How Holding Online Auditions Helps You Cut Costs
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.
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.
The history of cinema dates back to the late eighteenth-century. One of the earliest films was released in 1878, titled The Horse in Motion, made to answer a question that had been bothering people for long: are all four hooves of a horse off the ground when they’re galloping?
Ever since, cinema has changed a lot. Colored movies started to grace the big screen to everybody’s awe. Films have gone from being only a few minutes long to providing two long hours of entertainment. Now we talk just about everything, from our inner struggles to global issues.
With these changes comes a shift in the way actors are cast too. A traditional audition would have the team spreading the words about an upcoming audition for a role in a TV show or film. Then the audition day comes and a long line of aspiring actors will enter the audition hall, all ready with their acting portfolio and acting chops. The casting director takes a look at their profile, has them read the script or say their own lines, until they know enough to decide whether they’re the right person for the role or not.
There’s only one set of qualifications for every role, and these are criteria a lot of people meet. Problem is, not all of them have the means to show up to audition. May it be the distance or financial problems, it can’t be denied the traditional audition process puts a limit to who can only try out for the part.
This is where online auditions come into the picture.
Ways Online Auditions Can Help in the Casting Process
Holding online helps in the casting process. Here’s how.
One, it gives everyone a fair chance.
The entertainment industry is a whole world full of young talents looking to break into the show business. While many have what it takes to be the next big thing, only a few get the opportunity to showcase what they’ve got.
The traditional way of holding auditions robs these people of that one chance to apply for a job they would’ve been perfect for. If the audition is in the US, it is almost impossible for someone in an Asian country to stand before a casting director.
But through online auditions, these talents now have a way to prove that they might be whom you’ve been looking for.
They can just fill out a form online, send a demo reel that highlights their talent, and wait for a decision.
It’s not just aspiring actors that online auditions are helping. This new method has benefits to offer to casting directors too.
Allowing anyone, as long as they meet the basic qualifications, to apply gives you a wider range of auditionees. Just because you’re holding the audition in Milwaukee does not mean you have to end up hiring someone within the Wisconsin state. If you put up an online audition, you will receive audition tapes from all around the world. Who knows, the man perfect for the campus crush part you’ve been trying to fill is out there in Europe just waiting for your call.
Additionally, this saves you time and effort required by traditional auditions. You can watch demo reels and audition tapes from the comfort of your own office or your own home, and you have all day to go over each of them.
Times have changed, and we are not obliged to do things the way our predecessors in the industry did. As a casting director, it pays to be generous enough to let everyone try out for that acting job. And you can do that by holding online auditions.