Movie Auditions – How to Audition for Films

Here you’ll find audition tips for movie auditions. Film auditions are different from other acting auditions because they will often be taped. A video audition can be viewed later by the producer or director of the film you are auditioning for. Often these decision-makers are not present when you first audition for a movie. Even if they are present, they may view the audition tapes later to decide which actors get called back.

So auditioning for movies takes on-camera acting skills you don’t need for theater auditions.

Here you’ll find information on how to prepare and nail movie auditions.

But how do you get film auditions?A great place to start is to get an agent, but you don’t need an agent to get your first audition for a movie. Check out this list of things you can do to get acting auditions. If you don’t have any film acting experience yet, consider submitting your picture and resume for roles in student thesis’ films. Many student directors will be willing to hire those with minimal experience because it’s a learning process for them also and the acting jobs are no pay.

Congratulations! You got your first audition for a movie.
Here’s a list of things that will help you prepare:

Research the project.

Find out as much information as you can about the plot, characters and style of the film. If you can get your hands on a copy of the screenplay, great! But most of the time all you will get is a breakdown of the characters being cast and a short summary of the story, along with some production information like the name of the director and producer. Find out what other movies they’ve produced and directed and watch as many as you can. Try to get a sense of their style and what kind of actors they cast.

Study your sides.

Sides are the scene(s) from the screenplay of the movie you are auditioning for. There will be faxed or e-mailed to you by your agent or the casting director. A lot of the time, you will get a code to download them directly from the Internet. Get your sides as soon as possible and memorize your lines if you can. You want the camera to pick up the expression in your eyes during your movie audition. This can’t happen if you’re looking down at your sides because you don’t know what your next line is (seethese acting tips for more on learning lines for movie auditions).

Working with the camera.Most casting directors will have the reader sit close to the camera so you are naturally looking in that direction. If for some reason the reader is away from the camera, find silent thinking beats in your acting where you can look up in the direction of the camera. Never look straight at the camera, though! It’s like breaking the fourth wall in a theater, it’s amateurish and breaks the illusion of the scene. The idea is to look in the general direction of the camera without staring down the lens (unless you’re auditioning for a slapstick comedy maybe…)

Film your movie audition rehearsal.

Consider filming yourself so you can see exactly what your film audition will look like. When you review your practice audition tape, you may be surprised at how much you gesture or look down. You may also want to adjust your makeup and wardrobe (if you are an actress, you may want to take a makeup class to learn how to apply makeup for the camera).

Don’t just film yourself, watch other actors audition also so you can learn from what they’re doing right (and their mistakes). If you are interning for a film casting director, ask if you can watch some of their audition tapes… Or check out special features on DVDs (some include audition videos from the movie casting phase). You can even find some taped casting sessions on YouTube!

Lights, camera, action!
Now that you’re prepare for your movie audition,
it’s time to nail it!

First, make sure you check out these audition tips that will work for any audition.


Remember that, unlike theater where you want to “take the stage”, film work is small. Internalize your acting. The camera will pick up the expression in your eyes without you having to telegraph your acting overtly.

Physically being still will serve you well. Study actors you admire and notice how still they often are in movies, even when they have big emotional moments.

And remember to look up for the camera!

Movie auditions at
the Hollywood studios

After you’ve done student films and independent films, you’ll start getting film auditions for big budget movies. If you live in Los Angeles, chances are your first audition will take place at one of the major Hollywood studios (Disney, Universal, Fox, etc.) These movie studios are very large and you may have to park far away from the casting director’s office, so count an extra half hour to find your way through the maze of sets and producer bungalows. When you schedule your film audition, make sure you’ll have a drive-on (that means that your name will be on a list so security lets you drive on the studio).

We hope these movie audition tips help you land your next film audition.

Once you get a few TV and film acting roles, put together an acting demo reel. You can post it on your webpage and include a link to it when you submit your picture and resume for a movie role. It should help you get more movie auditions and an agent if you don’t have one already!

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