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908media
01-22-2006, 11:02 AM
This is my first time casting for a film. After reading through the boards, I have some additional questions.

Any help or advice would be great.

1. We have sides for each character. We will ask them for all the leads. Do they read through just once? Or can we ask for a second or third reading?
2. After general Q and A and sides, is there anything else I should plan for?
3. How long should we plan for each audition? Is an hour long enough?

After the first audtion, we plan to have a call back as well.

Thanks.

Scottdvx100
01-22-2006, 01:50 PM
Check a few books on directing and Weston's books on acting.
You want to see if they can take direction and see how much latitude they have.
Have them read a section with 2 or 3 different takes of readings under your direction (give them changes)
First casting call you could probably deal with 15 or 30 minutes. That's enough tiem to tell if they're worth takign another look at. You're going to have a lot of actors so try to keep it reasonably short (have someone mind the time)

uhrgl
01-22-2006, 05:53 PM
15 minutes is usually plenty. Put them on tape too.

Blaine
01-22-2006, 06:04 PM
15 minutes is usually plenty. Put them on tape too.

Absolutely put them on tape. You'll be surprised how often your eyes will see something different than the camera did. Not only that, you'll want to be able to go back and revisit their performance as you narrow down your choices.

908media
01-22-2006, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the help and great suggestions.

uhrgl
01-23-2006, 08:53 AM
You'll be surprised how often your eyes will see something different than the camera did.

Double true. There are beautiful people that are not photogenic at all, and then there are people who aren't 10s to the naked eye, but look amazing on screen.

maverickprods
01-23-2006, 09:35 AM
Your readings need not take a long time. Just a few lines should do, but somthing with emotion or a feeling. And I also support the tape suggestion, the camera doesn't lie and what looks good in person doesn't necessarily look good on camera and vice versa.

ericyoung
01-23-2006, 06:27 PM
And I also support the tape suggestion, the camera doesn't lie and what looks good in person doesn't necessarily look good on camera and vice versa.

Or rather it lies all the time! :grin:

We literally are not seeing the whole picture, compared to what our eyes see, when we look through a camera. Which is why the two often look so different. Of course that selectivity is part of what allows us to achieve such variety in "looks" for our films.

GraBird
01-25-2006, 09:13 AM
There was an older post in these forums about NOT having actors do monologues ("it's the sure sign of an amateur"). So, OK, I'm am amateur... and I'll disagree.

First, I DO agree that having them read a monologue of THEIR choice is somewhat useless. It's a canned delivery that probably won't apply to your film. A waste.

However, I find that the idea of a GUIDED monologue can help identify actors that can BRING something to the project and make your job as director a WHOLE lot easier.

You describe a situation that they'll encounter in your script, then have the actor develop and deliver IN CHARACTER a short monologue about that situation.

For example, let's say you're casting for a psycho who goes on a rampage killing teenagers. My monologue request:

"You've got a pair of teens tied up in the basement.
You sharpen your knives while they watch terrified.
Develop and deliver a monologue, in character,
telling them why you're about to kill them, what
drives your need for killing."

For me, this is a unique opportunity to see how well they've researched the character and how real they can make it. AND you might even get some unique insight that could benefit your script. (You envisioned the psycho as an visually creepy fellow. Along comes a bookworm looking actor whom you initially feel is completely wrong for the part... but his monologue scares the heck out of you and blows you away; suddenly you realize that character is a whole lot scarier as a bookworm type, whom nobody suspects.)

A short monologue, just a minute or two. They can script and memorize their own idea or just rough it out and improv the whole thing. It's like regular interviews where the candidate is asked: "Tell me about yourself." But in this case, you're really saying, "Show me who you are (as the character) and what makes you tick."

I think it gets to the whole point of casting.

P!body
01-30-2006, 08:40 PM
A lot of good things here.

Record auditions on tape,
If you let them read more than once- see how they take your direction for a scene, are they one note or can they work with you.

15 mins. is a good time frame to work with- if you like someone or are curious about someone keep them a little longer. See if you have a repore with them. etc., etc.

IsraelHoudini
03-01-2006, 04:52 AM
simple rule of thumb: have them read a simple part of the character's part and a deep emotional scene. some actors can only do one or the other well.

if you like thier first read, have them do a second with some new direction. if they cant do it a different way theyll be difficult to direct on set and wont be able to broaden thier range when its needed.

and if you have an open call, plan for twice as much time to get through them as you think you need. so if you plan on having actors at 15 min intervals, then book your space for 30 apeice. the ones you send out early and the ones you have reread with new direction will even out.

trust me, it always takes way longer than you plan.

also if someone comes in for one part and you see they might handle a different part better have them give that a go as well, i've found lots of actors this way.

j
03-01-2006, 10:49 AM
>if you like thier first read, have them do a second with some new direction. if >they cant do it a different way theyll be difficult to direct on set and wont be able >to broaden thier range when its needed.


Very important! Put them through the ringer. Better to find out if they are difficult in the casting session than on a mountain top with the sun setting on the last day of production with full cast and crew waiting because the actor can't seem to get or deal with the changes... (shuddering from bad memories...)

Chris Messineo
03-01-2006, 01:23 PM
Lots of good advice.

If these are actors you don't know then I would say 10 minutes slots would be plenty (especially if you have callbacks). For the majority of them you will know after a minute that they aren't right for the part.

Chris

p.s. And definitely tape the auditions. It is amazing what the camera will see that you might have missed.