SAG-AFTRA Self Tape Audition Rules

6 Things Actors Need to Know About the New SAG-AFTRA Self-Tape Audition Rules

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Okay… there are certainly a LOT of changes in our industry right now! And one of the big sticking points in contract negotiations it’s about an all around hot topic between actors, producers and casting directors: Self-Tape Auditions.

If you work in the industry at all I’m sure you’ve heard about SAG-AFTRA’s Interim Agreement. (linked) Hundreds of productions have now signed, which means more work for union members. A complete list of Approved Productions is here and it’s updated weekly.

So what’s the deal with changes to self-tape auditions? Well…. Here’s the scoop!

There a key points that are going to make your life a whole lot easier.

All of these changes are currently in effect in the Interim Agreement so it’s important to know what you’re entitled and where to draw the line.

SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement New Self-Tape Rules

  1. Turnaround Time: Same-day additions are not allowed anymore – the agreement requires a 48 hour turnaround and 72 hours for minors… And that doesn’t include weekends and holidays
  1. Page Limits – they have to keep it under 5 1/2 pages for first time auditions, and 12 pages for callbacks. 
  1. Memorization: They’re also not allowed to make a memorized, so holding your sides are using a teleprompter is contractually protected. (Keep in mind though, the professional actors and artists are the ones who are going to memorize… And this is who you’re going up against! (#personalchoice )

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  1. Technical Requirements: Producers/casting directors are no longer permitted to specify any technical requirements of your audition other than they need to see you and hear you… That’s it! Any preference on background color or HD video is contractually prohibited. Plus… you have to be able to view the casting notice and submit your audition for FREE.
  1. Full Body Shots: FINALLY… there is a limit on full body shots! Producers are only allowed to ask for a full body shot in portrait mode… So those horrible horizontal full body shots, or panning up and down is a contract violation. The same goes for changing camera angles. i.e. no more slow pirouettes!
  1. Opportunity To Audition Live: I absolutely love this one! Under the new SAG-AFTRA contract interim agreement, production has to give you the opportunity to audition live, either virtually or in-person in lieu of a self-tape. Obviously there will be some limits on this in terms of time and scheduling, but they are now required to give you some reasonable options.

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More juicy tidbits: No nudity (duh!), no stunts, dancers have to be provided with music, producers must store our auditions securely, they can’t share them publicly, and actors must be provided with “comprehensive information” about the role.

To get the full details, you can find a Sample Interim Agreement Contract here. Scroll all the way down to  Exhibit A: Self-Tape Interviews and Auditions

These are some amazing improvements! And thank you SAG-AFTRA…. We’re all exhausted with the audition requirements of the last couple of years. My guess is these guidelines will change in the final deal with AMPTP, but with so many independent producers signing these contracts right now it’s an excellent start and making them permanent.  These are the rules right now, and hopefully they will set a new industry standard.

As always, I’d love to know what you think in the comments below! 😎🎬 Hunter

Relevant Links

SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement – Everything You Need To Know

We’re Fighting for the Survival of Our Profession

SAG-AFTRA Guidance on Interim Agreements 

An Update on the Interim Agreements

A Message About the Interim Agreement

SAG-AFTRA News and Events

DEADLINE: SAG-AFTRA Implements New Self-Taping Audition Guidelines For Low-Budget Projects 

⭑  Very Cool Organization: Auditions Are Work! 

* Be sure to check out this document about long-standing contract provisions …. That I didn’t know about and you probably don’t either!

* Please Note:  I am not an agent, manager, or casting director. I do not procure work for actors. All information, workshops and coaching are for educational purposes only and are not a guarantee or promise of employment. Thank you for being here!

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