The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
How do you search for the perfect candidates for an acting audition? How do you make good use of your time and investment while looking for actors? With so much saturation in the market, looking for and hunting real talent is not a piece of cake these days. Internet and smartphone penetration has led to an increase in the talent pool looking for careers in the acting field. So, what is the perfect recipe for looking into demo acting tapes? There are three things you should be looking for in an actor’s demo tapes:
- Length of the clip
- Look and feel of the actor in the clip
- Voice quality
Here is the in-depth explanation of each.
Mutual understanding of the employer and employee is necessary for the smooth functioning of the company.
This is the era of saturation, and winning someone’s attention is the actual test. So, why should you be looking at lengthy clips for your right talent? The actor should understand this and produce a short and attention-grabbing demo reel. Similarly, as a director, it is your responsibility to know that the actor cannot show perfection in such a short clip, sometimes even without having appropriate resources.
So, ideally, how long should you be viewing a demo clip to hunt for potential talent without wasting much time? A clip between 1:30 minutes to 2:00 minutes long is enough for an actor or actress to showcase their talent. Tapes exceeding this time duration should be your least priority.
By doing so, you will achieve two things. First, decreasing the talent pool. As those who will exceed this time duration will be excluded for reviewing. Second, increase efficiency and productivity by viewing fewer clips and saving time.
The look and feel of the actor are necessary to judge the potential abilities of an actor. In other words, how the actor or actress looks in the clip and how well they fit the scenes and dialogues. This is how actors can grab the viewers’ attention.
You cannot risk your time and investment with someone who does not fit the scene and does not feel the dialogues. You can judge the look and feel of the actor in three ways:
- By looking into whether the actor’s appearance matches the scene’s environment and context.
- By looking at how well the actor changes expressions for different kinds of dialogues like suspense, shock, sadness, and excitement.
- By looking at whether the actor changes body language as per the context of dialogues and how well they do it.
Finally, the quality of voice is crucial for someone to be a perfect applicant. A film or series’ success depends on how it echoes the audience’s interests and expectations. So, it is crucial for you as a director to pay special attention to the quality of voice depending on the nature of the role.
Do not confuse yourself with the quality of voice and clarity of voice, as, technically speaking, both are different. Clarity of voice is essential, but you can do it through the use of advanced microphones. But the quality of voice is associated with the natural vocals of the actor.
More precisely, it would be best to look into how well the actor elicits emotions and keeps the audience focused on what is happening in the scene rather than in the surrounding.
Demo reel preparation does not need to be a burden, but the actors should do it the correct way. There are many more tips and ideas to consider when looking at actors’ demo reels, and this list considers just a few of these that are pretty foundational.
In short, every market is saturated, and the talent pool has increased so significantly that it has become challenging to find a perfect match for a future project. It is best to rely on productivity tips in such an overcrowded market, so focusing on the three aforementioned considerations should be your top priority as a director. Make sure you view those short clips; the actor perfectly matches the scene, fits with the dialogues, and has a voice quality that perfectly defines the role.