What is Casting? Everything You Need to Know

Casting is the selection of actors who will play various characters in the film. Some are written for specific actors, while others are not. The casting director can significantly impact a film’s final success or failure.

Image source: nycastings

 

Different markets and locations of the world have diverse casting and filmmaking approaches. With the growth of significant studies in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, casting became more star-centered. The studio system determined who would be a star and cast and promoted them through huge films, establishing superstars whose names would eventually attract the public’s attention.

Meanwhile, in Europe, filmmaking was increasingly centered on the director. Owing to the emphasis on auteur cinema and indie films, European stars were not developed in the same way, resulting in a distinct casting method. As a result, while many actors’ talents propelled them to stardom, casting directors were more concerned with a better fit than recognition.

Why is Casting Important? 

Casting is a pre-production process that selects actors, dancers, singers, or other roles required for the script, screenplay, or teleplay. The casting process becomes an integral part of filmmaking, documentaries, television programs and advertisements, music videos, etc., deciding the art’s impact on the audience.

Casting is one of the most critical factors of filmmaking since it influences how audiences and critics view a film. It is the process of identifying the actors who can most effectively and convincingly step into the role. After all, actors are the ones that bring the script and concept to life, but choosing the wrong actor might render some parts untrustworthy, negatively affecting movies.

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Even if the character is not a flatterer or an anti-hero, the audience must believe that their performance will stay appealing. For instance, please look at the Scary movie cast; every actor was perfect for their respective roles.

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Watch the movie trailer

Scary Movie | Official Trailer (HD) – Anna Faris, Marlon Wayans, Shannon Elizabeth | MIRAMAX

However, we know that finding the correct people for the job might be challenging due to critical thinking, intuition, and timing. So, let’s first understand the whole casting process!

Casting Process

The casting procedure includes a series of tryouts. People from the theater production industry participate in the audition, such as theater directors and producers. The casting committee in film production may include film directors, producers, and choreographers. Casting directors are frequently on this board because they are intimately familiar with all aspects of the performances. 

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Artists frequently demonstrate or display works planned for auditions, including solos, choreography, songs, screenplays, or music, in the early stages of this process.

These auditions are filmed on video through contact forms, with resumes and pictures attached, and then watched online at sites like IMDb before being shared with filmmakers. The following stages are determined by the size and scope of the production. First, union and non-union participants read information from work under discussion and mix it in combinations of two, three, or more. 

After examining the actor’s overall inspirational choices, the selection committee evaluates the chemistry of different actors and the combinations presented in the reading, how they meet, and other factors.

Now, there are a few steps that you might need to keep in mind before choosing the right actors for your film.

Film Casting Process: Where It All Began

Casting Office Personnel

Readers 

A reader reads out the character’s lines, staying opposite the auditioning actor. An efficient reader has good acting skills but no interest in booking the role through the Casting Director’s office. Instead, he has extensive knowledge about the role being enacted before him. Still, a reader assists the auditioning actors without surpassing them.

Interns

You can find sufficient interns in the commercial casting offices assisting the casting directors who hold diverse daily auditions. Some commercial cast offices have permanent casting space, while others rent out studios or own one. This depends on the project taken. 

An intern has the following job roles with regards to a casting director:

  • Draft and sort mails.
  • Copy sides and transcribe them to “cue cards” or large boards that will be read as prompts in the casting room.
  • Aid actors to sign in.
  • Maintain the activity of the actors in and out of the casting room.

Casting Assistants

Being a Casting Assisting opens your career in the field of casting. They perform all tasks on par with an office assistant. A casting assistant:

  • Answers phone calls.
  • Makes copies of the script to be read. Arrange audition equipment such as camera, lights, sound equipment, etc.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Check the actors’ availability.
  • Inspect the functioning of recording software so that the casting director can concentrate on every actor’s performance.

Casting Associates

A Casting Associate holds the second important position in the casting office. After working for two years as a Casting Associate, you can apply to become a member of the Casting Society of America. His job role includes:

  • Working under a Casting Director.
  • Looking after pre-read sessions.
  • Preparing Deal Demos.
  • Contacting Agents.

Casting Director

A Casting Director studies a lot about the actors to advise and suggest to the director about the actor’s potential in fitting the roles. They are persuasive as the director relies on their inputs. A casting director has the following functions:

  • Fixes appointment with the director
  • Organize a session with the director and producer to select the best casting crew.
  • Balance the director, producer, and actor’s sensibilities, preferences, and anticipations.

How To Find The Right Actors For Your Movie?

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Famous independent filmmakers each have their tips for casting a film. You wouldn’t have thought famous movies like In the Heights’ cast were selected just because of their popularity, would you? However, every actor needs to be well-versed with the character they will be playing, and hence, here are some notable points for you. Check out the following recommendations for a basic description of the main actions to consider when launching your project.

Video: How To Cast Your Film?

Break Down the Script 

Casting directors will go through a screenplay and write character profiles for each talking role to break down a script. Then, they aggregate these descriptions into a casting breakdown, which includes information about all individual roles, such as the age of the characters, demeanor, character notes, and any pertinent backstory that can assist the actor in better portraying the role.

 

Send the Breakdown Out

Some casting directors will post an open call for auditions online, while others will email the casting breakdown straight to talent agents. To host an open casting call, dispatch the description/breakdown online to appropriate casting sites or forums to locate lesser-known performers who would be a good fit for the role. If you send the description to a talent agency, they will use it to assess whether actors on their existing roster are qualified for the position and will suggest actors they believe are the best fit.

 

Provide the Sides

In-person auditions and self-tape auditions  (the participants record their audition and send it to casting) are the two auditions. You’ll need to supply sides, a small sample of a pertinent conversation, and moves for the talent to perform, whether you’re bringing in an actor for an in-person audition or asking for a self-tape. Sides can assist the casting director in visualizing a specific actor as the role, or they can rule them out entirely.

 

Video: What are “sides” in audition settings

 

Screening test

A screening test is a recorded audition in which an actor plays sides in front of the camera. The casting department uses screen tests to evaluate performers’ skills, dress, makeup, and on-screen chemistry. If your project has numerous leads, make sure they get along well and have strong chemistry. Screen tests allow you to examine how an actor performs in front of the camera, how they interact with their co-stars on-screen, and if they have the correct appearance for the job.

 

Video: 10 Actor Screen Tests That Prove They Were The Perfect Fit For The Character

 

Make a Callback

When casting, it’s important to watch as many candidates as possible to extend the pool of talent from which to choose. You may have to call back some performers several times to play different scenes to determine if they are suitable for the role. You could also compare their performances to those of other eligible actors to help you make the best casting selection possible. Callbacks assist the casting department in narrowing their hunt for the ideal talent, allowing the team to reconsider a feasible option.

 

Video: Tom Holland / Screen Test/ Spiderman / Civil War

 

Make your selection

While the casting company is in charge of securing actors, the director and producers essentially decide which actors to cast in the roles. Select the actor who is the best fit for the position and your budget.

 

Tips to Cast the Right Actors

While you’re busy and engrossed in choosing the perfect talent for your film, there are chances that you might make a few mistakes. But we’re here to help you out! Here are some tips for a budding casting director that will help them choose an excellent cast: 

Image source: Backstage

 

Use a Different Script Each Time

During the audition, avoid using the script excessively. You wouldn’t want to find out how many times 50 people read the very same sentence! You may enjoy the first scene in the audition procedure, but you may not enjoy the last stage. Instead, select psychologically similar material from previous projects and consider incorporating it in the screening phase.

 

Take Your Time

In a rush to finish the project, do not make beginner’s blunders in the production process. The casting process can be aggravating and monotonous. Keep in mind that just a few positions are ideal for you. The auditionees may be talented, but they might lack the requisite appearance. They may have the desired look, but they might not make the desired impression.

 

The chemistry!

It is normal to want an artist who is uniquely suited to the role, but not only must it be suitable with the director and cast, but the actor must also fit with the leads.  The relationship between the performers is usually a film’s success aspect since it is exciting to watch.

 

Video: CASTING: How to Cast Actors for Your Film

Video: How To Hold An Audition?

 

Video: What Do Casting Directors Look For In An Actor? 

 

Conclusion

Film casting is not an easy procedure, but certainly, with these tips, you’ll be able to discover your movie cast a lot more easily. Remember that this is a lengthy process that should be allowed a lot of time to complete. The performance of your actors in your movie could either make or break it. Don’t let all of your hard work on the writing and directing go to waste.

Finally, remember that the people auditioning for your movie are all giving their best, but it is your responsibility to choose the perfect ones for your roles.

 

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