to Quicktime (.mov) – if you can’t figure it out call tech support.  We us a Mac here with iMovie, so I can only answer questions that pertain to that program.  Make sure to start close up saying your NAME, HOUGHTON TALENT, and ROLE, then do the read, then pull out for a full body shot and say your NAME and HEIGHT.  Unless the script calls for it DO NOT read directly to camera.

3. Compress the File – Raw footage makes for HUGE files, so in order to send them out you need to compress them.  The majority of our auditions are compressed to a size of 240 x 320 and are 12-15 fps (frames per second).  There are other options for compression but those are the most important, and usually result in a file that’s small enough to email by itself.  For auditions that come from Fincannon casting the size is a tad different, 680 x 720 and 15 fps – and you need to make sure the settings preserve the widescreen aspect ration with a letterbox so the video isn’t stretch vertically to fit those settings.  This usually results in a larger file.

4. Name the File – Name the file Role_Firstname_Lastname.mov – for example I would call an audition I did for the role of Agent: Agent_Chase_Paris.mov.  The ONLY exception to this (at the moment) is Army Wives, which would be firstname.lastname.role.HT.mov, so the same example before would now be Chase.Paris.Agent.HT.mov.  Naming the file right saves us LOTS of time.

5. Send the File to us – In order to send the file to us it needs to be under 10 megabytes, otherwise your email and ours will take forever to send/receive it.  If the file is too big use http://www.yousendit.com (a free file sharing site) and upload it there, it will notify me through email and I can then go download it.  The file then can be up to 100 megabytes, much larger than anything you should be sending; DO NOT check any of the boxes with sending options, just hit send and it’ll be free.  When you send the file make sure to put in the subject Audition – Project Title – Role and in the body of the email make sure to put your name; it’s amazing how many people think we can recognize who they are by their email name – sorry, but I don’t know who xxyz2010@gmail.com is (not a real email address).

6. Make Sure All Websites are Updated – This is VERY important because when we send an electronic audition in we’re usually sending in an electronic headshot and resume, and if you haven’t updated it in 6-12 months that’s not going to look good.  Make sure you have up to date headshots and resumes on all the sites and that all possible media is up there.  If you have headshots that are more than 2 3 years old on any website it’s time to upload more (and if you haven’t TAKEN new headshots in that long it’s time to make an appointment).

If you follow these simple rules you should have no problem sending in your auditions.  Remember, this is a luxury and not always possible, so always check first and don’t just send in your auditions, you could be wasting your time and ours!  As always if you have any questions please let me know

Chase Paris

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