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Questionman17
05-12-2005, 08:23 PM
Hey guys, I need some actors. My high school has the drama club and they are pretty good, but how do I go about asking people to make a movie for free. They'll be like, "What is it for?" And I'll be like, "Uh, for fun I guess. And to send out to festivals." So, I don't know what to do. Where else can I go besides my high school? Should I use flyers or call them or what? Can you please help me out on this? I need good actors.

thisiswells
05-12-2005, 08:30 PM
Find a Casting Director to negotiate free contracts with HS-aged actors.
Also, you could try Clayton Miller's site: www.faithfilm.com

Questionman17
05-12-2005, 08:36 PM
The faithfilm.org didn't work. And are casting directors free? I am on a very low budget and can't spend money on stuff like that. any ideas?

thisiswells
05-12-2005, 08:39 PM
Umm, delegate. Find someone in your HS with influence and ask them to help you out. . .
Are you directing this movie? Filmmaking on any level ought best be a collaborate art form.

Get your friends involved, offer them crew positions, find books that explain to them how to
fulfill their crew position, and make a movie together. Going in all directions by yourself is futile.

thisiswells
05-12-2005, 08:42 PM
A casting director could be a friend or sibling who walks around the mall one day and looks for people that "fit" the part. Then, they work with you to set up auditions. They're a partner in the filmmaking process.

Moonwind
05-12-2005, 11:08 PM
Get in touch with your state film commission. They often have on-line contacts for finding actors, equipment, etc.

Jim Brennan
05-12-2005, 11:36 PM
Where in Pennsylvania are you? Most major metropolitan areas have acting groups. If you have a decent script you can often get actors to be a part of your project. And actors usually know other actors. If you find one or two, they will often lead you to more. Just don't promise more than you can deliver. Offer them a copy of the finished film for their reel, and feed them.

Questionman17
05-13-2005, 02:07 PM
So if I get my one friend to go around the mall to look for actors, how can you find an "actor?" I mean, you don't know if that person is good, and then auditioning them would just be a waste of their time and the director's (me). Also, how would you approach someone to ask them in the mall? "Hey, I are you an actor? I was looking at you and you would be the perfect part for a movie that I am shooting. Do you want to volunteer to act for my movie?" How should I say it?

Rosestar
05-13-2005, 03:52 PM
I think that approaching folks in the mall will take a person with a strong, confident personality and may not be the approach for a lot of folks. Try to find people that have expressed an interest in acting.

If I were you I would take your county and all bordering counties and contact the drama teachers at every HS, college, university or other school in those counties and tell them of your movie and that you need actors. I would then contact every community theatre in your area and let them know of your needs.

You should make up a flyer with a big heading, "Casting Call, Actors needed". Give a short synopsis of your movie and list the actors needed by gender and age. Post this flyer at schools, libraries, coffee, houses, theatres or any other place that cool people hang out. See if your local news paper will post community service messages and try to get them to put out your flyer as a listing. Check with the local cable TV company and see if they will post your flyer on there automated community bulletin boards. Contact local radio stations and see if they can publize your casting call. Put your contact info on the flyer and when people call you, have them come in and audition for you. For the auditions, I would find a cool place to work, and set three dates (at least) to bring the people in and auditon them. Make sure that you have enough photocopied scenes for each character (called sides). Video the auditons and take digital photos of the actors (they love that, and it is great for your actor database).

If you think that it is frustrating to be a filmmaker and need actors, think about what it is to be an actor and need filmmakers... always having to look for a gig. What do actors want? They want to be involved with a filmmaker that has an exciting story. That is what you are selling, your story. Your enthusiasm for the story will win over people that you never thought would participate. Sell your story, and then ask the actors to participate in telling the story. Like the post above says, give them a good quality copy of the project when you are done and feed them.

sojrn
05-13-2005, 05:56 PM
With an all-out cattle call of mostly people with litte or no acting experience, be ready to search through a lot of hay stacks before you find those precious few needles.

Rosestar
05-14-2005, 06:14 PM
With an all-out cattle call of mostly people with litte or no acting experience, be ready to search through a lot of hay stacks before you find those precious few needles.

Absolutly right, cattle calls are a pain. This is why I like the two step proces, i.e., have the prospective actor call before setting up the auditon. With the first contact you get through the FAQs and you can weed out, to a certain extent, the crazies (you will get crazies...). Casting is a constant battle, even for big budget films ( though $$ helps a great deal) but have hope, sometimes magic can happen.

People want to be envolved with movies. Be enthusiastic and passionate about what you are doing and people will gather around you.

jpbankesmercer
05-15-2005, 04:43 AM
With an all-out cattle call of mostly people with litte or no acting experience, be ready to search through a lot of hay stacks before you find those precious few needles.
True.
It's only when you audition, you find most can't cut it...

amber
05-15-2005, 05:30 PM
my project needs really beautiful women/men that look like they'
d belong in a magazine ad. you may not need people this attractive, but because i live in a medium sized city, not all of them are :) and most people want
an actor which is at least relatively good looking anyway.
the point is, you can find out a lot about a person's personality by watching
them walk a runway. afterwards i just run behind stage, often with a friend
who helps out, and find the ones i'm looking for, if you're a male, bring a long a
girlfiend and let her wrangle them!
"hi my name is ____ and I'm an independant 'film' maker/production assistant, casting for a project, and you look as though you'd fit one of the roles, are you interested in acting at all?"
yeah, it might sound like a pain, but its
very important to invite them to a 'screen test', use a video camera. not as much a waste of
time as finding out when you're on location and shooting for real that they can't act! A lot of these
women do runway for exposure, so they're usually happy to be approached, and even
work for food/the experience. i've found two really good actresses this way. the
first just shone on the runway, great smile, turns out she had been acting since
childhood, and is easy to work with. plus my girlfriend(s) and i have a fun night
out gossiping about the models and clothes! good luck with your project.

Rosestar
05-15-2005, 07:08 PM
Models do have the advantage of being comfortable in front of a camera,however, I have had bad experiences casting models. Modeling and acting are two different things. If it works for you, power to you...

amber
05-15-2005, 08:55 PM
i should clairfy, these are women who sometimes do runway modeling, they're
not model-models, (though most wouldn't mind that if they had the chance)
most have
varied experiences, some have studied acting a lot, and just model for fun,
or to be seen. others have no interest in acting at all, like anyone else.
like i said before, these are little city fashion shows, not haute couture,
meaning its possible to find beautiful and regular down to earth people there.

thisiswells
05-15-2005, 09:49 PM
Did a shoot over the weekend at Eastern New Mexico University and holy smokes are the college girls there pretty.. A little town of 12,000 people had the most beautiful women. Craziness.

Rosestar
05-16-2005, 02:32 PM
Sounds like Chapel Hill North Carolina, UNC-CH.... same thing....

JoeFowler
05-16-2005, 03:21 PM
I use a local actors group, they all want to hone their skills and are willing to "volunteer" their craft. There are effective ways of making people happy to work for free, and keep them coming back. If you can't pay them, feed them. At least have bottled water at the set (in a cooler with ice) and if you can, some light snacks. Depending on the shoot. If you can't afford food, keep your shoot short. The best technique I use is to not be greedy with the recognition. You are the director, you have final say, but if you instill a sense of ownership in your cast and crew, they will give you better performances because they feel this is their project as well. And if you are planning on sending your work to festivals and such, you should have everyone sign collaborative contracts, to protect them and yourself. Don't think this is your film and they are lucky to help you. Have the attitude that you are all making a film together and everyone will be happier. I have a pre-production meeting this week for our feature we're shooting this summer, and I hope I have made everyone involved feel like this is his or her project as well as mine. Several people involved could direct as well as I could, but if I made them feel unimportant, they wouldn't give me their all, and the project would suffer. So play nice, children! Well, until you're Lucas, then you can put Jar-Jar in your films and no one can say a thing!
Joe

Rosestar
05-16-2005, 07:29 PM
Joe, you are right.
Questionman17, there are people out there that will work with you. But remember, people will not work for free!!!

This does not mean that they need $$$. What I mean is that people need consideration, respect and to feel that they are collaborating on something of worth. It also helps to have a lot of fun. The people that I have seen make successfull "guerilla" films understand this to the Nth degree. Have enthusiasm for your movie and people will gather around you. Personally, I make my living with film and video, but I will work for defered pay or points if the project is cool and, more important, if the filmmaker is someone I want to work with. BTW, Working for defered or points usually means for free, however, I am starting to get checks for a thing I did in the summer of 1999 and it seems that it will be far more than I would have made if I had charged my normal rate, you never know!!


Good luck, keep us posted as you bring this project to life...

stationhouse
05-20-2005, 08:51 AM
hey
i don't know where you are in pa but i am outside of philly. the philadelphia film office is great - www.film.org. they have a hotline where you can post for actors. it is free and you will get 50-100 people normally. Be clear about who you are - a student film, what's the story, are you paying for food, copies of the film, etc.

I know in bucks county the chamber of commerce is also funded to do location scouting for local filmmakers so that is a free service here.

i cast for my film from a mix of sources. Some were from teh high school i work at. Watch people, find someone who is interesting, who is very close to the role you want, who seems comfortable in their own skin (it is tough to make a nervous person appear natural on camera). Have conversation about the subject matter if you can - mine was divorce so we talked abotu family life one day and that gave me a chance ot get a better feel. When you are somewhat confident, say - hey i am shooting a movie and am looking for actors. would you want to audition? they will ask questions and just be honest - i'm doing it myself, gonna submit to festivals, it's a learning process, etc.

Good luck.
tom

www.stationhousefilms.com/thenyp

markran
05-23-2005, 11:24 PM
My advice is to get experienced and motivated actors. I think you'll likely be unhappy with the result if you just scout at the local mall. Acting is a skill. Yes, there are naturals but getting someone who's done something, a local play, anything, is better than someone with no experience acting.

Last Fall I shot my first indie-style film (I've done a lot of commercial/corporate/broadcast video). I needed a really talented actress to carry a very difficult monologue. I was pretty sure there was no way I was going to find someone with the skills I needed, particularly on the tight timeframe I had.

I wrote up a brief character synopsis that was really a good read. It conveyed that the role was dramatic, challenging and basically an "actor's part". I posted it on our local Craig's List which is an online forum with local outlets in a bunch of cities. In addition to that listing I also looked around online in my city (a medium sized city) for acting schools, acting troupes, dinner theaters, acting coaches and the drama departments at the local colleges (a two year City U and State). I made up an email casting call that was like my Craig's List posting but asked that it be passed around and then sent it to the ten or so email addresses I'd gotten online. I asked for emailed head shots and a description of previous work. In five days I had 35 responses including acting teachers and fairly experienced local theater folk. I think they came about half-and-half from Craig's List and the local referral sources. Total time invested in research locating places to post was an hour and total cost was zero. Several actresses wrote to us that they heard about the part from a friend of a friend of a friend who'd forwarded the casting call. We were told that it was passed around enthusiastically because it sounded like a great part in an interesting and very professional production. So spend some time making your casting call, project description and character synopsis good.

About six of the applicants seemed like they might be good for the part and we did phone call interviews. We then did in-person auditions with three.

You need to be very clear in your casting call about what you are looking for (age, ability, look, etc). You also need to be up front about your project and what the pay is (or more likely, isn't). On my project I actually offered $100 for this part because this was a personal project that I didn't intend to send around to festivals. Your actors will also want to know that you are offering "credit/copy/meals". This should be in your casting call. It means that they'll get a credit in the film, that you'll give them a finished copy of it and that you'll provide some *good* food and drink at all rehearsals and shooting.

We ended up with a phenomenal actress who nailed the part and totally made those scenes in the film. She loved being in the film and said that she would have done it for nothing because the (nicely boxed) DVD she got looked totally professional and shows her terrific performance on-camera, which most amatuer actresses really value because it helps them get more work. She was also thrilled that the crew was professional, skilled and that the end product looked like a "real" Hollywood movie.

I think you'll find that most local amatuer actors feel that being in a professional production that is highly organized, focused on quality and very collaborative is more important than upfront money. I've heard that people who've done several local indie projects can usually tell in a few minutes whether any given project they are looking at being involved with is a "bozo" project or "for real". The most talented people you audition will probably be auditioning you and your project in return. If they sense it's for real, you'll have little trouble getting them committed to the project. That's why I spent a few minutes with each actress that auditioned basically "pitching" the whole project which included not only the story but the qualifications and track record of the crew, the gear and locations we had secured and a bit about my own philosophy and approach to leading a group project like this.

--- Mark

Questionman17
05-24-2005, 02:40 PM
Sweet info guys! You guys are so helpful! Sometimes, I start to think you guys are my family. Lol. Alright so what should I do to get actors for my movie? I need some good actors?...Just kidding guys...just kidding. Lol. You guys gave me a lot of helpful information. If you want to keep sending go right ahead. A lot of people may get good information on this too. Thanks once again! God bless!

Sad Max
06-03-2005, 12:10 PM
Never met an actor who didn't want something cool for their reel.

Convince them that your project is it, and MAKE SURE YOU FEED THEM WELL, and you should be fine.

Rosestar
06-03-2005, 03:38 PM
Never met an actor who didn't want something cool for their reel.

Convince them that your project is it, and MAKE SURE YOU FEED THEM WELL, and you should be fine.

This is very true. Just a note about setting up food for a shoot. When you first audition an actor (and crew member) you should have them fill out an information sheet, kinda patterned after an employment application. Along with name, contact info ect, you should have a queston about dietary requirments. For some reason, I have met a lot of actors and creative crew that were vegitarian or had other dietary needs. When you set up your meals. take this into consideration. Do not do what one producer did to us on a feature I shot. He had a mix of vegitarian and meat eaters, but he had the caterer make only vegitarian meals. After a week and a half of shooting, the red meat eaters in the camera dept, the grips and sound dept, revolted and demanded cheese burgers for the days meal!!!

Just a thought.

alveraz
06-03-2005, 04:09 PM
I only read the first few pieces of advice, so sorry if I'm repeating another suggestion. Looks like this is a simple question with a simple answer.

Try these sites, all are free. Simply provide a synopsis of your film and clearly state copy/credit/meals and your goal for the project. This is a High-school production, be clear about that.

Try craigslist.com
mandy.com
nowcasting.com
indieclub.com

Then google for local theatres in your area and post in their lobbies, they may even have a bulliten board for your needs. Also hit up your local community college theatre departments and do the same there.

That should do it. Whoever tells you to get a CD is whack, it's not necessary for your needs.

Good luck.

Questionman17
06-03-2005, 04:31 PM
Cool, thanks for your suggestions. I will check out those sites. Although, why does everyone say to feed the actors well. I know it's crucial but why?

And what kind of food? Like snacks and munchees and cookies and stuff or what?

Rosestar
06-03-2005, 05:17 PM
Well, lets say that you start shooting at 9:00 Am. You have a crew call at 7:30 and a cast call at 8:15 or 8:30 and you are going to shoot all day (until 6:00 or so). This is an example of course.

In this example you should have some breakfeast munchies, doughnuts, muffins ect. Also, should have coffee and other "start the day" bevarages. Since you are working through lunch you should provide a full lunch, entre, sides and beverages. In this example, you are quiting around supper time so the folks are on their own after that. However, you should have beverages and snacks around for the mid-afternoon munchies most folks get. Fruit is good.

?man17, you are in a very good postion when it comes to providing nurishment for a film poject. It is obvious that you probably are the member of a church. Go to the leaders at the church, tell them about your poject and let them know what you need. I know that in your church there are ladies that could put together a spread for a project that would make you the envy of the PA independent filmmaking community. Also, I bet that you can get it done pretty cheap.

The first rule of independent filmmaking is, use the resources you have available.

good luck. keep us posted.

alveraz
06-03-2005, 08:41 PM
Why does everyone say to feed the actors well. I know it's crucial but why?

Are you for real?

Questionman17
06-03-2005, 11:58 PM
Go to the leaders at the church, tell them about your poject and let them know what you need. I know that in your church there are ladies that could put together a spread for a project that would make you the envy of the PA independent filmmaking community. Also, I bet that you can get it done pretty cheap.

Hey Rosestar. I didn't get it when yo usaid to get ladies that could put together a spread for a project that would make me the envy of the PA independent filmmaking community. Can you explain that? I didn't get the spread and envy part. Thanks!

Oh, for updated news, I just found out today that one of my main characters can't be in the movie because his new job has a day shift, and that's when we record. he works everday. Man, this really sucks. Now I have to search for an actor really hard.

thisiswells
06-04-2005, 12:15 AM
Hey Rosestar. I didn't get it when yo usaid to get ladies that could put together a spread for a project that would make me the envy of the PA independent filmmaking community. Can you explain that? I didn't get the spread and envy part. Thanks!.
I may be "jumping out on a limb here" or "going into unknown territory" or "saying something I'm not certain is accurate" but I think "spread" is the Y generation nonce word for "food" and "envy of the production assistant" refers to pa's who will work for food and probably work extra long and extra hard if it's prepared by industrious church ladies. "use the resources you have available" probably means, in your case, that you may have some big mamma's that can whip up some fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy like it ain't nobody's business and not everyone has that level of support from friends/neighbors like you may have in your church. sorry to hear about the loss of your potential lead. that's a "bummer man" .....

Questionman17
06-04-2005, 07:15 AM
hey wells, why did you assume they were black women who makes fried chicken? lol! no, they are brazilian and they make brazilian food, but it's good brazilian food. LOL! Well for the one scene, it's a barbecue, so I can actually start a barbecue and the actors and actresses can eat as they act...lol!

man, i really hope i can get another good actor to play the part I am now missing. I have to match the other undercover cop because they are supposed to be brothers. Man, I have to pray to God. Alright, talk to you guys later! Thanks again for all the help!

Mike_Donis
06-04-2005, 09:31 AM
www.mandy.com is a great resource to find actors. I put an ad up a couple months ago for a project I'm working on this summer, and got over 150 resumes and headshots. Mind you, only about 60 people showed up to screen test - but regardless, we had a large amount to choose from.

Rosestar
06-04-2005, 10:41 AM
Hey Rosestar. I didn't get it when yo usaid to get ladies that could put together a spread for a project that would make me the envy of the PA independent filmmaking community. Can you explain that? I didn't get the spread and envy part. Thanks!

Oh, for updated news, I just found out today that one of my main characters can't be in the movie because his new job has a day shift, and that's when we record. he works everday. Man, this really sucks. Now I have to search for an actor really hard.

Well, every chuch function I have ever been to usually as an over abundance of good homemade food ("the spread") and I've noticed that most churches have a core group of, usually women, that are very active in putting these kind of things together. If you could get these ladies to help you provide the food, I think that everyone would be very pleased.

The "envy of the PA independet filmmaking community" statement just means that I think that utilizing the resources you may have access to at your church could help your rep as a cool person to work with in the Pennsylvania (PA) independent film community.

Sorry about having to re-cast your lead, been there, it sucks.

Good luck.

thisiswells
06-04-2005, 03:39 PM
hey wells, why did you assume they were black women who makes fried chicken? lol!
Oh, one of my clients produces these medium-sized hip-hop music videos on VariCam (HD camera) and hires me to make the behind-the-scenes/making of type videos for the DVD release. On the last two shoots, the artists mom/aunt/etc. has made fried chicken and mashed potatoes with her church friends for nearly every single meal on a two-three day shoot and anytime I think of "church pitch-in" dinners anymore I can only picture fried chicken made by the mothers of hiphop artists! That's all I was thinking of, really : ) LOL.



they are brazilian and they make brazilian food, but it's good brazilian food. LOL! Well for the one scene, it's a barbecue, so I can actually start a barbecue and the actors and actresses can eat as they act...lol!
Wow, Brazilian food rocks. My favorite place around here is Boi Na Braza in Grapevine, Texas. Man, it's expensive (free valet at lunchtime, though) but boy is it good! You should be in good company if they're making Brazilian food, bro! Good Luck!

Questionman17
06-05-2005, 11:12 PM
Hey Mike Donis, when you got that many people, was that project paying your actors or no? Because I'm not.

Mike_Donis
06-05-2005, 11:23 PM
It was not a paying gig. I put a link up to some previous projects of mine, and as per the site's reccomendations, had a brief synopsis and full character sketches for the current project.

Like I said though, only about 60 people actually showed up. The 150 resumes were only people who responded to the ad - and there was a call for five different characters. So really when you break it down, it was about 12 people auditioning per role. I was surprised that we got any at all, it being a non-paying job! But in the end our cast that we've selected is fantastic.

Questionman17
06-05-2005, 11:27 PM
And that's a heck of a lot of people. I would be happy if one actor was interested and wanted to play a role. I am tight on actors. Hopefully mandy.com works. I just filled it in. I got one response from indieclub.com so far, which is cool.

I also get scared to cast actors because I'm afraid if they find out that i am using a consumer camera like the TRV-70, they won't be interested because it's not "professional" even though I can get a pretty nice image from it. What do you think?

Mike_Donis
06-05-2005, 11:31 PM
I think that if they like the idea to your movie, and after meeting, they like *you*, that you won't have a problem. In my (albeit short) experience, many actors are in it for the project, to get to be a part of something they think will be fun.

Questionman17
06-05-2005, 11:34 PM
Yeh, I see what you mean. That's cool.

Sad Max
06-06-2005, 08:42 AM
why does everyone say to feed the actors well. I know it's crucial but why?

Because (1) it's crucial for morale. These are artists (or aspiring artists) who are donating their time and energy and (hopefully) their enthusiasm to your project. You know the expression "comfort food?" Well, you may not be able to pay, and you may not be able to offer trailers and personal assistants and limos and all the usual H-wood-level craperoo, but by providing food you are basically expressing appreciation and caring for your talent (AND CREW!). And one thing you gotta know about actors, is that they put themselves out there, and *any* care and support you show them, will pay off. (2) it's cold-heartedly practical, too. Do you really want to be working with a set full of hungry crew and talent, whose blood-sugar levels are plummeting right when you need them to be focussed and in the zone? Nothin will murder your ability to get good product, like a bunch of increasingly hungry, tired, irritable people, trying to make it.



And what kind of food? Like snacks and munchees and cookies and stuff or what?

Fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods (small stuff like cookies, muffins, scones, bagels, baps, baguettes, crumpets, croissants, cream-cakes...well you get the idea), bottled water (single-serving bottles), diet and regular soft drinks, hot coffee, and hot water for tea. A couple pre-made platters from Vons or Safeway or wherever should cover you, depending upon crew size. Ready-to-use, and they come with their own plastic covers to keep the bugs off. That kind of stuff is good to keep people going and let them graze when they need to.

And, schedule meals at appropriate times, if your shoot is planned to run long enough to make it worthwhile. Balanced protein/carbs/etc; I find that El Pollo Loco is great for the purpose. And yeah, make sure that you can accommodate any vegetarians on the team. Goes to morale, again.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it's really not expensive (compared to your other production costs) and it pays off handsomely.

Rosestar
06-06-2005, 08:50 AM
I think that if they like the idea to your movie, and after meeting, they like *you*, that you won't have a problem. In my (albeit short) experience, many actors are in it for the project, to get to be a part of something they think will be fun.


Ditto.

Questionman17
06-06-2005, 11:19 AM
Thanks a lot Max. That is great.

Nowcasting.com called me and they told me some tips on how to the casting notice. The one thing they told me is that I have to know about Union stuff. I have no clue what that is. He also said that Union actors can't act in non-union movies or something like that. Can someone please tell me what it's about so I can understand and if there is any money involved? Thanks for your help guys!

Mike_Donis
06-06-2005, 02:08 PM
They're saying you have to decide beforehand whether it's going to be a project that casts actors in unions (ie, the SAG, ACTRA, etc) - or whether it's going to be regular people who aren't in one of the unions. Actors in unions have a set amount they will require to be paid, and as you were told, generally aren't allowed to be in "non-union" projects, meaning the majority of the cast, or key members of the cast are not part of an actor's union.

It's there to protect the actors, to make sure that they get the right amount of money and that their projects have some form of credibility. There are other rules and regulations that go along with unions as well, and it changes depending on the union, so if you really need specifics I'd try contacting someone who represents one of them.

Most likely you'll be doing a non-union project - this means the actors can work for free. If that's the case, you'll need to state that it's a non-union project in your advertisement, so that union actors know not to submit themselves. Or, if they do submit themselves, they know what they're getting into (and that they would run into issues with their union).

Moonwind
06-06-2005, 05:44 PM
Here's the links to the three main actor's unions where each has its rules and regulations

SAG - Screen Actors Guild
http://www.sag.org/sagWebApp/index.jsp

AFTRA - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
http://www.aftra.org/aftra/aftra.htm

AEA - Actor's Equity Association (Stage Actors)
http://www.actorsequity.org/home.html

Questionman17
06-06-2005, 06:22 PM
So I don't have to be part of a union right? I can just stay as I am and be a non-union correct? Because I am getting a lot of non-union actor responses from mandy.com. It's so awesome.

Mike_Donis
06-06-2005, 06:33 PM
You definitely don't have to be union - even if you were part of a director's union, as far as I know you wouldn't have to cast actors in an actor's union. To my knowledge they are completely separate, director's unions help out directors, and actor's unions help out actors.

Mandy.com definitely is a great resource - I'm working on a project this summer, and over half of the cast is people who applied through Mandy.

Questionman17
06-06-2005, 06:41 PM
Did you ever get any actors that live far from you? Because a lot of the people submitting live pretty far. I live in PA. One of them lives in Michigan. The other in New York (which is not too too far away).

thisiswells
06-06-2005, 06:42 PM
I've found crew before on Mandy.com as well.
Word of caution, don't ever let any of these people near your tapes. Nor should you let someone
else keep behind the scenes footage for editing unless you have members of the legal community
in your family. Fortunately, we prevailed and got our tapes back. Anyways, Good luck.

Sad Max
06-06-2005, 07:29 PM
So I don't have to be part of a union right? I can just stay as I am and be a non-union correct? Because I am getting a lot of non-union actor responses from mandy.com. It's so awesome.

SAG members can work under waiver agreements that let the producer skip most of the heavy-duty obligations that usually come with a SAG shoot...it may even be possible to mix SAG and non-SAG people under some waiver deals, although the non-SAG people will probably have to be extras (no dialog).

It's based upon budget; the lower your budget the more SAG will lower the rates (to a point) to acommodate you.

But then you also run into some fairly strict limitations on call times, working hours, meal penalties, etc.

As the director, you don't have to be a member of the Directors' Guild, in order to work with SAG actors. Robert Rodriguez, and George Lucas, for reasons of their own, are not DGA members, and I don't notice it's hurt them any...

Rosestar
06-06-2005, 07:38 PM
Did you ever get any actors that live far from you? Because a lot of the people submitting live pretty far. I live in PA. One of them lives in Michigan. The other in New York (which is not too too far away).


Whether you use an actor that live far away is based on the motivation of the actor and the strength of your project. Just be honest with everyone that you talk to that there is no money for travel or accomadations and let them make the decision.

As for the unions, no you do not have to be the signatory to a union contract to hire actors. That dosen't mean that union actors can't work for you though. If you are honest about being non-union upfront(in your casting notice) and in the written agreements you have with the actor, then you have no liability to the union. The union can only sanction the actor. I doubt that at the level you are producing you would cause much of a fuss if a union actor wanted to work with you. However, I would not hold my breath waiting to cast union actors.

Mike_Donis
06-06-2005, 08:00 PM
When I posted on Mandy, I didn't get many actors from too too far away - some *had* lived far away, but the time we'll be shooting they'll be in town, so it won't be an issue.

And yes, if they think it's worth travelling, then they will. As long as you made it clear, and they know they'll be travelling (and who'll make the accommodations) then you shouldn't have a problem. But make sure that you're clear about it, otherwise you may be disappionted when they say they can no longer be a part of your production.

Sumfun
06-07-2005, 09:06 PM
As for the unions, no you do not have to be the signatory to a union contract to hire actors. That dosen't mean that union actors can't work for you though. If you are honest about being non-union upfront(in your casting notice) and in the written agreements you have with the actor, then you have no liability to the union. The union can only sanction the actor. I doubt that at the level you are producing you would cause much of a fuss if a union actor wanted to work with you. However, I would not hold my breath waiting to cast union actors.

SAG actors need to get a waiver from SAG in order to work non-union jobs. Otherwise they can get kicked out of the union. However, many SAG actors don't make that much from SAG jobs, so they have to take some non-union jobs. Often, they just work under a different name. Also, there's a technicality that will work in your/our favor here. SAG has jurisdiction over film projects, and AFTRA has jurisdiction over video projects. So technically it's okay for SAG actors to work on non union jobs if it's shot on video.

Also wanted to say that websites are a good source of finding actors, but often they are not very experienced. Your best bet, if you can do it, is to work with model/talent agencies. If they buy into your idea, they can steer a lot of talented people your way. One of them even let me use their facilities for auditioning once. But I knew one of the employees there pretty well. Keep in mind that these agencies make money from the fees paid to their talent, so they may not want to let them work for free. However, they usually always have some model/actors who are looking to build their resume and demo reels, and will work for free.

Zordon Film
06-08-2005, 05:20 PM
on my last film, while in pre, i duk taped a huge banner that read "Looking for actors, copy credit and meal" on a my cousins plane and convinced him to fly dangerously low to the ground. We got a few actors out of that.

Sad Max
06-09-2005, 08:50 PM
Didja get any FAA complaints outta that...?

Zordon Film
06-10-2005, 08:01 PM
Sad Max
I don't really remember much after our crash. Just that when I opened my eyes at the hospital, I saw a man who said that he pulled me out of the burning wreck, and insisted on becoming the D.P. on my movie. I told him that I already had a DP, my cousin. That's when I found out my cousin had checked out of the hospital and flew overseas to work on a new Ridley Scott thriller as an Ariel photographer. You see when we crashed on top of Eastrige mall, Ridley Scott's rep was shopping just a few feet away. Sucks doesn't it. Good news is my cousin is trying to get my onboard as a focus puller. So we'll be flying together soon again.

bird605
05-13-2006, 06:13 AM
Hello; I would like some feedback on what I may be doing wrong regarding posting a Casting Notice at a large college in my town. I faxed the notice to the drama professor as requested.She then notified me that it was posted.
It has been a 1 1/2 weeks and not one reply.Do you think this is too short of a time for a reply or could no one be interested.I also thought that maybe someone tore it down.There are over 200 drama students in that class. Lastlly, do you think I should call her to find out if it is still posted? this is the only school that I tried so far.

Thank You
John

imageonepictures
05-30-2006, 09:36 PM
You can find actors almost anywhere. Churches, schools, theatre groups. I just recently posted for some through a film database someone here has been maintaining.

A great tool!

Chris

omar_
05-31-2006, 04:25 PM
www.Mandy.com
You'll get loads of responses!

R.L. Scott
06-05-2006, 12:24 AM
I've had a good bit of success with craigslist in my city, also recruiting on myspace and local radio is good depending on how large of a production you are doing. they will read the casting call announcement for free.

imageonepictures
06-11-2006, 03:12 AM
With an all-out cattle call of mostly people with litte or no acting experience, be ready to search through a lot of hay stacks before you find those precious few needles.
You win some, you lose some. Isn't that the way it generally works?

imageonepictures
06-11-2006, 03:14 AM
Absolutly right, cattle calls are a pain. This is why I like the two step proces, i.e., have the prospective actor call before setting up the auditon. With the first contact you get through the FAQs and you can weed out, to a certain extent, the crazies (you will get crazies...). Casting is a constant battle, even for big budget films ( though $$ helps a great deal) but have hope, sometimes magic can happen.

People want to be envolved with movies. Be enthusiastic and passionate about what you are doing and people will gather around you.
What do you mean by crazys?

imageonepictures
06-11-2006, 03:15 AM
True.
It's only when you audition, you find most can't cut it...
Speaking of not being able to cut it what do you do when actors approach you about roles but they just don't look the part?

Mike Poindexter
06-13-2006, 01:34 PM
What do you mean by crazys?

If you don't know who the "crazies" are, then you are fortunate. Crazies are generally people who are chemically imbalanced to the point that they are deluded into believing they have more talent than they do.

This isn't to say all people without talent or low talent are crazies. Just look at American Idol. Some people just look sad when their dream are crushed (normal) while others look at the judges like they must have been watching something else because they know they are that good (delusional) and a few end up throwing water on Simon (full blown crazies).

American Idol has better filtering for crazies than Indy productions and they have a much better security staff. Still, those are great shots to keep for the blooper real if you can get them to sign a waiver to show them being totally loony-toon. Normal people would never do that, but fortunately, these ones are crazy and figure there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Mike Poindexter
06-13-2006, 01:38 PM
Speaking of not being able to cut it what do you do when actors approach you about roles but they just don't look the part?

Well, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Is "the part" really that set or is it a preconceived notion of who would work, i.e. DeNiro would nail this role, so I am looking for an strong, older Italian guy.

2. Is this person's talent enough to warrant altering the character and/or script to get them into the project.

I think #1 happens a lot. For #2, well, if they are that good... I would rewrite any script I have to get Tom Hanks. I might even allow a Scientology booth to be set up if it lands me Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but I don't see that happening. YMMV.

capitalP
06-14-2006, 01:22 PM
This is a great thread, read it from the begining lots of useful info....Bravo!