Written by Melvin Tunstall III
Q: Hi guys. Need advice. Received an email yesterday from Atlanta AEA to “Submit using Vimeo, YouTube, or any other video hosting hardware. Do not send it as attachments or Dropbox!” WHAT?!!!! When did you have to become a computer engineer to audition? This is all too complicated. Any suggestions?
First of all, let me say “I feel you, fellow theatermaker.”
Changes to the “business standard” can be infuriating! I will never forget when color headshots became the new normal the week AFTER my box of 500 black and white photos from Reproductions arrived. I kid you not, I’m pretty sure I still have them somewhere and because I like you all so much, here you go:
The hair? Gone. The photos? Still with us. Oh well, what can you do?
It looks like one of the holdovers in this post-pandemic theater world will be digital submissions. Even before the pandemic started, many casting offices were shifting to digital auditions to offer convenience for both the casting office and performers.
And when “the standard” changes in the business, it is up to us to change with it, no matter how (rightfully) frustrated we may be.
Luckily, all you need to do is find a video hosting/sharing site that is easy to navigate and works for you! With the shift to all things digital last year, there are many more options than giants like YouTube and Vimeo. Check out these 5 (FREE!) video hosting sites for your next audition submission!
I recently was recommended WeTransfer by a colleague in Texas who asked me to record a 15 minute video. Knowing that length of video would be almost impossible to email, she sent me to WeTranfer and I was blown away with how quick and easy we were able to transfer such a large file- even with its 2GB limit for free users! With audition videos usually being substantially shorter, sharing that 32 bar cut will never be quicker.
First, I promise we didn’t include Smash.com because it shares a name with our beloved (or beloved-to-hate) musical series. This file transferring service blew us away with its UNRESTRICTED FILE TRANSFER SIZE! Yes, the larger the file, the slower the service. but Smash claims it has handled files up to 350GB. As a bonus, with Smash you also get password protection and file previews under the free tier!
Streamable.com boasts it has the fastest uploading speeds, but that may be due to the size limitations for files. Coming in at a paltry (compared to others) 250MB, all videos come with a unique link that you can share wherever you like. Here’s the feature that was the standout that made us include Streamable: with a quick click on the embed button below a video, you can embed it on your website!
Send Anywhere uses the direct method of an input key for its transfers. Users simply upload the file and get a 6-digit key. Now, enter the input key on the recipient’s end and there you have it. Simple! There are a few minor “cons.” If you want to send files through a link or email then you will have to sign up for their account and essential features like password-protected links, download count, and expiration time are only available under the premium plan. And be warned theatermaker. When you have those last-minute submissions, you will have to experience a few seconds of ads before you can get the download link or the input key under the free tier.
Google Drive is an obvious choice for many theatermakers looking to transfer videos. With your Google account, you can upload a file and choose to send it via an email just like WeTransfer. You can also customize who can view, edit, or comment on the files. Basically, you are getting all the premium features of WeTransfer on Google Drive without paying a dime.
Okay theatermakers, here’s your chance to vent your frustrations with the move to digital submissions! Or maybe you’re on the casting side of making theater and would like to offer a rebuttal! Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts below and for more blogs like these, join our tribe of theatermakers at The TheaterMakers Studio, plus our (FREE!) TheaterMakers Facebook Group and open up a treasure trove of ideas, resources, and so much more that will help get you to the next stage of production!