The Importance of Self-Tapes

Published: 25th Aug 2023

If you’re following our blogs, you’ll know that we have the desire to share all things modelling-related so that our readers are in the loop about what’s what and what’s happening in our world – regionally, nationally and across the globe.

Today we’ll be going through what self-tapes are and how best to make a winning one that’ll get you spotted. So without further ado, let’s go!

What is a self-tape?
A self-tape is a short video recording that a model records of themselves for the consideration of a casting team. Self-tape auditions have become increasingly popular particularly when the pandemic restricted contact with others. They made sense to help things move along in the modelling and acting industries.

What happens when you’re asked to send a self-tape?

It can be exciting and nerve-wracking when you’re asked to compose a self-tape for the first time – very normal in the run-up to filming yourself. But we’ll go through some of our top tips and tricks to make the process go smoothly so that you can feel confident and happy with your final short recording.

What you’ll have to say and do

Hire a model

You’ll be asked to introduce yourself, state your age and maybe add a few extra bits of info such as if you’re signed to an agency, your hobbies and interests. Your close-up profile from the front, sides and maybe a shot of your hands, front and back, and your full body profile with possible modelling poses, may be part of the script. Don’t worry though, the casting director or team will state what you need to say and do for the self-tape in a detailed instructions script. If there’s anything somewhat ambiguous, contact your modelling agency or representative to clarify, guide and support you.

Tip 1: Stick to the script
Don’t be tempted to add or miss any information because you want to go over and beyond or relax the script. Both routes won’t turn heads, rather they’ll come across as off-putting and demonstrate that you cannot follow instructions.

Tip 2: Lights!
Good natural light is always the beginning, middle and end of great filming. Overcast shadows and dark settings will make it difficult for your viewer to see you, and that’s something you don’t want! You’re the main focus, so make sure you achieve that by ensuring you have plenty of natural light and a clear, uncluttered background.

Tip 3: Camera!
Grab a camera or smartphone with good-quality video and audio. Pop it onto a tripod or place it in a safe, sturdy space which will capture your self tape.

Tip 4: Frame at eye level
Try not to go out of focus and keep your front profile and your position so that your eyes are at camera level – not swooping from the top looking down or where your head is only partially visible. Big no no!

Tip 5: Quiet setting
Background noise and distractions will take the focus away from you, simples. They’re annoying and not necessary especially when you have the luxury of retaking your tape as many times as you wish to make it the best version to send out. Watch out for a woof or the doorbell, and retake it if the sound isn’t just of your voice.

Tip 6: Natural makeup and neutral colours
Unless otherwise stated, keep your makeup clean and clear, and keep your hair open but hold it up in your side profiles to show your ears and neck. Stick to neutral tones with your apparel.

Tip 7: Practise, practise, practise
Study the script and stick to what’s been instructed. Make a start and get practising as soon as you can including all the considerations as stated above.

Apply to be a model

You can retake the video as many times as you like without anyone guessing how many takes it took for you to compose your end product. Take your time but remember to send it before the deadline!

Finishing touches:
Follow the submission instructions which may include naming your file and sending it via email address or a specific platform.

That’s how you make a self-tape – simple and straightforward. Self-tapes play an important role, especially in this day and age where most things have gone remote. They’re easy to create and can be done in the comfort of your environment whilst by no means diminishing your chances of bagging a gig.

Any questions, give your agency a shout. And with that, best of luck with being selected!

Return to blog posts…
Become a model…
Hire a model…