Casting is one of the keys to producing a really good film. If you run an effective casting, you will put yourself ahead of the competition dramatically. An Amateur film is always obvious. The big give away is actors who can not act. So therefore it is imperative that you organize a successful casting. This way your film will look professional.
Why do most emerging film makers ignore casting?
Most emerging film makers feel that they are not experienced enough to cast. Since they are only starting out, they should not deal with experienced actors. So it is much easier to pass and use your friend who is funny after a beer or two in the pub or the actor you have heard about through a friend of a friend. Disaster.
Lets get three facts straight.
- Most actors are out of work. Most actors are resting. Most actors are working in resteraunts, cafes or bars. If you have a casting for a short film or a feature film, they will be very excited about the propsect of getting in front of the camera.
- Most actors are used to auditions. If an actor has an agent, they consistently attend castings for commercials, small parts in TV dramas and very rare feature films. When they are cast for a commercial, they will be paid big money but it will not move their quality career ahead. When they get a 90 word part in a TV drama, they will be very envious of the regular actors working on the TV show. The actor will be very keen to prove themselves in their own acting vehichle.
- Therefore actors who have not yet made it, (which is nearly all of them) will be very keen to be the leads in a short film or low budget feature film. They will attend your casting and hope to get the part.
On big films castings are more complex. You have two specific groups of people who work in the casting area. You have the Actors Agent such as the Ari Gold, the fictional character in the TV show Entourage. He is based in part on the real-life Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel. The Actors Agent represents the Actor.
Then you have the Casting Director who represents the Director and the search for the hottest acting talent for your film. Many top directors will spend months in Casting sessions. This specific person called a Casting Director essentially creates a list of actors for the Director to see. The Casting Director at their Casting Company, will have preliminary castings so as to create a shortlist. They will call the actors agents and select a list of their actors. This is why every actor has to have a really good agent if they want to make it in acting. Now, this is how it happens in the big end of town
However the emerging film director and producer need to avoid the expense of the above process. How can you do it for free for your micro budget quality film.
Firstly avoid actors agents, unless you have budget to pay actors. The really good agents will not deal with micro budget film productions.
Secondly, avoid a Casting Director. Do you very own casting in your own casting space. See every single actor who wants to attend. Like a gold prospector, you will shift through all the dross to find the gold. I guarantee you, if you run two to three five hour sessions of castings, you will find gold. You will find some great actors who will lift your film production above the competition.
How do you learn to run an effective casting, I hear you say. Of course you need to know where to source the actors. Also you need to know how to run an effective Casting. You need to know what are the essentials and that is why we have the solution for you.
In our courses, we teach you how to cast and run an effective casting and how to source your actors.
Till next week have a great one.
Director International Film Base.
Author Details: Colm O'Murchu is the owner of International Film Base in Sydney Australia. He is currently written directed and produced The Makeover Feature Film. The Film screened at the recent Cannes Independent Film Festival in France and won Best Film at the New York City Film Festival. The Film is currently on release in Australia and has sold to Pay TV in Europe. Colm has created the Online Film School and practical or live Film Courses. that helps emerging film makers produce their own films with no budget. For more about Colm O'Murchu please go to International Film Base
I am very much looking forward to presenting the Weekend Film School in Sydney on this Saturday and Sunday May 21st, 22nd. One of my favourite parts of the Weekend Film School is how we get people to meet each other and network. On Sunday Afternoon, we launch film projects that then get produced over the following three months. If you are in town and have next weekend free, please enroll on one of the very best film making weekends, The Sydney Weekend Film School
What I want to talk about this week is Locations. Finding locations for your film is one of the easiest part of preproduction.
Tip One Do not be afraid to write as many locations into your script as you need for your story to be told. I love beautiful locationsand finding the best locations in your city is rather easy. There is an old adage in low budget film making that says "Shoot in a one loacation for three weeks and never move out of there. Yes that is called a play and there is nothing wrong with plays. But if you are shooting a movie, make the movie visual. One can do this by having appropriate locations in your film.
Tip Two . Only have one location move per day and do your best to to schedule only one location for a full shooting day. Over a 30 day shoot, you could have 30 locations. Moving in the middle of the day chews up time. I remember supervising a student short film called Money We only had a one day shoot and we had five locations to shoot in. We spent half the day in the car driving from one location to the other. If you have to change locations, only move once on the day. I know this seems contrary to what Tip One outlines. It is important to find the balance.
Tip Three: Make sure that you have a written agreement with the location owner. Most locations are free and are contributions to the film. Still it is very important to have an agreement. with the owner about the hours and day the location is needed for. Also outline
- Will the location get an end credit in the film?
- Will the location signage be seen in the film?
- Make sure that the location is free of all external people or customers. There is nothing worse than shooting in a cafe that is still open to the public. If the location has external people, pack up and go home.
Tip Four. Clean up the location after the shoot and make it cleaner than before you arrived. This is very important and I know I am stating the obvious.
If you get the owner excited about your film in advance of shooting and then when you leave the location, the owner is happy , you will help future film makers have an easy time. That could be you again. Invite the Location Owner to all parties and screenings. Leave a great impression.
Of the 55 locations that we found for The Makeover Feature Film, 44 of them were free. When an owner, contributes a location to your film, they are in a way an investor in your project.
On our courses, we teach you how to find locations with ease and for free. Find out more about our courses by clicking on an interesting course on our home page