Finding the stars
Finding the right actors to star in your film is a delicate process - involving auditions, interviews, and sifting through dozens of headshots. The first concern, of course, is where to find the actors, well, in this post Perspective Pictures will give you a rundown of the best places to source some fine acting talent, as well as how to appeal to the right people.
The digital stage
Gone are the days when you had to post an ad in The Stage, or print up flyers to send out to your local theatres, today, there are a wealth of handy sites for filmmakers to easily search for talent. StarNow is one example. Founded in Australia, it’s a site that has quickly become globally recognised as a superb online casting community for actors, extras, models and film crews et al. Free to set up an account and post casting calls, StarNow is becoming increasingly popular with even big names - like the BBC, ITV and MTV.
Casting Call Pro is the classic choice if you’re looking for actors and extras. It’s become the number one go-to community for sourcing a bevy of talent of all shapes and sizes, offering tools to help you simplify the process and boasting the added advantage of free-to-post casting calls.
Social media can also be a cool way to look for actors, as the likes of Twitter and Facebook are chock full of acting talent eager to get their faces out there. A quick peruse of Twitter and you’ll find heaps of accounts which specialise in online networking for creatives, matching filmmakers, directors and so on with actors, extras, crew, you name it.
Finding the right talent
It’s all well and good posting a casting call, but you have to make that casting call appeal to the right people. It’s happened so many times, a filmmaker has put an ad together, posted it, and then in a matter of hours has a deluge of dodgy actors applying for it. It’s always sensible to think about what type of actors you want to appeal to first.
Try to carefully think about what you need an actor to bring to the character, then articulate that into the casting call. You’re going to want the actor to take in what you’ve written, it has to excite them as much as it does you. Also, explain in a few simple but precise words about the film, it’s approach and message.
What to do if you can’t pay
This is one of the toughest things for a filmmaker who is looking for talent. It’s long been said that you get what you pay for, and although that’s true - you can also offer other incentives and still appeal to quality talent.
Remember to be generous and don’t go to specific in what you’re offering, as Veronika Daddona says in Light Film School: “A lot of times I see filmmakers say in their breakdowns: “This is a great opportunity to be shot on a RED Camera!” That’s wonderful but most actors are not concerned with that. They want an opportunity to explore new territory and also exposure! If you have a large social media following, be sure to tell your applicants they will be promoted.”
At the end of the day, it’s about appealing to an actor's desire to be seen and get some recognition. By taking this into consideration you’re guaranteed to get some good people applying to act in your film.