Mastering the Self Audition Tape - Tips from a Casting Director with Video Examples & a Resource Sheet

Hosted by Marin Hope

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Marin Hope

Webinar hosted by: Marin Hope

Casting Director, CSA (HBO's BESSI, AMERICAN MADE, Emmy-winning HOMELAND)

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here. Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America. She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Today, more than ever, self tape auditions are an integral part of the casting process. This is even more true in the age of social distancing. Additionally, due to the convenience self tapes provide and tight deadlines casting directors often operate under, more roles are cast via self tape auditions than ever before. Understanding how to set up, craft, and shoot a self tape can be the difference between landing more roles or having your talents fall by the wayside. 

When a casting director requests and accepts self tapes to assist in their casting process, they inevitably wind up with tapes of varying quality and content. Whether it's picture quality or sound quality fails, a bad self tape immediately gets bypassed. Actors often think that their talent will always win the day. In a room, that might be true. But on a self tape, quality matters. Fortunately, there are some very simple, but comprehensive steps you can take that will make a massive difference in what you present to a casting director. The goal is to keep the attention off cosmetic or sound flaws and on your acting, where it belongs!

Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Over her storied career she has seen thousands of auditions and hundreds of casting self-tapes and she's back here exclusively on Stage 32 to impart her wisdom on what can help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to your self tape. 

Marin will talk about the need for self-tapes and why they are an essential part of today's casting process. You'll get insight as to why some jobs rely on it vs. others who require in-person auditions. She will go over your question on whether or not you should use a self-tape facility or film from home. When it comes to shooting at home, you will learn background, lighting, angles, wardrobe choices and equipment you will need, as well as whether or not you should film horizontal or portrait. Finally, Karen will teach you the do's and don'ts of a self-tape and share with you examples of good and bad auditions. You will learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective which will give you the unique insight into how your own self-tape is viewed.

PLUS! Marin will share with you:

  • Videos clips of do's and dont's for casting videos
  • A resource sheet of tools and equipment that can help you with the look of your casting tape

 

 

Praise for Marin's Stage 32 Webinar:

 

"I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information."

-Michele C.

 

"I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away."

-Sondra C.

 

"The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this."

-Michael C.

 

"Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions."

-Kenneth W.

What You'll Learn

  • The Need for Self -Tapes
    • Why some jobs rely on it rather than an in-person audition
    • The changing landscape of how we conduct auditions
    • The advent of “real people” casting and why self-tapes are necessary for that
    • The needs of the casting director and the production
  • Using a Self-Tape Facility vs. Filming from Home
    • Self tape studios/coaches – particularly for theatrical auditions
    • Filming from home using a smartphone- using the tools at hand
  • Setting the Scene at Home - Pointers to Keep in Mind
    • Background
    • Lighting
    • Angles
    • Equipment you will need
    • Horizontal vs. Portrait aspect on smartphone
    • Styling/wardrobe choices
  • How to Create the Tape 
    • How to understand the format to present it in
    • Breaking down and understanding the different formats
    • Vimeo and Youtube link advice
  • Do’s and Don'ts - with Self-Tape Example Videos
    • The final presentation – keeping it simple – and precise
    • Some insider tips from a casting director to really make an impression
  • Q & A with Marin

 

 

About Your Instructor

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production.

Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here.

Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.

She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles.

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