Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Casting Calls, Part I

We're in pre-production for another short. I wrote it back in college and have since cleaned it up and made it snappier, funnier, and, hopefully, better. But even with a script, equipment, locations and talented people to help me out, I still need actors. But how do you get actors?

The most obvious way is to talk to people you know and bring them into your projects as your characters. This works really well for a while, but eventually you'll have a project where your sister or brother-in-law just won't quite work anymore. Which means you need to go the next step and have a casting call.

This is where you procure a location where you can have a room to yourself where you can set up a video camera, have people come over, and have them try out for a part in your movie. I've found that my house and my church are two pretty good locations, depending on how busy the church is and how clean my house is.

The crazy thing is that people actually come to these things. Not many, but a few.

So, pick a date when you think people may be available (10am on a Tuesday probably isn't going to work, unless you're looking for retired folks). Then find a place that will let you use a room. Then start inviting people.

Now there are publications for actors, especially in California, where you can advertise. This may or may not bring in people. Your best bet is not posting fliers, at least in my experience. The last big shoot we did saw us plastering posters everywhere (coffee shops, schools, recreation centers, churches, etc) and we didn't get a single call for them. Instead, call up the people you know, or talk to people you know about people they know. Eventually you'll get a handful of people to choose from.

I'll post about the process of hosting a casting call tomorrow.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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