A brief rant about full length shots in self tapes

My friend got up at 5am to help me record for my last self tape. I wanted it to go well. I rolled round her place way too early with a case containing a foofy shirt and a regency frock coat from the – incredible – free – costume – haul. I thought hard about whether it was worth wearing it, as you don’t want to step on the toes of the costume humans when you’re just an actor saying “Hey it’s me!”

“Who is that prat in the frock coat? It doesn’t even have the right buttons!” If the wardrobe human is a bit of a douche and watching the tapes, that might happen. I was hoping for a “well, he’s made an effort. Let’s get him in to the next round.” Who knows who even looked over it. Depends how many they called for. We shall see. You can’t second guess this stuff and if you try to you’ll either get embittered or go insane. I’ve got lines to learn and will be on set early next week, and I’m in an evening show where they’ve arranged cover. I can count my lucky stars. Not many of us can say that.

Anyway, my friend got up at 5 the other day for me. I was going to make it work for her in return. I tried to help her bag something lovely. She’s great at her job. It’s been a slog for us both over the years. We are still going in this often arbitrary line of work. We still somehow carry optimism and lightness, and now we build these temporary studios in our homes so we go up against people with bigger homes and better equipment and we try to make the best of the fact we are sometimes having to contort ourselves to fit the only frame we are able to make. “Full length” is particularly the thing that makes my heart sink. I’ve had to go to ridiculous lengths to get a full length shot (It has to be in landscape with your phone sideways – try it). It’s particularly hard on your own. Why anybody who has the faintest idea of the practicalities of self taping would ask for a full length shot is beyond me. Below is a still from one of my more recent attempts – shot by a friend from her stairwell and she did it in portrait. It was the only way we could do it and light me. I ended up doing that shot again in landscape in my kitchen because I couldn’t send it looking like a giant, and everybody tells you never to send self tapes in portrait.

This the first
This the second. They just have to deal with my kitchen, weird oven glove, bust, plant leaves creeping through the door. This is me, dammit. Landscape is just weird in full length. At least they can see the shape of my body. Why not just fecking recall the actors you like?

Anyway, yeah that was the afternoon. Then a lovely show with some strange audience. Then home to the wonders of late night wind down food. Now I’m trying to go to sleep. Hey diddly-fecking-dee.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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