Now, more than ever, your at home set up is so important for self tapes. Until this lovely pandemic comes to a close, casting is going to be remote for most offices. In order to help you create the best set up possible, we created two gear lists for you.
The Recommended Set Up | $104.22
Rates as of 10/06/2020
You need your phone, a blank wall, a light source, and a mic. That's it.
Camera: Use your phone. Most phones shoot high quality video, and you don't have to buy anything new. Make sure you shoot horizontally, not vertically, and you're good to go.
Lighting: When it comes to light, you could get away with natural light if you shoot during the day, and have a window that lets enough light in.
Tripod: Your setup has to be stable. Stacking up books to your height may not be the safest option, so we recommend using a phone tripod that you can affix to just about anything. This will keep your phone still and you safe from a homemade tripod collapse.
Microphone: Having good sound is a huge deal. Make sure you use an external mic that is pointed directly at your mouth. Try to minimize noise from air conditioners, the fridge, or your loud reader with a direction mic like this one.
Backdrop: Just use a blank wall. No pictures, no windows, nothing - blank. You probably have a spot in your home that works without you having to buy anything. Pro Tip: Don't stand with your back to the wall. Take a small step away from it to create separation and avoid shadows.
The Hustler Set Up | $622.31
Rates as of 10/06/2020
A high end set up for those who want to invest.
Camera: You don't need a wildly fancy camera. You need something that shoots 1080p HD and has an external mic jack. The reason we recommend a handy-cam and not a DSLR is because DSLR's will not autofocus.
Lighting: Lights like this give you a lot more flexibility with your set up. Because they are dimmable, have a panel system, and have barn doors, you're able to control light to look exactly how you want it to.
Tripod: Now that you have a camera, you'll want a tripod that can support it. As long as the camera is level and safe, you can pick whichever tripod you'd like.
Microphone: These are the mics that we use in the casting office. Sound is huge in all aspects of filmmaking, and these mics will keep your audio clean. Remember, reduce other noise in your space if possible.
Backdrop: If you don't have a blank wall that looks good, a backdrop is a great way to keep your space clean and control the look. Make sure that you get a backdrop stand and backdrop when you buy. Pro Tip: Some backdrops will also come with lights. Bundle and save!
At the end of the day, spend whatever you want on your set up. Casting will bring actors back in as soon as we can - trust us, no one is enjoying self tapes and Zoom callbacks. For now, just make sure we can see you clearly, hear you, and that you're treating your tapes with professionalism.
Good luck out there,
If all else fails, come tape at The Forge
For bigger auditions - or if you don't want to mess with an at-home set up - our self tape appointments are back open for bookings! The staff member helping you will be in PPE, no one else will be in the waiting room or taping room with you, and we'll handle all the tech for your tape.