Solutions for Self Tape Auditions

Vistek has some gear to help you present yourself in the best possible light

So you want to make a self taped audition?

Ready for your close-up? Long before you ever step in front of a live camera on-set, you’ll probably be called upon to self-tape an audition to send to a casting director. Think of it as your chance to shine. Vistek has some gear to help you present yourself in the best possible light (and sound) – plus some tips on how to capture great self-taped audition videos that’ll get you noticed.
 

Easy Kits for creating your own self tape

Good, better and best: depending on your budget, you can keep it simple or go all-out. Either way, one of these self-tape solutions is sure to hit the sweet spot for you.  

 

Nanguang LED Bi-Colour Ringlight

If good lighting is all you need, the Venus Nanguang V29C LED Bi-Colour Ringlight is a great place to start. The 15-inch ring produces a nice and soft, near-shadowless light. It’s mounted on a stand, so you can position a DSLR directly in front and shoot straight through the ring, but there’s also mirror and phone bracket that make the Venus perfect for shooting hands-free selfies with your smartphone. You’ll love the flattering results you get with this, and the ring-shaped catch-light in your eyes is pretty cool too. 

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Padcaster VERSE Mobile Media Kit

Compatible with most smartphones (Apple or Android) and small tablets, Padcaster’s mobile media kit includes a sturdy cage, grip and tripod mount for your smartphone or small camera. It also comes with a self-powered mini mic, plus a TRS cable and TRRS output cable for mobile devices. The “Verse” in its name refers to versatility, and the kit has been called a “turnkey solution for media makers” – it’s ideal for a self-taping your next big audition.

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Padcaster Studio Kit for iPads

This is the high-end deluxe kit for budding actors who have a bit more money to spend. It’s got everything you need to convert your iPad (Pro 9.7/fifth and sixth generation/Air/Air 2) into an all-in-one mobile production studio. It includes a wide-angle lens, telephoto lens, teleprompter, audio splitter, microphones and stereo on-ear headphones, an LED light, combination tripod/monopod, a super-shade sun hood, a light-blocking lens sticker and more. Ready now? Lights. Camera. Action. 

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Camera Gear for creating your own self tape

You’ve got a plethora of affordable models to choose from, and each one will deliver the professional-looking results you want. We’ve narrowed it down to a few top picks to help take the guesswork out of the decision-making process. 

 

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Body 

Thanks to its advanced sensor and processor combination, the FUJIFILM X-T30 is capable of recording incredible 4K (3810x2160) video by down-sampling its 6K (6240x3510) capture. The camera also supports 4K DCI (17:9), an industry standard that gives videos an even more cinematic look 

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Sony Alpha A6400 Mirrorless Body

Unleash your creative potential with high-level performance and advanced features such as AI-powered Real-time Eye AF; new, high-precision Real-time Tracking; high-speed continuous shooting and 4K HDR (HLG) movie-shooting.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Body

The  20 megapixel G9, with gee-whiz gadgetry and speed, delivers bursts of 60 fps and an unbelievable auto focus speed of 0.04 second (faster than the GH5). Capable of high resolution imaging, the G9 captures 4K 60p video and 6K photos.

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Audio Gear for creating your own self tape

Your cellphone or camera is probably capable of recording perfectly decent audio, but if you really want to capture your voice’s true tone and texture in all its glory, sans ambient noise, it pays to invest in an external microphone. Here are three great options to consider.   

 

Saramonic flexible Microphone for iPhone and iPad

The sound quality you get with this handy lightweight Saramonic SmartMic is way better than what you’d get with your Apple device’s onboard microphone alone. The shotgun design helps focus your voice and reduce ambient noise, and with its flexible head, you can aim the mic with added precision.  

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Rode Microphones VideoMic for iPhone or iPad.

Here’s another great mic designed to enhance audio quality with an Apple device. This one uses a cardioid polar pattern to eliminate background noise and focus on the subject directly in front of the mic, making it perfect for self-taping auditions. It captures louder sounds without distortion, so you can feel free to raise your voice on cue.  

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Sennheiser White Memory wearable microphone

This clever little wireless gadget captures broadcast-quality audio and can be used with either Apple or Android devices. Clip it to your lapel or set it on a nearby surface, and its omnidirectional element picks up sound equally from all sides. Synch it to your device and when your audition is done, just transfer the audio file to your phone via WiFi.

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Lighting Gear for creating your own self tape

There’s an amazing range of options to consider, but it really comes down to how much you want to spend. One thing we know for sure, though: if you’re the face in front of the camera, you’ll want to look your best. 

 

Nanguang  Soft LED Light Bi-Colour with WiFi, F550 Battery, Charger and Cold Shoe Adapter

  • High CRI
  • Accurate Bi-Colour 3200K - 5600K Temperature
  • WiFI, 2.4G Remote and Dimmer Control
  • Professional LCD Display Screen Shows Colour Temperature, WiFi Channel and Power Level

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Nanguang Soft LED Light Bi-Colour with WiFi, AC Adapter and Cold Shoe Adapter

  • High colour rendering >95, Bi-colour: 3200-5600K
  • Slim housing
  • Light is soft and gentle, suitable for outdoor portrait shooting, interviews, weddings...
  • Light and Portable

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LED Go LG-B560 LED Light 5600K with 3 x AA Battery Pack, Handle, Filter Set and Case

  • High CRI (>95)
  • 5600K (3200K Filter or Bi colour version available)
  • Bright/soft light output almost as much as a typical 1x1
  • Built in dimmer dial
  • Flexible twist handle allows for easy angle adjustment of the light

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Support Gear for creating your own self tape

A sturdy tripod, a gimbal and maybe even a stand for a backdrop: you may not have given these peripheral items much thought, but they deserve consideration too. They’ll never be the star of the show, but we’d like to nominate some best supporting gear for your next big production.   

 

Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod Kit

The Compact Action is the best choice for owners of entry level DSLRs with standard kit lenses who like to shoot a lot of photos and movies. The ergonomic joystick head with scroll-wheel locking mechanism is very intuitive and easy-to-use. Its comfortable grip allows you to capture smooth movies and great images with little effort.

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Benro Slim Video Kit with S2CSH Head

The Benro S2 Video Head supports small cameras weighing up to 5.5 lb. Built on a Magnesium alloy flat base with 3/8" threaded mount, the S2 is ideal for virtually any tripod, monopod, half ball adapter, slider or other support rig. Other features include: pan & tilt lock, tilt drag, built-in bubble level and pan arm.

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Benro Aluminum Video Tripod Kit

Offering exceptional rigidity and torque-resistance, so critical to smooth camera movement, these kits are available in a variety of sizes, using Aluminum Alloy legs in combination with strategically select cast and machined aluminum and magnesium alloy components.

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Background Gear for creating your own self tape

A neutral, non-distracting background can help focus visual attention on you – and your face in particular. Even if you’re just using a sheet of paper or a blanket, you’ll need some gear to hold it in place too.   

 

Mantis Small 2.3m Air Cushion Light Stand

This aluminum light stand uses air cushioning to gently lower your gear, even when the section locks have not been properly tightened, preventing damage to light fixtures. Mantis lighting products are durable, affordable and extremely reliable.

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Mantis 2.5 m Background Kit

Designed to support a roll or sheets of background paper, or any other background material. When assembled, the stand measures up to 9 feet high and 10 feet wide. The kit include stands, three-metre telescopic bar and bag.

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Superior Backgrounds 53"x36' Sky Blue Seamless

Seamless Paper is used to create theatrical sets, visual merchandising displays, special event environments, and photographic backgrounds. Superior Seamless is known for  its wide assortment of vivid colors. 

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