Sorry I've been silent. We're putting together an application for BravoFACT to fund our comedy short, and that means we need all our ducks in a row. Not just a script and a budget, but department heads and all the roles cast. Normally you wouldn't cast anything but leads before funding, but they want to know that if they approve you, you're ready to go.
Casting is your most important job as a director. If you cast right, you can do no directing for the rest of the production and you'll still be okay. (Not great, but okay.) Thing is, headshots tell you oh so little. You don't get much of a sense of a person from a headshot. You can tell if someone's inexperienced, but what if they're inexperienced but good? Some agencies are good enough to put people's reels online. This saves everyone a ton of time. I can tell in a minute or two if I'm interested in someone. If they've got it, I'm drawn in. If not, I drift. Of course, the agencies might not want you to tell in a minute or two that you're not interested!
Casting is scary, because you can screw your whole movie up. It's also fun, because when you find the right person, your lines come alive. Sometimes the actor finds something in them that you didn't know was there. That's a joy.
I have a feeling this is going to be a funny, funny piece. If we get the money, yo.
The bizarre thing I've noticed (from my extremely limited exposure) is that every actor's headshot makes them look like a glamour model ... even if you are casting the role of a homeless drug-addict!
When you see the actor in real life (or a role similar to yours) you find they look almost nothing like the underwear model shown in the photo.
Good luck !
Indeed. And auditions aren't entirely helpful, especially for young directors who don't know what they're looking for.
Reels are always good - and I'm thankful for places like SpeedReel or even sites like NowCasting that host actors' reels.
One thing I've learned is to look for an actor with Meisner training. Usually, even if it doesn't mean that they have the same approach to rehearsal that I have, it means that they'll at least understand my approach. Usually.
But yeah. It's hard. My mentor told me that, on every show, there's one person you should've cast that you didn't, and one person you shouldn't have cast that you did. I guess I've had a string of good luck, because that hasn't always held true, but it's always comforting to know you're not the only one.
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