Pre-Production: How To Find a Cast

Finding a cast can be a tedious process of filmmaking. Make sure you start early so that you do not run out of time to find the perfect people for your roles. Waiting until the last minute may force you to make compromises that you will regret. It is important to know that this process is all about making a good first impression. This is not only on the part of the actors, but also you as a filmmaker.

Step 1: Advertising

First, you need to let actors know that you are looking for them. This can be done any number of ways. Sending out a mass email to people you know is a great way to start. You may be surprised how many responses you get. To explore options outside your social or professional circle, try the schools. The easiest parts to cast will be those that need to be played by people in their early twenties. For this age group, all you need to do is go to your local college with an acting program. Put up some fliers or have the school email out a notice on your behalf. You can also find all the demographics through different job posting venues such as Backstage. Craigslist is always an option, but may be more work than it is worth.

Step 2: Audition Space

You will need to sort through your responses and find the people who look the part. Once you have narrowed down your pool, you will need to call these people with information on how to audition. Before you can do this, you will need a space. Though many actors will happily come in and audition in your home, you may want to consider the advantages of appearing professional. In all likelihood, the better actors will have the luxury of being able to choose who to work with. Remember that they too are professionals and want to collaborate with people who will further their careers. So, making a good first impression on your part could be an influential factor in the casting process. Find a space that has a closed off room for the auditions and is close to a waiting area. Office buildings and schools often have these accommodations.

Step 3: Casting Session

Some casting directors ask actors to prepare a monologue for their audition. However, reading sides will be more specific to the role and will make it easier to compare performances. So, you will either need to send the sides to them beforehand, or have more than enough copies available in your waiting area. A sign-in sheet is a good idea so that you can keep track of everyone. You should also bring a few extra people. Having some trustworthy opinions to consult other than your own is critical. More than one person on your panel also makes your project seem more attractive due to the apparent interest level amongst your peers. Now all you need to do is make your decisions.

You can repeat this process a few times if you are not satisfied with your first round of results. Since you have made a good impression, your number one choices should be happy to accept the roles you are offering them.

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