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The 3 Biggest Framing Mistakes Actors Make

Trust me, framing incorrectly can affect your chances of booking... why not get it right?

two men taking selfies

Self-taping has become a HUGE part of an actor's job since 2020, and with it came a lot of new industry standards. One of the technical things actors had to learn was how to properly frame themselves during an audition. Basically framing refers to how an actor places the camera for a self-tape, you're framing yourself like a picture!

I know it sounds simple - but there are 3 COMMON mistakes that actors make with their framing... and it can distract from your performance!



Mistake#1 - Vertical Phone




You are not filming a TikTok or an Instagram Reel, so don't place your phone vertically! Casting directors want actors to submit tapes recorded horizontally (they even specify this in audition breakdowns)! When they watch your self-tape, it's usually on a computer or TV screen, and the vertical placement SHRINKS your video. Horizontal placement fits PERFECTLY.


Remember, "hamburger" placement, not :"hotdog"!




Mistake #2 - Too Much Space!



When casting directors are watching self-tapes, they want to get lost in your performance. The focus should be on YOU and your face, not the background! Sometimes actors zoom out too much during their self-tape, when you watch tapes where the actor is framed too wide it's easier to get distracted during the performance. Make sure you are framed where your face is the first thing we notice!



Mistake #3 - Too Close!




I know I just said to zoom in on your framing, but not too tight! The industry standard for self-tape framing should be:


  • An inch above the top of your head is the top of the frame

  • The bottom of your frame should be placed where you cross your arms (or under your bra strap)


Actors need to handle blocking in most audition scenes, so make sure you have enough space to move around during your performance. Don't end up looking like a talking head - it's boring to watch!



Bonus Tip: Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!


Like the craft of acting itself, you need to practice to get it right. Don't wait for your next audition, play around with your camera set up and make sure you get the hang of it!


For more tips and tricks, check out www.TheDramaClass.com !

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