How you appear is key, and lighting is a big part of this. Strong shadows falling in the wrong places can eliminate your chances of producers watching the tape all the way through. Looking completely washed out from lights that are too strong or close doesn't work either. If the lighting serves as a distraction to your performance you've wasted your time. Lighting needs to be clean, and completely unnoticeable. A professional acting program, especially acting classes, should have someone on staff that has experience producing tapes. Ask for help creating a simple diagram that outlines a lighting scheme.
There should be two or three light sources. Lights can be placed on either side of the talent to help illuminate the face. Then a third light can be used to fill in the background. Some audition tapes have chosen to leave the background dark. While this can work you must be careful to that the overall feel of the tape is appropriate and not distracting. The all important next step is the white balance on the camera.
This reads the color temperatures of the combined light sources. They range from being very yellow to very blue. Let's say you set up the lighting, and you are also near a window. A mix of light sources is possible but, the camera must be "balanced" to correct for these color differences. The white balance feature is used to make this correction quickly and automatically. A pure white card or sheet of paper needs to be placed in the middle of the lighting sources. If you do not use this feature the color will be completely off, especially your skin tones. You want good clean skin tones, eye color and hair color, so you must not forget this step.
Another very important thing to consider is sound. A good audition tape is only as good as the sound, because your voice is your main instrument. No one wants to sit through a tape that they can't hear. Keep the mic as close to the talent as possible. While easy, the camera mounted microphones are usually not very high quality. Communicating character, and a sense of which you are as an actor depends on what you sound like so making it great. Acting classes sometimes have ways to help with this.
On to content, the all important piece of the puzzle, the character you are portraying, or a sense of whom you are as an actor. An audition prepared for taping has some slight differences. Preparation can be made easier if you've studied Meisner acting techniques with trained coaches. Using the Meisner acting tools can help create a riveting audition tape that does not seem rehearsed or staged. Anyone who has studied Meisner acting will understand that acting is as much about what you leave out as what you put in. Cramming every emotion and gesture into a performance will always seem false. The key to great acting is what you don't present, but leave simmering underneath. Audiences like to work, think, and look for clues which are a way to engage them in your performance.
At times, actors are asked to include something very specific, but it should still have your own ideas incorporated. More frequently actors are asked to turn in monologue audition tapes, just to give viewers an idea of their range and abilities. Whether you have the gift of comedy, or a talent for dramatic roles, a great audition includes both. The greatest actors are well rounded and can include many layers of abilities during a short piece. Audiences identify easily with a comic figure's dark moments, and like to laugh briefly to endure intense drama.
Robert Winsor Institute Acting classes are led by Robert Winsor, a British born American citizen and an experienced professional who can help give constructive feedback. Professional actors are always open to direction, certainly as an up and coming actor it's smart to remain open to input regarding your audition tape.
The Robert Winsor Institute and its different platforms, has been around for many years. Young actors get to learn not only how to successfully book work in film, print TV and commercials, but they also become extremely assertive.