On-Camera Labs

Virtual and In-Person

In-Person On-Camera Labs Reopen in Los Angeles and New York City on March 1, 2023!

On March 1, our On-Camera Labs in Los Angeles and New York will reopen to provide in-person sessions to SAG-AFTRA members in LA and NY. We will also continue to offer virtual on-camera sessions and our virtual tech help desk to all SAG-AFTRA members nationwide.

To book a session at one of the On-Camera Labs or the Virtual Tech Help Desk, please read ALL information below.

Virtual On-Camera Lab and Tech Help Desk for Members Nationwide

The Virtual On-Camera Lab and Tech Help Desk is currently available and accessible to all SAG-AFTRA members nationwide.

At the Virtual On-Camera Lab, members remotely record rehearsals and/or auditions via Zoom with a trained technician who helps troubleshoot any technical issues, serve as a reader if necessary, and offer creative feedback upon request. Upon request, members can be provided with a Zoom recording after the session. For optimal recording quality, members are encouraged to record themselves with an additional device (such as an iPhone or DSLR).

Starting March 1, the Virtual On-Camera Lab will offer sessions on Saturdays.

The Virtual Tech Help Desk is an additional free resource available to all SAG-AFTRA members to assist with home set-ups and answer any technical questions — from needing help with lighting, to framing the shot, to recommendations on the best equipment for your livestream callback.

Virtual On-Camera Lab

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday
7:00 AM – 5:00 PM PT

Questions?

Email the Virtual OCL at ocl@sagaftra.foundation

Virtual Tech Help Desk

Hours of Operation

Monday and Wednesday
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM PT

In-Person On-Camera Labs Reopen March 1

On March 1, our On-Camera Labs in LA and NY will reopen.

A trained technician will record your rehearsal and/or audition, serve as your reader, and/or offer creative feedback upon request.

Sessions are 30 minutes and you must bring a storage device for your footage. We recommend either an SD card (UHS-I or UHS-II) or a USB 3.0 flash drive with a 32GB or 64GB capacity.

If you’re feeling sick, please don’t come into our in-person labs. Instead, feel free to take advantage of our virtual services.

Please read all information and our On-Camera Lab rules before booking a session.

On-Camera Lab in Los Angeles

Hours of Operation
Beginning March 1, 2023

Tuesday and Thursday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM PT

Questions?

Email the In-Person OCL in LA at auditionLA@sagaftra.foundation

On-Camera Lab in New York

Hours of Operation
Beginning March 1, 2023

Monday and Wednesday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET

Questions?

Email the In-Person OCL in NY at auditionNY@sagaftra.foundation

How to Use ALL On-Camera Labs

Virtual and In-Person

To reserve a time slot, go to your Member Dashboard and select “BOOK AN ON-CAMERA LAB SESSION.” Then, choose the calendar you’re interested in and reserve an open slot. Make sure to select the appropriate calendar, as we have both in-person and online options.

You can book up to 5 days in advance. The 5-day window includes the days that the OC Labs are closed. You can sign up once a day and a total of twice per week.

Please note that while the sessions on our calendars are blocked off in 45-minute slots, your actual session will end promptly after the first 30 minutes. Under no circumstance can you exceed your 30-minute limit.

Keep in mind, you will not be allowed to exceed your scheduled time, so please come prepared.

The deadline to cancel is 24 hours before your session and must be done via the website booking calendar ONLY (no phone calls or email). This policy exists to accommodate as many members as possible, and late cancellations prevent us from filling those slots.

When attending the In-Person OCL in LA or NY –  Please bring 2 copies of your sides with you (printing services are not available). You are also required to bring a storage device for your footage. We recommend either an SD card (UHS-I or UHS-II) or a USB 3.0 flash drive with a 32GB or 64GB capacity.

There is no talking in the reception area of the OCL because it can disrupt the recordings. Do not plan to rehearse onsite.

If you’re feeling sick, please don’t come into our in-person labs. Instead, feel free to take advantage of our virtual services.

When attending the Virtual OCL – Email sides to ocl@sagaftra.foundation prior to your session. Your lab technician must receive sides at least one hour prior to the session starting.

You must have a stable internet connection.

On-Camera Lab Rules

Virtual and In-Person

Please come prepared. This means you have rehearsed your lines and you know all of the casting director’s instructions for the audition.

Be on time. The session that follows yours will promptly follow so we are unable to offer extra time.

Make sure to silence all devices and turn off notifications. Otherwise, it may ruin your best take. 

Members under 18 years old are REQUIRED to have their parent or guardian present during the recording session. There will be no recording session without a parent or guardian present.

You are responsible for uploading and submitting your audition. Our technician will not be available to assist you with editing, uploading or submitting your audition, so please familiarize yourself with these processes prior to using the lab.

If you are bringing your own reader, please provide us with their name/contact info when you book your session (we will provide a session link, if virtual session). Readers do not have to be SAG-AFTRA members, but under no circumstances will the non-members be recorded.

Your appointment is only for you. You cannot book an appointment for another member or non-member. You are expected to use the lab for the duration of your appointment.

The deadline to cancel is 24 hours before your session and must be done via the website booking calendar ONLY (no phone calls or email). If you do not cancel with at least 24 hours notice, you will be marked a “No-Show.”

Failure to show for an appointment will result in a “No-Show.” Two “No-Shows” within 60 days will restrict your ability to sign up for new appointments for 90 days.

Tech Tips

Two-Device Setup

Get all the info you need on how to arrange your own standard two-device setup. Where it’s using your smartphone or another device, most actors prefer this method to get the most out of their auditions. Learn how to best set up and shoot in our quick and easy guide, and you’ll be a near expert in just under a minute.

Backdrops

Get all the info you need on selecting your perfect backdrop for your audition. Whether you’re utilizing the Fovitec (our favorite), a piece of cloth, or a section of your wall, learn more about the pros, cons, tips, and tricks in our quick and easy guide on how to best set up your background.

Recording Sound

Get all the info you need on selecting the perfect microphone for your audition. We take a look (and listen) at today’s most popular brands such as the RØDE NTG2, the Blue Snowball Mic, the BOYA BY-M1 Lav, and a typical smartphone, and give you a quick and comprehensive rundown on how each compares. Let your eyes do the watching now, and your ears will thank you later.

Lighting

Get all the info you need on creating the perfect lighting setup for your audition. In this video, we compare and contrast natural light, 3-point lighting, and ring lighting, to help you achieve a soft-diffused look you can rely on in order to get consistent results.

Phone Workflow

Learn about the basic workflow of editing and uploading your footage from your smartphone. In this video, we show you tips and tricks on how to trim, color, fade; as well as offering a look at the various editing apps and programs available.

Improve Livestream Image Quality

Learn how to improve your livestreaming image quality. In this video, we take a look at how to turn a common camera into a webcam, and highlight the anticipated results using various camera samples, complemented by lighting and sound.

Three-Point Lighting

Learn how to properly illuminate your self-tape using three-point lighting: from placing a key, to using a fill, to the multiple ways you can set up hair lighting.

Two-Light Setup

Learn how to properly illuminate yourself using a two-light setup, including how to arrange your equipment to light the subject and illuminate the background for optimal balance.

Color Temperature

Learn how to match the color temperature of all of your lights, whether you’re working in daylight or at night, to create a balanced image.

Avoiding Glare on Your Glasses

Learn how to correct your at-home setup to stop lights and/or your computer screen from reflecting off your glasses to present your best self!

FiLMic Pro – Settings and Features

Learn the ins-and-outs of the program’s versatility that can help enhance your mobile cinematography.

Zoom Mobile App

Discover advanced features on the Zoom Mobile App you might not have known before!

Any questions?

Please email the respective On-Camera Lab:

In-Person OCL in LA: auditionLA@sagaftra.foundation

In-Person OCL in NY: auditionNY@sagaftra.foundation

Virtual OCL: ocl@sagaftra.foundation

Additional resources

Need suggestions on equipment for self-tapes? Check out our list of recommended items here.

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