How To Get Seen on Spotlight
Casting websites such as Spotlight, Casting Call Pro and IMDB are great tools if used correctly. Not only do they promote your services and skills as an actor, they also help with your personal SEO.
Spotlight has a thorough search function – you can search for actors, dancers, stunt artists and performers by height, weight, age, look and skill. The advanced function allows casting folk to search for specific productions names, company, roles and production types.
Unless you understand how the search functions work and what casting directors are searching for, you cannot optimise your page to its full potential. So here are my 10 top tips for optimising your Spotlight CV specifically for motion capture.
1. Motion Capture is a Skill! Shout about it!
Spotlight’s new skills upgrade means that ‘Motion Capture’ appears not only under ‘Other Skills’ but also under ‘Performance’. About time!
Make sure you list under both categories to increase your motion capture search ranking.
It sounds simple and obvious, but there are many motion capture performers who do not list motion capture under their list of skills and wonder why they are not getting work. This one simple step will really help you get ahead of the competition.
Note: At present there is no way to distinguish between motion capture and face capture / full performance capture although this may change in the future.
2. Add Another Showreel
Showreels are a great tool to visually showcase your skills yet there are many performers out there without one.
If you have a unique physical skill then here's your chance to show it off. If you have a camera and can film some short clips and edit them together, then you’re halfway there. Try to film clips that show movement as well as facial expression.
If you already have an acting showreel, use the Announcement box for a cheaper alternative for adding your new motion capture showreel and use a free hosting site such as Youtube or Vimeo.
Perhaps add a gaming reel or action reel if relevant. Variety is the key don’t give anyone an excuse not to cast you based on the strength of your showreel or lack of.
3. Use a Recent Headshot
Your main image should be a recent headshot. If you look drastically different from your headshots, then it's time to get new ones. Try to include some variation – some smiling, some neutral etc.
Try to keep weight and facial hair details up to date.
4. Add a Fullbody Image
A fullbody shot is really useful. Mocap suit - optional.
5. Add Training or Workshop details
Use the Training section or Workshop tab to include any courses or workshops you have been involved in. Update this regularly. It’s always good to see an artist committed to his training.
Now you have completed your motion capture training, you should add The Mocap Academy at Audiomotion Studios along with course name / date. If you have completed the Level 2 Face Capture Course, this is a great opportunity to shout about the Full Performance aspect which currently doesn't feature in the list of skills.
6. Update Your Credits
Once you start getting work, you can need to update your Spotlight CV.
A lot of the time, strict NDAs mean you can’t put project details on your website. But there’s nothing stopping you from adding ‘Confidential Motion Capture Project’ – film or videogame, type of character (Lead / Background / Face etc).
Once the game or film has been released, don’t forget to go back and edit your credit.
You can also use the Announcement Box to details projects you may currently be working on as well as reviews, testimonials and any information that keeps you current. You don't have to disclose details if under NDA - 'Currently filming a Motion Capture Project at Audiomotion Studios (or Centroid, or The Imaginarium)' is enough to wet the appetite of a casting director.
7. Add Studio Credits
It’s good to add the director on the shoot – more often or not, this will be an animator so including the studio will often add validly to your credit.
It's good to identify motion capture actors who have worked on a number of projects at one studio (must be doing something right!) if you can get a variety of work at a number of studios, then you are definitely doing something right.
8. Select the Appropriate Production Type
Once upon a time, motion capture was often labelled as 'Interactive Video'! Its mainstream appeal mean Motion Capture can be for Film, Commercials, Animation or Videogame If you are unsure or there is crossover, it’s up to you what production type you select, just keep consistent and make sure you use keywords (see below) to allow casting directors to identify your role within that production.
9. Use Keywords
Within the production details, use searchable keywords and buzz words such as Motion Capture or Performance Capture so that the casting director can immediately identify you as the physical performer. Likewise, use Voice Overt Artist or Facial Capture to distinguish your roles and avoid any misleading information.
Having all the relevant information available means less work for the casting director.
The best spotlight CVs are further categorized for easy viewing and navigation. Instead of grouping credits together in one long list or dumping instead 'Further Credits'. Try to utilize the Video Game and Animation sections. This will highlight your skill in those specialist areas as well as broaden your appeal. Shout about your achievements rather than hide them amongst 'other credits'
If you're a seasoned Voice Over artist, you may wish to separate out your game VO work as Video Game and reference the VO element. Or if you’re looking to broaden your VO work, reference the videogame element.
So, whichever approach you choose, keep consistent and remember to add as much relevant information as possible. Don't give anyone an excuse not to cast you at the first pass CV stage.
Got any other tips you've learned along the way? Share them in the comments box below.