Finding the Best Talent for Productions with a Tight Budget?
Casting for a film is no simple task, even if the production has a studio backing it up. How about casting for a film with a tight budget?
It’s not impossible. Like the many independent filmmakers who have gone here before you, finding the best talent even on a tight budget can be done. You just have to know how to do it and where to look. Here are tips for finding top talent when you’re on a tight budget.
Casting Talented Actors, Even When You’re on a Tight Budget
A popular route for first-time filmmakers is to use friends and family as actors. However, it won’t be long before your audience realizes that the actors on screen aren’t actors at all. Cringey acting is the quickest way to disengage and disappoint your audience. Likewise, family and friends (unless actors or artists themselves) sometimes fail to see the importance of fluidity on a shoot. For example, they could be thinking “Oh, it won’t matter if I’m an hour late; it’s only Lewis,” when in reality, that hour was all the time you had to film at that location.
Hence, as an up-and-coming filmmaker, it’s best to acquire a dedicated, up-and-coming actor to partner with as well. However, how are you supposed to hire an actor if you’re on a tight budget?
Actors—experienced or not—are eager to work on quality, inspiring projects. Adam Levine worked for Begin Again for free! Every actor may be different, but sometimes, assuming there’s room in their schedule and the project is doable, even a well-known actor will take on a small indie project, largely based on the merit of the screenplay. Aspiring actors also often work with aspiring filmmakers in a form of barter system. That is, they act for you, and you give them worthy footage for their portfolio.
This is where we pause and take a moment to emphasize the value of a good screenplay. Its importance cannot be overstated. The screenplay is everything, especially when you’re trying to get talent attached to your project. The screenplay is your rallying call, your mission statement, your way of saying “This is what we’re going to do.”
There are plenty of websites for listing acting jobs on and which also cater for people who are on a tight budget (you) by making this clear to the potential actors as soon as they read the listing. Trust us, there will be people out there who are interested in getting involved. Try Craigslist or Reddit, for example.
Because almost everyone is using social media to connect and advertise, aspiring actors actually find acting auditions, learn about castings, make industry connections, obtain agents, meet new friends, and book jobs through social networking. It is changing the entertainment industry and creating new opportunities for performers everywhere. Look up drama schools and local enthusiast communities where people post casting calls. Join these groups and post your own breakdowns. If you have your own personal account, put up an audition poster and ask your friends to share it.
You may not know it, but actually, school productions are a breeding ground of aspiring talents, continually enticing directors and producers who watch shows as audience. Or if you know some of the teachers, they could give you news or updates about upcoming plays or even recommend connections. Whether it is a volunteer or low-paying project, students see independent films as a step further.
Obviously, it’s the newbies who need to jump-start their career and initially thrive on exposure. If you underestimate inexperienced actors, you miss out on a lot of opportunities and potential connections. Besides, most legends in the entertainment industry started out the way they did. Work together with them and cultivate each other’s career while you’re at it. Where do you find them? You’ll be surprised to find them in film meetup groups, classmates, and friends with a casual interest in what you do and who would want that first chance. These people are self starters just like yourself.
When you are on that friend’s set as a boom operator, get the number of that actor you see killing in every take. Or ask your filmmaker friends about actors they know that might suit the type you’re looking for. It’s truly those ways that you meet the best actors. You just have to search around.
Sometimes, filmmakers and writers already have a particular actor in mind for a character. And sometimes, the actors they have in mind may already have considerable experience and an established reputation. If you think you’re being too ambitious, yes, you are, but no, it isn’t impossible to cast celebrities. Is your story relevant to a certain social issue that this known actor is actively advocating for or against? Asking the right questions can qualify you for some consideration.
Ultimately, hiring an actor to work for free is a trade between the filmmaker and the actor. The director gets the actor’s talent, and the actor receives the reel footage. Sometimes you can sweeten the deal by throwing in your services. Headshots are expensive, so if you’re shooting with a DSLR and have a proper lighting kit, you may very well be able to capture headshots for the actor. Explain to the talent that you might not be able to replicate the shots that a professional headshot photographer would get, but you can give them something close. Alternatively, you could also lend them your editing skills and help them when they have enough clips to put an acting reel together.
Hope you’ll find a star even when you’re on a tight budget! Good luck!
We can read your mind out loud: “Auditions!” But if you’ve actually been through the entire casting process at some point, then you probably realized that finding the right actors for independent films is always easier said than done. Even the most experienced casting directors endure a hectic schedule just to ensure the right faces play the roles and the director, writer, and producers are pleased. So if you’ve never held a casting session, you’ll have to do some homework prior to approaching the aspects of the entire process. It’s highly important that you know how to actually run a casting session on a basic level.
So where exactly do you source actors from and how do you approach some of them?
How You’re Supposed to Cast Actors for Your Independent Films
Before you proceed, here’s an article detailing the responsibilities of a casting director.
If you’re assuming the position as casting director in your project, it is your burden to realize the characters of the story. The performance of each actor you choose can transform a film. The best actors can take words on the page, divine their meanings, and express them using the human form. All these possibilities lie in your hands.
Announcing a casting call
There’s an endless supply of talented people all over the world; it’s your job to match their profiles to the roles perfect for them. So it’s less a question of whether there are actors out here and more a matter of how you can connect with them.
It’s 2019. Design a poster for a casting notice on Photoshop or gather images related to the story then post them along with the casting call’s breakdowns on social media (personal accounts, pages, and groups). The post should include the following information:
- The project’s title
- The core creative team (director, producer, casting director, etc.)
- Shooting location
- Shoot dates (a span of days that the shoot will encompass)
- Whether the film is a short or a feature
- Whether the film is using a union crew and actors
- A logline and synopsis
- A list of all characters who are being cast, along with their ages, genders, and ethnicities where appropriate, as well as a blurb about each character, who they are, what role they play in the film overall, and whether the role is considered a lead or supporting
- Audition venue
- Audition dates
- Requirements (whether they should prepare a headshot, CV, reel, monologue, song, dance routine, etc.)
- Your contact information
You can also have this poster printed out and posted in various institutions and public places like schools, restaurants, coffee shops, and malls. Contact local theater groups and pass along a casting notice to them. Services like Backstage can assist in some cities too; currently they can post notices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Las Vegas, and London. On the other hand, if you are a bit old-school, you could place an ad in your local newspaper.
Look for an accessible space you could reserve for free or rent. Prepare sides and necessary forms. Some productions send the screenplay ahead so actors can decide whether or not the project overall is something they’re interested in and so they get the context about what’s happening in the sides. Other productions prescreen actors online to save time.
If you can tell right away that someone’s not right for the part, it’s still good etiquette to let them finish their audition. If an actor doesn’t nail the first take of their audition, don’t just throw them out of the audition room. More often than not, the actor in front of you is much more capable than they may seem, but just don’t ‘get the scene’. And can you really blame them? Often times they are given 2 to 3 pages of sides and expected to play the role as well as they would if they knew the script and character inside and out.
Give some direction and don’t be afraid to do 2 or 3 takes if you need to. This will also help you gauge how versatile they are.
The Carmarthenshire Herald
Sometimes, filmmakers and writers already have a particular actor in mind for a character. And sometimes, the actors they have in mind may already have considerable experience and an established reputation. If you think you’re being too ambitious, yes, you are, but no, it isn’t impossible to cast celebrities. There actually are actors who are eager to work on quality, inspiring independent films. Every actor is different, but sometimes, assuming there’s room in their schedule and the project is doable, a well-known actor will take on small independent films, based on the content and potential of the screenplay. This is where we pause and take a moment to emphasize the value of a well-written screenplay. The screenplay is everything, especially when you’re trying to get talent attached to your independent films. It basically constitutes a huge part of your “elevator pitch” when offering them the role.
Reach out to them or their agent/manager and let them know you have a project you’d love for them to consider. Don’t be afraid to include a line or two about why you want this specific actor to be in your film. Send them the following project details:
- The project’s title
- Logline and synopsis
- Role for the actor to consider
- Director (include a reel if you can)
- Shoot location
- How many days the actor would be needed
Actors are your allies. You should want each other to succeed. Carry this truth with you for every project.
Is it even necessary for casting directors to interview auditionees aside from plainly letting them show off their acting chops? The answer is absolutely. Sadly, many casting directors overlook this and learn its importance the hard way. Regardless of any skill the auditionee has (or not), work ethic and attitude remain at the top of any experienced casting director’s criteria. Through clever questioning, each applicant’s string of secrets can be partially unraveled early on, leaving room for caution and wiser decision-making. In order to know you’re bringing in the right people, here are a few brilliant questions casting directors should ask during auditions.
Wise Questions Casting Directors Should Ask Actors
What have you been working on?
Actors preferably should always be working on something. It could be a play, a student film, auditions, workshops, or acting classes. At the very least, actors should be auditioning and submitting for projects if they don’t have an agent submitting for them. Actors doing nothing sound skeptical (not auditioning, not submitting, not acting, not taking class). It can be a while since they booked a job, but an actor should always keep acting to keep skills sharp and to stay connected to the community. Simply having done a mailing, updating their actor website, or editing their reel clearly shows that an actor is serious about their career.
Aside from these reasons, casting directors should ask this question as an opportunity to gauge the applicant’s commitment to the project. Could there possibly be conflicting projects and schedules the auditionee has to face?
How do you deal with stress?
Zoé Henrot, artistic director of St. Paul Ballet, says that she poses what she calls “situational character questions” to potential new hires in order to hear how they solve problems and defuse tense moments. This helps her assess the work ethic and drive of the person she’s interviewing. Casting directors should ask this important question to know more about the applicant’s personality and how they’d vibe with the production when they’re under pressure.
“Being in the studio is a social experiment,” says Olivier Wevers, the founder and artistic director of Whim W’him Contemporary Dance. “The right personalities are important for the success of the creation process.”
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
Casting directors should ask an auditionee about other interests and skills they might have. Certain special talents can contribute greatly to the production, such as musical abilities, dancing, or speaking a foreign language. Actors who already have those skills are most appealing as production crews won’t have to spend valuable time giving lessons. Some acting roles might even call for more specialized skills, such as horseback riding or stage fighting. “We want to nurture people off the marley,” Debbie Blunden-Diggs says. If an actor is mostly interested in performance-related activities, then great. But it doesn’t make them look less professional to talk about non-related hobbies and interests. In fact, it might help casting directors remember them or envision them fitting into the bigger picture.
How long have you been performing?
Preferably, a casting director should ask, “Do you have any experience in the industry?” or “How many productions have you been in?” Noting down the roles, productions, and other relevant experience, especially under familiar producers or directors, helps casting directors predetermine the kind of direction an actor is already familiar with. Experience in a specific field generally means adaptability and prior industry knowledge, which makes working on set with them relatively easier. Some people may succeed solely on their talent, but many others succeed because they understand how things work and keep up with the industry.
Describe your acting style.
It is important for an actor to be aware of their style. Interestingly, many actors, especially new ones, are not. An answer like “comedic” or “dramatic” isn’t helpful. Asking an actor to describe their style helps you determine the extent of their training and independent research. Casting directors should ask if their style is influenced by any of the established teachers (i.e., Meisner, Stanislavski, Adler, Spolin).
Does this actor prefer working organically? Or do they prefer immersing themselves into a character’s situation? Are they the kind of actor who needs a lot of direction and preparation, or do they work better cold? Are they a very physical actor, or is their work more subtle and internal? There are people like Daniel Day-Lewis who are method actors and assume a role from the moment they step onto the set the first time, never leaving the character until the film wraps. Other actors have other processes. Through these preferences, casting directors can know if an applicant would be a match for certain actors and directors.
What inspired/inspires you to become an actor?
When you ask an actor to tell a short story of how and why they became an actor, you’ll find out a lot of things. What are they really after in this industry? Do their deepest motivations allow growth? Do their life experiences and present mind-set exude a certain attitude you can work with? Does the actor have a lot to learn? Do you see potential?
They may probably have a ready reason that includes a favorite actor, movie, mentor, or random first-time experience(s) that encouraged them to step into the career. But this question is about probing into an auditionee’s interest and eagerness in understanding this profession than it is about their dream of snagging performance credits and earning a million of followers. Are they willing to be trained, criticized, directed, and corrected? Blunden-Diggs says, “Before you put your name on the line, understand what you’re coming into.”
Do you have questions for me?
Casting directors should ask if the applicant has clarifications. In fact, it is important for actors to learn more about the casting process and the current project. However, clarifications largely differ from irresponsibility. Some applicants may show up to auditions not knowing what to bring, what to wear, and what to say; so the questions they ask already say a lot about them.
David O’Connor, owner and director of casting for O’Connor Casting, says, “My biggest pet peeve is people not being responsible and informed and playing stupid. ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘I wasn’t told.’ It’s not your agent’s job to hand-hold you. It is your job to take control of your career and be a professional responsible adult. . . . Each audition is a job interview. Come in like you want that job or don’t come in at all. . . . Be prepared, and always bring headshots. You just never know. Don’t rely on technology or your agents to do the work.”
When you didn’t get the part, we’re sure your friends told you that it wasn’t because your acting wasn’t good enough. This actually rings true from a casting director’s perspective. Many factors are taken into consideration during the casting process. Plain skill isn’t the only/main quality that they note down during auditions. Largely depending on the project, here’s what casting directors look for in an actor.
What Casting Directors Look For in Actors
Casting directors want to find the best actor out of a group of actors who all look basically the same. Other than acting skills, what casting directors look for is an actor who’s easy to work with. First and foremost, you want the casting director to like you as a person. When you enter the audition room, the only people present besides you will be the producer, a camera operator, the casting director, and if it’s a commercial audition, a representative from the advertiser. Whoever the people there are, treat them all with respect. No matter what they look like, how they appear, or what you know about them, be polite and nice.
Be prompt, punctual, disciplined, prepared, willing, and respectful to everyone involved in the production, including the cleaning people. In other words, be professional. Furthermore, you have to know how to practice a balanced mixture of confidence and humility in front of the casting professionals.
The entertainment industry is quite small. You’ll probably run into the same people again and again in many other projects. If you exude negative vibes or project bad attitude, news about it will spread like wildfire. Gwyneth Paltrow’s career, for example, has not taken off in the last couple of years since she made rude comments.
The right look
Casting directors, producers, and even talent agents are going to be quite particular with your physical image. As a matter of fact, they consider this the 50% rule. These professionals have already familiarized the script, so they’ve envisioned a corresponding look for each character involved. This means that the minute you walk into an audition room and you look just like the character you are auditioning for, you have already won the role by half. All you have to do is act the part well and the job is definitely in the bag.
Being prepared is definitely one of the most essential keys to nail an audition. Casting directors, producers, and agents would know whether you have familiarized the slides, practiced, and clearly understood the character you auditioned for or not.
Don’t worry about not memorizing the lines they have provided ahead or during the audition. What casting directors look for is how you deliver the role and show your character’s personality. You will only be able to do this effectively if you prepared well.
Ability to take direction
The audition room is your first chance to show just what kind of an actor you are. Having prepared your lines and decided on your character portrayal, you will be fully prepared to demonstrate your skills and ability to perform the role. However, at the end of your reading, the director or the casting director will probably ask you to do something differently. Whether it’s a different style of reading or movement, they will request that you try it again a slightly different way. Whenever the director gives you instruction, do not look puzzled, do not think for a moment, do not immediately start speaking or start to defend yourself or explain why you weren’t doing it in the first place. Just take it in, do it, and stay quiet.
Remember, you are there for one reason: to fulfill the director’s vision. It can be easy to forget since it may seem like your job is simply acting your part. But keep in mind that the director controls everything that happens onstage or on set. They are the person in charge. Learning to take direction is one of the most important qualities an actor needs to have. All the talent in the world cannot save you once you’ve built up a reputation for being difficult on set and argumentative with directors.
This quality points out to how an actor creates a connection—not just with the audience but with fellow performers. Whether you are auditioning for a TV role, a character for a motion picture, or a part in a theater production, it is important to establish a relationship with those whom you are interacting in a scene. Although this is something you can’t control, you can develop this quality through active listening, reacting to instinct, and picking up on impulses.
Your acting ability, lastly, plays a crucial role during an audition. People responsible for casting need to find this one out as soon as possible. As an aspiring actor, you have to ensure that you are believable in any kind of scene. If you sound like you’re reciting lines, with intonation incongruous with the text or if you deliver lines without purpose, then casting directors are not going to find you deserving. Do you deliver your lines the same way every time? How do you react when other lines are being read to you? Are you angry, waiting for the next opportunity to deliver your retort? Or is something particularly profound being suggested and you’d want to take a moment to contemplate?
Sure, casting directors would like to give newer actors a chance to get experience, but producers can’t. Film festivals will reject the film for “stiff performances” if they don’t choose the best actors available. If this is a challenge for you, you may want to attend acting classes to learn how to “act naturally under imaginary circumstances.”
Now that you know what casting directors look for, it is time to assess yourself if you have them or not and start to develop them into your personality if you don’t. Once you have the winning personality to make any casting director like you, browse the opportunities waiting for you at Explore Talent. Good luck!
It’s true, casting directors are the unsung heroes of every production. They’re the backbone of every production. While the job is oftentimes rewarding, the casting process can be a challenge. From understanding the script to get to know the characters to finding the right actor for the role, it takes more than just basic knowledge about the industry to be a good casting director.
Lucky for you, the industry is now home to casting directors who have polished their skills and are ready to guide the newer ones to be better at what they do. One of them is Ellen Chenoweth.
Casting Tips from Ellen Chenoweth
Gathering the best actors to take on the roles in a film is no easy task, take it from Ellen Chenoweth herself, the award-winning casting director behind No Country for Old Men (2007) and True Grit (2010). An entire day of interviews isn’t even enough to fill the spots. Don’t be dismayed, though! The hurdles in the industry are necessary to help you blossom into a world-renowned casting director.
To guide you, Ellen has shared her secrets on how to be an efficient casting director. Here’s what she has to say.
1. Scout for your candidates yourself.
Don’t sit idly in your office waiting for the candidate with the most amazing credentials to walk in. Instead, go out there and look for people with potential yourself, even if you’re not hiring at the moment.
It pays to have a lot of options so when casting season starts, you have a list of talents to choose from. Call your acting teacher friends, visit their plays, and watch out for the brilliant performers. Better yet, hold online auditions so you can save time and cut costs.
2. Make room for innovative performance.
In the film industry, there are different lists you can pick actors from. Most of the time, casting directors do that; however, this sometimes leads to poor, dull, and habitual performance. As much as possible, consider those candidates who seem “unfit” for the part then mold them into the perfect person for the role.
Do it like Ellen, she skipped the list of notable comedians and chose a less visible actor—Brad Pitt—to play a stupid health buff. As a result, the movie Burn After Reading became one of the goofiest plays in Hollywood and Chad Feldheimer remains the goofiest role Brad Pitt has ever done.
3. Bad interviews don’t mean bad talents.
Don’t let a brilliant talent slip away just because of a failed interview. More than a one-off interview, an impressive résumé should speak for their acting abilities.
Ellen Chenoweth once said, “I know they can do better. I know that they’re right for this in a way that they didn’t show us.” If you sense candidates are off their game during the first try, don’t hesitate to give them a second chance.
4. Stick with your first pick.
You might find yourself in the middle of sparring with other casting directors because of your choice, and that’s okay! Ellen suggests that you never concede without putting up a fight to defend your first talent pick.
Casting directors may not see the same potentials you saw. But if you try hard enough, you might rally them on your side to take your advice.
5. Avoid rush decisions.
“There are some directors who just want to get it done and make decisions,” Ellen shared. “Sometimes you have to try to slow it down and say I have a few more people I really want you to see before you decide.”
If you still have time to spare, use it to your advantage to scout for the best talents. In the end, you’ll realize that fine-tuning all the characters really pays off.
6. Learn to look past the candidates’ known strengths.
There are candidates who possess great strengths without even knowing they have them, and one thing you must master to be an efficient casting director is to learn to look for them. Once you spot their unknown forte, you can decide how the candidate will best suit the film’s needs.
Oftentimes, you’ll put talents on uneasy, uncomfortable, unfamiliar roles and they might not realize you’re helping them. Nonetheless, the experience will challenge their acting and creative abilities.
These tips from Ellen Chenoweth will advance your career as a casting director if you use them right. Besides these, you must also take notes during auditions, make talents feel comfortable, and compliment candidates if necessary.
Always have the right attitude and skills for the job, and you’ll surely cast the best ones!
As most work goes paperless and digital, so does a casting director’s job. “The biggest change in the business is taped versus in-person auditions,” says Rhavynn Drummer, casting director at Tyler Perry Studios. She says out of every 30 or so people she auditions, at least half are on tape. Previously, we discussed how holding online auditions can help in the casting process. This time, we’ll tell you how it also can actually reduce casting expenses.
Why Holding Online Auditions Is Actually Cheaper
No need to secure an audition space
Finding the perfect face and personality for each role can take so much time. Imagine the long lines and the possible whole-day process of waiting for more actors to come after only a few did. If you actually rented out the venue, this is bad news. If you didn’t, you’ll have to keep coming back to the venue until all the roles are filled. Instead of having to go through the ordeal that securing an audition space entails, you can now watch auditionees’ demo reels and audition tapes from the comfort of your own office or home.
No more papers
From copies of particular pages of the script to printouts of probably over a hundred information sheets, organizing online auditions now relieves you from the hassle of printing and photocopying. Holding online auditions means online forms, which are now available to help you out. Send the excerpts to them online, and they’ll have enough time to internalize their approach before going on tape. Organizing the actors by name, role, experience, or probability of being cast also won’t be as difficult as manually doing that to hard copies.
No more posters and permissions
Having to travel to key locations where actors may (or may not) take notice of your audition posters can now be skipped. Take advantage of the wonders of social media to promote and spread the word about your upcoming project. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who will actually take interest in it, share your post to their walls, and tag their friends. This means more prospects!
If you’re a beginner filmmaker or a film student, you’re in for a treat. LA-based casting director Marci Liroff started a fund-raising campaign for a low-budget indie film on Kickstarter, allowing actors to connect with the project by contributing money. Actor Erin Cronican has used Kickstarter and the similar site IndieGoGo to fund her own projects, and by showing interest in other people’s projects, she has landed auditions and booked roles, she says.
As the internet is taking over today’s world to make our lives easier, performers are now using it to their advantage in auditioning and looking for work. Casting directors should too.
Working as a casting director, you’re probably more than familiar with how the casting process goes. But if you need some pieces of advice as you work on your next project, here are some tips for organizing casting calls.
Tips for Organizing Casting Calls
From bits on deciding on the right venue to choosing the best date to hold it, here are some helpful tips for organizing casting calls.
1. Secure a good venue
When organizing a casting call, one of the first things you need to take care of is the venue. Much attention is paid to venue selection, as there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration. One, you need to go with a place that is within your budget. Now this step could be hard because you don’t really know how much of the whole production budget would go to the casting part. But there are a lot of options waiting for you, so you just have to be wise and practical when making a decision.
2. Choose the best audition scenes for on-the-spot readings
Choose a scene that will get the best out of the actor. Have them read and act out a piece that will allow the talent to show their range of emotions. It shouldn’t be so long nor too short. You can choose a scene that involves a couple of actors to see how well they complement each other and how they look like on the screen together.
3. Spread the word
Advertise the casting call. You can do this online through social media or website banners or post flyers to get the attention of more people. How wide the advertising is depends on the size of the production, but you can trust that there are a lot of platforms you can take advantage of to spread the word. Besides online advertising, print media advertising is one good option too. Seeking help from newspaper companies and community theaters would be a good move.
4. Provide information sheets
Prepare information sheets for the actors who made the cut. Make sure you’ve already decided on the schedule for rehearsals and production and include them in the sheet too. This is so the actors can make sure that there won’t be any schedule overlap and the filming can continue without any problem. Additionally, it’s highly advisable you distribute a separate sheet for actors to fill in their contact information and other details you will need.
Organizing casting calls can be difficult and can take a toll even on those who have been doing it for so long. But just follow these tips and give the task before you the full attention it needs, the whole process will go as smoothly as you hope it will.
Casting can be a demanding process. It requires so much from you than just the eye for talent and patience. You need to check actor profiles, study each of them, and look into their acting experience and workshops attended.
And when a talent catches your attention, how to contact them becomes your next problem. Every casting director has been hoping for a platform where they can meet talents without conquering long distances.
Technology heeded the call, and the solution comes in the form of mobile applications.
Top Mobile Apps for Casting Directors
Here are five mobile apps for casting directors that have made the casting process easier for everyone involved.
It’s the ultimate movie database, so it is safe to say that there’s no one in the entertainment industry that won’t need IMDb. As a casting director, you can use the site to explore the filmography of any actor that has acting credits under their belt. The app also offers industry updates and other important bits of information you will need.
2. Auditions & Talents
An app with over half a million users, Auditions and Talents has a wide range of features both casting directors and aspiring actors can use.
3. Actor Genie
Created by award-winning casting director Heidi Levitt (The Artist, Lakeview Terrace), Actor Genie has everything a casting director needs in a mobile app. It is as much a necessity for casting directors as it is for actors. Actor Genie has a directory of agents, casting directors, and managers that will definitely come in handy if you are still starting out in the business.
Actor Genie gives you a scoop on the latest castings, industry tips, and even gives you a guide as you prepare for your next audition.
Casting360 is simply one of the most feature-packed mobile apps for casting directors. The app gives the user easy access to the latest casting calls and is very easy to navigate.
5. Department Head
An app for those in the entertainment industry, may it be film, television, or advertising. Basically, the app allows you to create your own database. You can create to-do lists, load a script you’ve written, store photos and videos, and make important notes, something casting directors definitely need.
Casting for a movie or TV show can be draining because of the challenges that come with it, but these mobile apps serve as a platform where casting directors, agents, and actors meet, allowing for a smooth and faster process.
The job of a casting director requires more than just having the patience to sit through a number of auditions. Before you can even organize an acting audition, you need to read the script and analyze it. Then you have to meet with the director of the film, the screenwriter, and the producer to know the type of actors the film needs.
Although the role the casting director plays in the whole filmmaking process remains unknown to some, they hold a position just as important as everyone in the crew.
Trying to determine whether an actor is the perfect guy for the role can be a challenge. To guide you, we gathered a few tips for casting directors from the experts in the field.
Helpful Tips for Casting Directors
If you are working on a new project, here are a few tips for casting directors you will definitely find helpful.
1. Have an eye for talent
This is the skill every casting director must have. The whole production team relies on your ability to choose the best of the bunch. You can’t present a talent who can’t read a line properly before the movie director.
Hone your skills. Study the previous works of more experienced casting directors or do more castings until you’re good enough yourself to tell right away whether or not a talent is the best person for the role.
2. Make the talent feel comfortable
One of the best tips for casting directors is to avoid being too intimidating. Maybe it helps in some ways, but appearing scary will only give talents the nerves. As much as possible, try to look friendly. A simple act of hospitality like offering them a cup of coffee or a glass of water will do the trick. Or start a small talk before getting to a more serious discussion.
3. Take notes
It pays to take notes. It’s up to you what you want to pen down, maybe the talent’s strengths and weaknesses? Not only will this help you when time comes you have to give them the results, it will also give the actor a clearer picture of what they have to work on.
4. Give praise where it’s due
Everybody deserves to hear compliments, so do not hesitate to give praise where praise is due. Highlight their strong points, but do not exaggerate. This is a good way of encouraging them to work harder and achieve even bigger goals as an artist.
5. Don’t make promises
As a casting director, you will meet one talented actor after another, which is a really good thing because that means you’re getting closer and closer to meeting the best person for the job. But one of the things a casting director must remember is that it would do everyone good if no promises were made.
You may be facing a really promising talent right now, but it’s possible that the next one you meet is better at unleashing emotions. Promises will only result in disappointments, so you might want to save everyone from that.
Casting can be harder than what it looks, but if you have the right attitude and skills for the job, you will surely produce a work that exceeds expectations.
Before the actual film production can commence, there is the pre-production process. It is in this stage that selecting film locations and casting are done. While working out shoot locations requires intense planning too, casting can be tedious and physically draining. The casting department has to exhaust all resources they have to look for that talent perfect for each role, even the smallest of the bunch.
Now as a casting director, you probably know that and have had your fair share of hardships as you try to seek fresh new faces for the project you’re working on. You choose schedules for casting and the venue for auditions. What should be considered and what should be avoided in order to complete auditions problem-free is something that you have grown accustomed to. What some directors fail to acknowledge, though, is the possibility that there could be a thousand talents out there who are equally deserving of the role but just cannot be there physically.
It is for this reason that online auditions exist. The Internet has made it possible for people with the same interests and goals yet separated by distance to meet on one platform. By allowing aspiring talents to audition for roles online has greatly helped in the casting process.
But how does one organize an online audition?
Helpful Tips for Holding Online Auditions
Online auditions are basically just the same with the traditional way of applying for a role, minus the travel and having to wait at the audition hall for hours. As a casting director, there are needs you have to meet to make sure the audition yields a satisfying and fulfilling result. Here are some tips for holding online auditions.
Lay down the qualifications properly
Make sure the qualifications are clearly stated. From the physical traits and the basic traits of the character, describe the characters to be played properly, clear enough for the talent to know for themselves if they can play the part.
Provide a monologue
When Morgan Creek Productions announced that they will be producing a film about the late Tupac Shakur, online auditions immediately started. To make sure they get the right guy for the role, they gave a courtroom monologue every applicant must read and act out in the five-minute video they submit.
One of the most important tips for holding online auditions is to provide a monologue for your applicants. If you are looking for a singer to play a role in a musical film, you can give them a specific song that they can try to belt out. Or if you are looking for someone who can play a lawyer in a legal drama, you can provide a short exchange to be used in one of the intense courtroom scenes.
Make media sharing easy and convenient
When talking about online auditions, audition video is the very first thing a talent will think of. Now how they make the audition video is up to them. What you can do, though, is make media sharing easier and more convenient for your applicants. Pay attention to every detail including the size and the length of the clips they can share.
Advertise the audition
Get the word out. There are many ways you can do this. Email marketing, social media marketing, or putting up Web banners are just few of the many types of online advertising you can take advantage of to let more people know about the audition. The more you advertise the audition online, the bigger the chance you’ll get the turnout you need.