After many long discussions with multiple casting directors here is THIS Agency’s requirements (Yes, they’re much higher than the rest … would you expect anything else?) Most of the details explained below will be foreign to most of you. I don’t expect any of you to be experts on Video Coding. Take this to the taping service you are using … they should be able to do the rest.
- 1920 x 1080 is preferred
- 1280 x 720 is the minimum expectation
- .MOV preferred
- .MP4 is acceptable
- Target rate = 10,000 kbps (this is mainly needed for Adobe editors)
Typically, videos should be shot at 29.97 frames per second. This is the standard HD Camcorder setting.
If Editing in Final Cut Pro or Adobe CS6:
Average file sizes will equate to the following.
1 minute of video at 1920 x 1080 = 120 to 150 MB
1 minute of video at 1080 x 720 = 50 to 75 MB
File Naming Instructions
Audition and Slate should be separate files. Always email the audition to your agent.
Save files in the format of:
Headshots that Book (Or At Least get Auditions!)
As an agent, my first job is to get an actor “in the room” for the audition. For the vast majority of actors, the only physical tool I have to use to accomplish this is your headshot. I can spend multiple hours talking to casting directors about how great you are; how grounded your acting is; that you have incredible emotional range; how the role was made for you! But, in the end, your headshot will seal the deal. Yeah, it’s that important.
1. Print 8×10 (non-negotiable)
2. Print Your Name on the Front (nothing else)
1. Print multiple photos on the page
2. Print any other size than 8×10
3. Print Landscape/Horizontal Photographs
What does it look like?
The Southeastern Market
Specifically focusing on the southeastern market (Hollywood East), headshots have taken on an even greater importance. Typically, day player or supporting roles are often filled extremely quickly – straight from your first taped audition! No callbacks, means no second chances. You have to nail it the first time around. Casting Directors have the awesome power and responsibility of simply supplying the network executives with one headshot and one taped audition. That means you better gain their trust very quickly.
What makes a good headshot in this market? Gone are the days that an actor could get away with one good Theatrical headshot and one good Commercial headshot. Now, you need Character headshots. As an actor tackling this as a business, you need to truly consider what roles you want to target. Also, you MUST know your environment. Georgia, Louisiana and all the surrounding areas have definitely attracted certain genres to the south. There is a common theme with major productions like The Walking Dead, The Hunger Games, The Divergent Series, Under the Dome and many others … Survivor, Gritty, Supernatural, and Dramatic.
Why take the chance of letting another actor beat you to the audition simply because their headshots sell a better story? Make it easy for the casting director to pick you … better yet, make it impossible for them to ignore you!