Impact Dance Productions Presents a blog post by Mike Wollin from Foundry Films. Take a peek into the life of a professional that works from behind the camera. We hope you take his tips to your next film audition and blow the casting director away!
January 8th 2013:
“ADVICE FROM BEHIND THE LENSE”
My name is Mike Wollin and I run FoundryFilms a tv and film audition studio located in Vancouver B.C. For the past four years we’ve primarily shot auditions for film and television as well as editing demo reels for local actors. Previous to those years I worked for another company offering similar services so all in all I’ve been filming auditions/editing reels for 9 years (that’s a little scary when I say it out loud).
During that time I’ve shot over 12,000 auditions, and have had the privilege of working with some of the top actors in Canada. Here are some auditions tips I’ve picked up over the years.
- First and by FAR the most important thing to remember when taping an audition is to have FUN! If you aren’t having fun then why bother?!
- Learn your lines or if you don’t have them memorized at least hold onto the sides (aka script) while you film the audition so you can get your line if needed. This is more important when you’re in a casting session. CDs don’t usually have a lot of time when running casting sessions and if you have to keep restarting your scene because you can’t remember your lines it doesn’t reflect well on you and it throws the session off schedule.
- Don’t go into an audition with the “I’m not right for this part” attitude. A lot of the time casting doesn’t know what they’re looking for, it’s your job to convience them that they’re looking for you! I’ve heard numerous stories of actors booking roles when they thought they bombed the audition.
- Remember that Casting Directors are on YOUR side. They want you to succeed because if you succeed it reflects well on them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either, it opens up a dilaogue with casting and shows that you’re willing to take notes/direction.
- DO NOT wait until last minute to film your audition! Get it done early in case you need/want to make some adjustments and re-shoot the audition.
- Remember that we are our own worst critics. Something that you might notice about yourself most likely won’t be noticed by anyone else. No, I didn’t notice your eye twitch, no, I don’t think you hair is out of place.
- I’m a big fan of shooting the rehearsal although not every actor wants to. However, 9 times out of 10 when I do shoot it, we’ll end up using that take. Actors are great at psyching themselves out and the second they know the camera is on, everything changes. Most of it is nerves, which I get, so just take a deep breath and relax.
- Don’t over prepare your audition. Get your lines down, figure out the blocking for the scene but don’t get too specific. If you have every moment in the scene pre-planned when filming the audition, guess what, it looks pre-planned when it’s filmed.
- Focus on your reader. In a taped audition you get to bring your own reader so bring someone who is willing to connect with you in the scene.
- Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to get your auditions taped professionally. A good portion of my clients have the option of taping their auditions at their agency for free. However they recognize the advantage of putting their best foot forward by submitting a professionally shot audition. Picture and sound quality matter.
Those are just a few of the things to remember when taping an audition. Thanks for reading!
Mike Wollin and Danielle Gardner-Founder&Creator of Impact Dance Productions