Audition Videos

Two things:
  • All characters will have 1-2 Required Monologues per Voting Cycle.
  • Those Required Monologues will change after each Voting Cycle.

Please let me know your thoughts on the following points and if there's anything you would like me to add to the list. I'm not an actress, so I'd really love to hear from people who know the industry and what Casting Directors would prefer to see.

  • Should participants be required to begin their audition videos with a slate? (This involves stating things like your name, age, city, and height.)
  • Because there will only be two Required Monologues to film per character, should participants be required to edit their final takes together into one video (along with their slate) for use in our Voting Cycles? 
    • The thinking behind this is that having one video per person could make the voting process seem less daunting to voters. It would also make it easier for me to work with your videos when editing Finalist interviews and running promotions.
    • You'd only need to edit/slate your best takes of the two monologues required for the Voting Cycle. Videos that you add for critiquing purposes will remain informal.
  • Should I require participants to add a pre-made, five-second intro containing the UBC logo and our URL to the beginning of any videos used for our Voting Cycles?  I just made the aforementioned intro and I think it'll make more sense to use it only for videos uploaded to our official channel. Perhaps I'll just ask you guys to link to UBC in your video description per Gabby's suggestion!
    • This would be a great way to advertise ourselves on Youtube without being obnoxious.
  • Should participants be required to use a reading partner? No reading partner it is!
  • Should participants with poor lighting or audio be disqualified?
  • Should scenes filmed professionally/on location be admissible in a Voting Cycle, or would this be an unfair disadvantage for those who lack the resources to do the same? I'm leaning toward Gabby's idea of featuring location scenes on the main page and requesting that videos entered in the Voting Cycles be filmed against a solid background.
  • How should videos with excessive ad-libbing be handled?

ETA: After reading the comments so far, my idea is this:

When uploading videos for the sole purpose of receiving critiques, no editing or slate is necessary. When you get to the point where your videos are Voting Cycle-ready, you'll need to edit them—and your slate—together. (I'm still thinking about the brief UBC intro; that'll be of more use to us when we lose the ability to do direct uploads later this year.) Gabby is right about privacy issues, so it's up to you on what you include in your slate. At a minimum, I would recommend stating your first name (be it real or fake), age, and country.


  1. Oh gosh this is a lot, the gif is very fitting.
    I really like the idea of the UBC logo and the slate for the videos, but it might be a bit complicated for the newer members. If we're going to do a slate, I think it should be in a separate clip from the actual video because I think it looks better that way. It also might make it easier to edit it into the one video idea for the VCs, which is a good idea because it'll easier and less work for you which is always a plus.
    I don't think a reading partner is necessary but could be optional, since the monologue would make more sense but most of the voters would already know what the monologue would be about somewhat. The problem with having the partner, is being able to find a good one that wouldn't take away from the scene even though they're off camera by how bad or good they are (in my case, the person would be very bad).
    I think the excessive ad-libbing and and poor quality videos should be given warnings about doing that, but if the quality is extremely poor, they should be disqualified and if the ad-libbing isn't too much and doesn't take away from the video, it should be okay.
    I think the professional filmed ones shouldn't be admissible if they're very very scenic, like running through woods and such, but simple cutaways with just walking in and out of the frame, a door closing, etc. should be allowed since they're simpler.
    I think that's it.
    I hope this helps.

    1. Quick note: Don't EVER worry about whether your reading partner is good at acting, even for a real video audition. Casting directors do not care about the reading partner. If you audition in person, you'll be reading with the casting director, director, or casting assistant, and that person will make almost no effort to act. CDs want to see what YOU can do, regardless of the reading partner's skills or lack thereof.

    2. That's a really good point, Cimone! Didn't think of it that way until now.

  2. So it turns out I have a lot of thoughts on some of these points… So much that it doesn’t fit into one comment… I’m sorry, I know I tend to type a rather excessive amount, I promise I will try to start cutting down!!
    Well there’s a lot to cover there, and some of the points could be made to work well in a number of ways. Personally, (although I may end up changing my mind, depending if other people come up with ideas I haven’t considered) I think that, going through the points; I’m not entirely sure about doing a slate for every single video, I think it would work and would probably be a good idea, I’m just not too keen on it personally, not just for UBC, I just don’t like slates in general, no idea why, I just don’t like them :P Also I’m not sure about including city in the slates, I’m not adverse to saying roughly where I live, but some people might be, and although it’s only a vague area, it is then over the internet, so I think some people may not feel comfortable with saying that unless it’s directly to a casting director. But I think it’s probably a good idea and definitely looks more professional. Also would we be able to re-use the same slate for all of our videos? (Obviously changing them though if some of the details changed.)
    I think the editing takes together makes logical sense. I would prefer not to (mainly because I’m lazy and also because I upload my videos to YouTube before UBC, so I can see the views, and then it would be having two copies of each video on my channel, and basically I don’t really have an issue with actually doing it, I just - minor OCD kicks in :P) Although one point that you might want to consider, is that I know a lot of people don’t edit their normal takes (like to take out the beginning and end of them turning the camera on and off etc), so I don’t know if that’s because they don’t have editing software, or don’t know how to use it, but that might come up as an issue? I think adding the pre-made UBC intro would be a great idea, if everyone did their video’s through YouTube and the majority weren’t unlisted. Basically because most people upload their videos direct to UBC, which means there is little point of an intro if they’re already on the site, and as a lot of people who upload to YouTube first put the videos as unlisted, there aren’t many videos that will be seen outside of UBC making the intro a little redundant in my opinion. Maybe you could instead consider making it a requirement to enter a voting cycle, that if you have posted the take you will be using for the voting cycle on YouTube on a public setting, that there either needs to be a link to UBC in the description, or as one of the links embedded in the video, or somewhere on the persons YouTube channel?? I already have a link to UBC on my channel, it’s simple and effective, so that could be a possibility?
    I don’t think a reading partner should be required, I know many people don’t have someone easily accessible that they could read with, or they are too shy to get someone else to do it. I know that when I first joined I was not confident enough to act infront of my family (strangely I could act infront of friends, but I had real issues acting infront of my family) who are logically the easiest people to help film. I did all my filming when I was at home alone or when the rest of my family was asleep. Only recently have I built up the courage to get family members to help me with things like auditions (also they may not know the tone of the piece and end up saying the lines in a way which makes it harder to act off in the way you want to, instead of easier). I think it can be a real problem for some people to find someone to read with them, who is either around enough, or that they feel comfortable reading with. It could maybe be strongly advised that people do get someone to read with them, but I know that it can be very hard to find people when you need them, you have to actually set time aside and plan, instead of being able to spontaneously decide that you want to make a video.

    1. I definitely do not think that people with poor lighting, quality and sound should not be allowed to sign up. Sure it may not look as professional, but lots of people can’t afford good cameras, don’t have good places to film, or don’t know how to make the best of what they have. I know often I want to film, the only thing I have with me is my phone, which is a pain to find a good position to put in, or my webcam, which creates horrific background noises. I think a way around this though, could be to create a page giving tips on how to get the best possible recording. Giving advice on things like where to position yourself and your camera in accordance with the light source, advice on cheap but good quality cameras, tips on how to reduce noise or finding good areas to film. That might be a better approach.
      The point with videos filmed on location is really tricky, because while it does give an unfair advantage, it is only because that person has gone that extra bit further, showing the dedication to the character. I think because the people that do that have put in that effort, it would be unfair to not let them enter it in a voting cycle. Therefore, I think there are two options; either on location videos are not allowed in voting cycles, and all voting cycle videos have to be kept to audition video standards, as if people were sending in an official audition tape, but in this case, there would still need to be recognition of the work that went into the location videos, so it depends on how many people are making them, but maybe the location videos could all be featured on the front page, or maybe there could be a playlist of sorts, in which all the location videos for each btfa are kept, and on the results pages, the link to all the location videos for that btfa could be put up, no matter whether the people rank or not. Either that or the location videos are allowed, but if each character has two required monologues, only one is allowed to be a location video, or at least there is some limiting to how many or how much of a location video is allowed.
      With regards to the ad-libbing issue, I think if it’s just a case of getting the lines a little muddled, in the wrong order, than that’s fine. However if the person has got a huge chunk of the lines wrong, or added in many of their own, then that’s different. If you stick to the plan you posted of the voting cycle schedule, then there is a month in between the voting cycles, during that, there could be a few notices displayed, reminding people that excessive ad-libbing is not allowed in voting cycles, and if people do not know if they are ad-libbing excessively or not, then they should either ask someone, or redo the take. If it comes to the week or so before the voting cycle and it has been noticed that someone who signed up has been ad-libbing in one of their videos quite excessively, you could send them another reminder, and if after that, they have not refilmed, or are still ad-libbing, then they have had their warnings, and they should be disqualified.
      That’s all I can think of right now, and as I said, I may completely change my mind if someone mentions a point I hadn't thought of!!

  3. Should participants be required to begin their audition videos with a slate? (This involves stating things like your name, age, city, and height.)
    -Yes. In case CD's find us, they most likely won't want to search through our profiles!

    Because there will only be two Required Monologues to film per character, should participants be required to edit their final takes together into one video (along with their slate) for use in our Voting Cycles?
    -No. Many people, like myself, are too lazy to watch the entire thing. Plus it's easier to critique videos separately rather than all in one. Also, many people don't edit their videos already, and if people don't have editing softwares it could get complicated.

    How should videos with excessive ad-libbing be handled?
    If the person ad-libbed too much, it simply cannot be used in the cycle.

    The rest, I agree with Gabby!

    1. In case CD's find us, they most likely won't want to search through our profiles!

      Excellent point!

      Many people, like myself, are too lazy to watch the entire thing. Plus it's easier to critique videos separately rather than all in one.

      When uploading videos for the sole purpose of receiving critiques, no editing or slate would be necessary—does that change your opinion? The only time your would edit your two monologues together is for the Voting Cycle, and I really think voters will feel less intimidated if they see one video per person on the voting pages instead of two.

      As far as videos editors go: Youtube has one, and I'm sure fellow members would be happy to help anyone who's having trouble...possibly in exchange for a few critiques. (Also, all of you are actually going to need a Youtube or Vimeo account later this year when we lose the ability to do direct uploads.)

    2. If it's just for critiques, then yeah, that changes things. I think adding the two together for voting cycles is a great idea!

  4. This is a lot of stuff to think about. I won't answer it all at once, but I don't think that videos filmed on location should be admissible to voting cycles. This is because when casting directors accept video submission, they usually want them kept simple. I'm still thinking about the reading partner question and other stuff. (This is Cimone, by the way.)

  5. If you were doing two scenes (or in this case monologues) for a taped audition out here in Hollywood, here's what you would do:

    You would slate (Name, Age, Height) Then you would do the first scene, make a transition on your own without stopping the tape and continue with the second scene. The casting directors do that a lot so that they can see if you can do the different sides of the character back to back.

    I think for UBC's purposes we should slate but only our first name, age, and state. That way it keeps it general (no stalkers) but the potential casting directors would still get some info about you.

    I actually don't think the two scenes should be edited together. I probably wouldn't watch the whole video if that were the case. !!!And I can guarantee!!! (sorry for the exclamation marks, this doesn't have bold font lol) !!That casting directors won't watch the whole thing!!!!!!!! In a taped audition they usually will only watch about 5 seconds. Literally. If you catch their eye they might watch 15 seconds. By that point they have already decided wether or not to call you into an audition. Even though they make you do two scenes there is probably a 0.5% they will even get to the second scene.

    I don't think that anyone should be disqualified for the quality of video and lighting. Not everyone has a good camera and filming location. Although I think that it should be a strong suggestion to find those two things.

    I 100% agree with featuring the amazing film type scenes on the website, but asking the videos for the cycle to be plain. I think the voting cycle videos should really be treated how an actual taped audition would.

    It's totally fine in an audition if you ad a "Hey" or an extra "Sorry" or things like that, but it is nottttt good to add whole extra sentences. The writers like their script. They don't want you to change it. (Unless the script says something like "Abigail is playing with her dolls in her room." You could add lines like "Hi Mr.Ken, I'm Barbie" etc but that's pretty much the only exception.)

    If somebody on UBC is willing to edit logos and such that's totally fine, but it shouldn't be a requirement because not everyone knows how to edit or has the software.

    I love all of the ideas that are on this page!!!

    1. Very helpful, Raina!

      In light of what's been said, it seems like it would be more effective for final takes to be filmed and uploaded separately after all. (Slates would still be required for both.)

      I can live with there still being two videos per person on the voting pages. It's not ideal, but I'm betting that using only one of the two videos on the voting pages would be worse!