good casting director

What Makes a Good Casting Director?

Posted on Posted in Industry Advice

What makes a good casting director? That is the question every one of you probably has in mind. You are in a constant quest to be better, but when can you actually say you are good enough?

A casting director has a lot on their plate. Their job does not end at meeting random people to appear in their film or convincing A-listers to give their project a shot. After all, casting a film or a series is like an alchemy. And it takes more than just good chemistry to create an ensemble that would make your project the next big thing. For one, you need to make a good impression on your actors. Second, you need to be good with how you give instructions. You have to build a good rapport and establish connection, and a whole lot more.

So what does it take to be a good casting director? An actor dishes on this particular topic and here’s what they have to say.

Traits of a Good Casting Director

1. Gives out complete information

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A good casting director should be able to provide their actors the complete information about the project, and ahead of schedule too so the actor has time to study it and be fully prepared for the audition. If there are any changes to the script, the casting director should let the actor or the agent know about it so the agent can relay the message to the actor.

2. Introduces the crew clearly and slowly

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Introductions are made as soon as an actor steps into the room. A good casting director should know how to do these introductions properly, and that is slowly and clearly. An actor is introduced to the camera operator down to the key grip, and an efficient casting director should not make the actor feel rushed when doing so. There is no good project outcome to a rushed and chaotic casting director.

3. Gives clear direction and redirection

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This is very important for an actor, even the veterans. In a film setup, time is very precious, so clarity is key. If the instructions given are not clear, then there will surely be a follow-up question, which takes time. So as a casting director, make sure to make your directors loud and clear. Moreover, if the actor asks about something politely, take the question and give a clear answer. 

This is not only for when the production begins. The same applies for when you are still holding an audition. For all the aspiring actors in your room, what you say is law, which no one would dare break. But how would they do what to do and what not to do if your words are not spoken to them properly? And one more thing: if the auditionee asks for another take, give it to them.

4. Challenges stereotypical casting

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Times have changed. Gone are the days when people of color are no longer ignored when it comes to casting. Unless it is historically required that the actor should be white or straight, casting directors should be willing to ditch typical casting and go for any talented actor no matter their gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, or general appearance.

5. Lets the actors know the outcome of the audition

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Some casting directors will no longer contact their auditionees if they didn’t pass the audition. But this is a bad habit. For actors, no matter what the outcome is, they deserve to hear it. It is a way of letting them know that you appreciate the time and effort they exerted on making it to your audition. If you just leave it to them to give up and stop waiting for the result, then that is very unprofessional of you and it would be very unfair to the talent. It does not matter if you want to do it via text or email, just let them know the result. They will highly appreciate it.

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