All About Multiple Takes (for auditions and jobs) Mar 29, 2019 23:06:31 GMT -8 h0m3st4r, Dom Dinh, and 3 more like this
Post by Lady Stardust ★ on Mar 29, 2019 23:06:31 GMT -8
One question frequently asked on our Discord server is "How many takes should I do for an audition or job?"
Well, I'm glad you asked!
Important disclaimer: ALWAYS follow the casting director's instructions first and foremost. Some will encourage or even require X number of takes, whereas others will ask for only one, etc. While this is intended as a general guide, it's important to always read and follow the instructions given for the audition or job.
Now that we've got that out of the way, how multiple takes are approached is usually going to be slightly different for an audition versus a job.
Unless otherwise requested, it is generally preferred to send only your best take for an audition.
Why? Chances are, the casting director has hundreds of auditions to listen to. If everyone sends three takes, that's three times as much time and work for them to go through everything. It's better to keep your audition short and sweet---leave them wanting more, not turning it off because they get bored of listening.
Does this mean you have to only do one take when recording? Of course not! I recommend starting off by recording three takes of each line, then listening back, picking your very best take of each, and editing those together to make your final file that you send out. If something still catches your ear as being off, you can do a couple more takes of that line until you get it right, but try not to overthink.
Your final audition file should be a compilation of your best take of each line.
(Be sure to edit smoothly if you're putting different takes together so it doesn't sound disjointed!)
Now, there are certain situations where it may be beneficial to send another take. Here are some examples:
- The takes are in different accents. (For example, let's say your natural accent is British English. You think the director might want American accents, but they didn't specify. In this case, it would be appropriate to send a take of each. Or let's say the character is German and the director thinks they might want an accent, but they're not sure. In that case you could send one take in a German accent and one take in your natural accent.)
- You are matching a character's voice from another language, or voice matching a previous actor. In this case, you may decide to send one take that's matching the original as closely as possible, and one take where you have your own spin on it. (Just make sure the takes don't sound nearly identical if you decide to do so!)
- You aren't quite sure of the style or tone of the project, so you want to send one take that's bigger and more cartoony, and another that's more pulled-back and conversational.
- You want to try another option with a different vocal age or voice tone (so long as it's still something that could be viable for the character).
However, limit it to two takes maximum, unless otherwise requested or unless you have a VERY good reason why you need to include that third take. And remember, ONLY send multiple takes on an audition if you have something different to offer for each! Simply emphasizing a different word or taking a little pause on one line or making the voice pitch a half-step higher isn't really grounds for a separate take---most directors know these are things that can easily be adjusted by any decent actor if they need it.
If I do multiple takes, should they be in separate files, or in the same file?
Usually, casting directors will specify which they prefer. Some will want all takes per character on one file, while others will ask for each take as its own file. If they don't state any preference, it's up to you.
If the takes are going to be in the same file, simply leave a brief pause before going into your second take. (Optionally, you may slate "take 2" beforehand, though it's not usually necessary.)
If they are in separate files, be sure to label them accordingly (example: Jolyne_KiraBuckland_Take1.mp3 or Jolyne - Kira Buckland (Take 1).mp3 - often times, labeling guidelines will be specified in the audition sides.)
"11 22 33 or 123 123?"
Unless otherwise requested, audition takes should be formatted as 123 123, meaning don't do multiple takes of the same line in a row---do one pass with ALL lines of the character, and THEN do a full second pass with whatever different approach you're taking for your second take. This not only ensures that your takes are actually different, but also allows the casting director to easily reference which one they prefer.
Make sure Take 1 is your strongest. There are two reasons for this. One is that first impressions are important. The other is that sometimes the casting directors will only bother to listen to one of your two takes, so you want to make sure that the one they DO listen to is your best.
You got the job---yay! How many takes should you send?
Here is an instance where multiple takes can be encouraged, because it gives the director something to pick from. If not specified, between two and three per line is usually good. Even though it's slightly more work for you during recording, it can save time in the long run by minimizing the need for retakes.
Keep in mind there is still a limit! Most directors do not have the time or patience to sit through 6, 7, or 8 takes of each line, even for a finished job. Three is plenty---they can always ask for retakes at that point if they need them. If you don't hit what they're looking for by the 3rd take, chances are you aren't suddenly going to hit it by the 5th.
These takes do not need to be in different voices/styles/accents. If you were hired for the job, it's assumed at this point that you've already set the base voice and the place where the character "lives". Your 2-3 takes can simply be a slightly different read or emphasis on the line. In some cases there's only one real way the line can be interpreted, and that's okay---in that case, it can still help them to have a "safety take" in case there is a noise or other technical issue on one of them.
Unlike your audition, your final files should be in a 11 22 33 format, meaning two takes of line 1, two takes of line 2, two takes of line 3, and so on. It makes sense in this case because you're not switching voices, and this way the director can easily make their select and move onto the next line.
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