The Spotlight Guide to Idents

In this video, we answer the questions, what is an ident and what is it for?

When you go in for a casting, often the first thing that you will have to do is an ident, which is also sometimes known as a slate (especially in America).

In this video, we show you what a typical ident for a commercial casting looks like and how this compares with an ident for a film, TV show or theatre production casting.

Idents for Commercial Castings

In an ident for a commercial casting, the casting director will often want to see your hands in case there are shots of you using the product in the commercial. You'll also be asked to turn to the left and the right so they can see your profile from both sides. They'll also get a full-length shot of you too.

Casting directors will usually want to know:

  • Your name
  • Your agent so that they know who to contact when they want to hire you. If you do not have an agent you can say ‘self-represented'

They may also ask if you've been in any commercials conflicting with the product they are casting for. It's best to be completely honest about this to avoid any problems later on.

There’s a number of other questions you’re likely to be asked relating to the product and this will vary from audition to audition. For example, you may be asked about any allergies you may have or what your hair care routine is if you’re going for a shampoo commercial.

For more information about commercial castings, listen to our podcast episode with casting director Alex Wheeler.

Idents for Films, TV or Theatre Castings

Idents for films, television shows or theatre productions are much simpler. Casting directors will usually want to know:

  • Your name
  • Your agent
  • Your height

Sometimes they'll also want to get a full-length shot of you.

If you are filming a self-tape you may have to work out how to do this all by yourself. Make sure you read any instructions you're sent carefully so that you know what to say and what they are looking for. We have lots of information available about how to go about setting up and recording self-tapes.