Code of Best Practice for Self-tape and Zoom Auditions

Code agreed with Casting Directors Guild, Personal Managers' Association and Co-operative Personal Management Association

For the first time, Equity and industry organisations have come together to agree a code of practice for self-tape and Zoom auditions. The code has been developed to put an end to unrealistic deadlines and overly long scripts, which Equity members tell us have been issues with self-tape auditions in the past. It also responds to changes to the casting process as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a move to more self-tape and online auditions.

Equity has agreed the code with the Casting Directors Guild, the Personal Managers' Association and the Co-operative Personal Managers Association. It's the first time the organisations have worked together in this way. 

Download the Code of Best Practice for Self-tape and Zoom Auditions

The code outlines best practice for casting directors conducting auditions by self-tape or Zoom. Members of the Casting Directors Guild will be required to follow the code. If you're an Equity member and you receive a self-tape request that doesn't follow the code, you should report it to the Casting Directors Guild.

Key guidelines from the code

Turnaround time for self-tapes

  • Casting directors should aim for a four-day minimum turnaround, with a maximum of six pages to learn in that time.
  • Minimum turnaround for three pages or less would be three days.
  • No artist should be asked to learn more than six pages for a first self-tape and there must not be more than two different roles asked for in one self-tape and no more than two scenes for each role, with no more than two versions of each scene.
  • If a self-tape is asked for on a Friday, then it will not be due back until the following Tuesday. If the intervening Monday is a Bank Holiday, then the self-tape will not be due until the following Wednesday and no self-tape request will be sent out on a Bank Holiday Friday. Any self-tape requests sent out on a Thursday immediately prior to a Friday Bank Holiday will not be due back until the following Wednesday.

Using readers

While a reader is often beneficial to a good self-tape, it was agreed that it should not be an absolute requirement.

Casting Directors Guild members will always seek to set reasonable deadlines for the return of self-tapes. But it is accepted that unforeseen circumstances may change deadlines.

Telling performers yes or no

The Casting Directors Guild have reaffirmed their support of Equity’s Yes/No campaign. The campaign calls for performers to always be told about the outcome of their audition – whether they get the job or not. The Guild is urging its members to make sure performers and their agents are updated about casting decisions in good time.

Making auditions accessible 

Equity's Deaf and Disabled Members Committee have developed separate guidance for casting directors on making self-tape auditions accessible.

Take a look at the Quick Fire Guide to Accessible Auditions and Self-tapes for Deaf and Disabled Talent.