Every actor goes through the process of self-shooting audition tapes. These tapes get sent to directors who are considering you for a part. The teams watch the tapes and then cast based on them.

Sometimes the actors are in the room, but a lot of times you're just watching someone deliver lines and hoping they show you enough to make it count. For actors, this lifeless shot in the dark is part of the process. But it can also be hard if you're not good with a camera, lighting, or just editing your own stuff. 

Well, when Josh Brolin was working with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez on Grindhouse, he got a call from his agents. The Coen brothers wanted him to do a self-tape for No Country for Old Men. Brolin was excited but knew to land a Coen movie his audition had to stand out. He approached Tarantino and Rodriguez at lunch one day and asked if they'd shoot him doing it. They agreed. 

Brolin told Collider, "Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarrantino filmed my first audition on a $1 million Genesis camera during lunch during Grindhouse, and so that was a really cool-looking audition, but I didn’t get the part. It was turned down." 

It turns out, the audition looked so good all the Coens wanted to know was who shot it. After they got the explanation they didn't reach back out.

But Brolin was set on the role, so he had to pursue it himself.

He said, "They watched it and their response was, 'Who lit it?' But I was much bigger and I had a goatee but it had nothing to do with the physicality, they just didn’t see it. It’s not what they were looking for at that moment. It wasn’t resonating, and I have a brilliant agent who just became a persistent pest and just said 'meet him, meet him, meet him, meet him. Not he’s perfect for the part, not you’re making a mistake just meet him.' What I found out now was their last casting session, they were focused on a couple of actors, and they called me the night before and they said, basically, no harm no foul. Leave us alone, have him come down. And I studied a few scenes and I came down and I met them and there was really no reaction in the meeting. I walked out thinking it was great meeting the Coens. I’m a big fan. That’s cool. And by the time I got home, I found out they wanted me to do it."

In the end, the great-looking tape held Brolin back for a minute, but it did start a conversation that ultimately let him land the part of his dreams. And it made Brolin a mainstay in the Coens' world, as he's collaborated with them over the years on different movies that range in tone and character. 

Still, even if it held him back initially, we recommend using Tarantino and Rodriguez to shoot anything for you if they're willing. If not, we recommend just working on getting your lighting right and picking a medium shot that allows for movement but is close enough to see your face. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.