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Tale of the tape

By Billy O'Keefe

CANDICE MITCHELL / The Working Press
Making an audition tape for a television news director can be a nerve-wracking experience. Kenn Venit, president of Kenn Venit & Associates, a television consulting company, and Steven Kalb, who teaches journalism at the University of Connecticut, offer these tips on how to create great resume/audition tapes.
• Make sure the tape begins with a “slate.” The news director needs to be able to reach you. Include your name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address.
• The seven seconds that follow the slate are crucial. This will help the news director decide whether to keep watching your montage. It should include three stand-ups and run for about 45 seconds. One stand-up should introduce a story on the tape.
• Make sure the tape plays back on various video players.
• Contact the news director to find out whether to send a DVD, VHS or online form of your tape.
• Post your resume tape at http://www.auditionfactory.com. News directors will be able to watch from the link on the Web site.