So, you need to submit an audition tape, and you honestly don’t have the slightest idea of where to start.  Here’s some simple tips and tricks that’ll help your video stand out.

It’s all about the lighting.  You’ll want to make sure you’ve selected a well-lit background.  Set up your camera equipment, or, more practically, turn on your smartphone and check to see how the lighting is.  Rooms with natural lighting, typically from large, well-positioned windows are great, or you might consider shooting outside on an especially clear day.

Minimize background distractions.  Ideally, you’ll want to shoot against a neutral background, such as a plain white or otherwise nondescript wall, or against a building with solid siding or a brick exterior.  “Don’t stand right against the wall,” either, warn the experts at Cast It Talent.  You’ll want to create some depth between yourself and the background you’re shooting against, so you stand out.  And, you’ll need to make sure the area you’re shooting in it clean and uncluttered, so the focus is on you and not a messy room.

Keep clothing simple.  Make sure the outfit you choose isn’t too distracting, either.  This means sticking to solid colors, and steering clear of eye-catching patterns, stripes, or otherwise visually distracting attire that will take away from your own features and what you have to say.

Speaking of what you have to say…make sure the recipient can hear you.  You will likely need to do a few ‘mic checks’ or trial videos before you get it down, and you’ll want to record in a spot that’s free from audio interruptions.  This means, you’ll want to position yourself away from a loud air conditioner, a busy phone, a train, a crowded parking lot – you get the point.  Turn any electronic notifications on silent, and if need be, let others around you know you’re taping so they don’t barge in mid-way through.

Invest in editing.  The most professional videos are, of course, edited with professional quality.  While you may not have the finances to dish out a large sum of money for a submission tape, there are a few more practical, inexpensive online resources available to help you out.  Some are even free!  There are also many smartphone apps that will do the trick without emptying your pockets.  These tools will allow you to crop your video and add text if needed.

Bottom line, it’s always best to follow the specific submission instructions provided by a casting director.  You’ll want to make sure you include everything they require, so they’ll actually take the time to view your masterpiece.