There have been some questions about what I do for my self tape set up. I'll be honest, I took this directly from the amazing Audrey Moore from Audrey Helps Actors Resource Page.
I've changed a few of the things to work with my own home set up, but the lighting recs, sound recs, and light stand recs all come from her. Thank you, Audrey!
Do you need allllll of this? No. Technically, all you need is camera, some light, and good sound. You could prop your phone up on some books if you don't have a tripod. You could use natural light if you don't have a nice professional light.
Hooooweeeeever, all of this is nice to have because I GUARANTEE you that you will get an audition late at night that is due the next morning, and you'll be kicking yourself for not having a light source.
Also, it's about convenience, time management, and quality control. You'll know your self tapes will look stellar if you have a stellar setup.
Want to be a professional actor? Then that means investing in yourself and in your business like a professional. It will give you professional looking results. Funny how that happens, isn't it?
Click on each underlined heading for links to purchase:
I use my iPad--it has plenty of storage, I can edit quickly and easily, and the camera on it is quite nice. Of course, you can also use your iPhone!
You can certainly find fancier tripods out there, but I like this one because it is lightweight and gets the job done just fine.
This is the mount I use for my iPad. It is made out of metal and not plastic, which makes it extra sturdy. You don't want some flimsy piece of plastic holding up your expensive iPad. No no no.
iPhone tripod/ringlight adapter
I don't use my iPhone to tape, but if you do, you will need an attachment mount.
Camera ring light attachment
You have to have this weird little ball attachment to attach the ring light to your iPhone camera mount so you can tilt it up and down.
I like this mic because it's cheap, it works great, and it has and extra super long chord, and it plugs right into your iPhone. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a take and having the mic pull on you and take you out. You MUST wear a mic. Otherwise the person reading with you will be much louder than you and that sucks.
If you do nothing else, get this ring light. Some people prefer a soft box but I got a ring light because Jesse’s middle name is Lumen because his dad is a gaffer and Jesse said ring light for travel and convenience. Once you are booking a lot, you’ll likely be working out of state and will have taped audition requests while you shoot. This light is small enough to fit on a carry on. It’s also got a dimmer on it which makes it ideal for changing the mood of your audition. (Brighter for comedy. Darker for drama.) It’s also great to have a light for evening taped auditions. Before I got this light I would have to get up at 7am to tape an audition before my in-person audition at 10am. With a ring light, I can get a set tape at 6:30pm, tape it that night, and then be done with it. I tried ordering a cheaper one on amazon and smoke started coming out of it when I turned it on sooooo... shop at Samy's.
I recommend a super tall light stand because you never want to be shot from below unless you are TRYING to look terrible. Even if you are a tiny little lady, go tallest because you may get asked to tape for someone who is 6'4". It’s always better to have height and not need it than to need it and not have it.This is a two for one deal but to get one is two dollars more. So buy this and share, or have an extra!
You can buy a fancy schmancy backdrop, but I just use a gray jersey sheet. I personally think gray, blue, or cream looks better than white. The jersey material keeps it from getting too wrinkly, but if it does get wrinkly then use a steamer. They are convenient, easy to use, and nice to have for auditions (for wrinkly clothing and backdrops!)
I do have a schmancy backdrop that I really enjoy; I got it from Amazon. I mainly use it when I travel because it is collapsible and oh so easy!
To hold up your sheet or backdrop.
The backdrop stand comes with a few clamps, but it's always nice to have extras. It'll hold your sheet/backdrop nice and taut, but it's also helpful to have for clothing. If I wear a flowy blouse or shirt on camera and I don't do a slight clamp in the back to nip in the waist, it'll look like I'm wearing a tent.
Tools and Resources
You are probably wondering this blog is about. Well, it's about anything that everything that I find inspiring, helpful, and curiosity building.
Curiosity is my favorite state of being, and I've become a treasure hunter and a trash hoarder, collecting all sorts of articles, artwork, and accessories that fuel my inspiration and creativity.
This will also be a place for me to document my life as an actor and coach in Los Angeles. If performing is your passion, I hope that this blog becomes a place for you to learn from my mistakes, grow from my accomplishments, laugh at my witless choices, and share in this crazy, unpredictable, beautiful, life in the arts.