Casting is an intricate process. Many variables help determine the best casting type — from the script to the production location. And while there are special situations where it’s easy to determine the “perfect” talent for a project, in reality, there is a lot of sifting through to happen before the average Casting Director ever gets to that point.
Veteran Producer, Director, Filmmaker, and founder of the production company Crystal Fox Films, Mike Fox, shares his thoughts on the factors that affect the process of casting talents and how he finds the right fit for his project. He also shares some tips on how talents can improve their chances of getting casе, and many more…
Mike Fox, Alignable’s Businessperson of the Year for two consecutive years, is an actor, voiceover professional, and CEO of Design business Splash Designworks, and he also produces EDM music such as Dubblestep & Trillex. In addition, he was the Official Film Festival Director and Judge. Now, he has a feature film on Amazon Prime, Tubi TV, Vudu, IMDb TV (Freevie), Apple, and more.
Mike’s remarkable persona has made it to the cover page of many media outlets, including newspapers for the State of Delaware. He has delved into many curvy and cool paths, from comedy to suspense and horror to sci-fi to pure cinematic masterpieces.
The location where the casting call is posted can make quite a difference. For example, If the production is mainly in the United States, it is likely that there might also be incredible talent in the UK or Canada who would love to participate in the audition as well. And while that may not be a logistics issue regarding Visas and Passports, as long as the production is funded enough, juggling between local talent and far-away talent should always be a consideration.
Observing the level and experience of talent from different sources is interesting. On some platforms, there are a myriad of talents. Yet, as good as they may be, some are unfamiliar with the process or know proper slating. Some had the video examples they provided in extremely low light from their cell phones — and it’s bad — like poor quality. Others had full blue or green screen setup, lights, and rock the Rode microphone for a near professional quality.
Most directors and filmmakers would love nothing more than to give everyone an opportunity to be on the project. It’s sometimes difficult to sift through those who will add the most value to the project and those who have raw talent but are “iffy” — this may give off the impression that they may not be ready or dependable.
When seeking talent, however, most Directors would prefer a “willing” talented individual over a “diva” any day! ET professionals typically have horror stories of actors and actresses who truly believe they are God’s gift to humanity and the project – but at what cost? They’ve been known to take over, hijack, demand, and treat the director, cast, and crew badly. And sure, a B+ list talent will absolutely add ROI and value to the project
Directors should look for workability, humility, and talent. If talent is there during an audition — even if tweaking is needed — as long as they listen, follow directions, and are willing to learn and grow, that should speak volumes!
Since COVID, almost every audition has been online unless it is local in proximity. Yet, most Directors will never even consider onboarding a talent to a project without some sort of video. While headshots are great, they don’t show the talent how they “really” are. Headshots, to me anyway, are way overrated. The average Photoshop professional can make any headshot look like anything. Blemishes? Gone. Warts and zits? Adios! A little extra in the chin? Zip, zap, zoop — lost ten pounds in thirty seconds! So, while headshots are a good start, the video is where the Director can see and hear what and how the talents are. Even a video slate is better than nothing if they don’t have video examples.
Finally, for up-and-coming talent submitting, it is a fact that tons of directors are overly picky, finicky, and sometimes downright rude — but some are different. These ones enjoy and appreciate when a talent submits multiple takes. It shows they have a range.
Unlike others who make a cult-like perspective that it must be only one take unless asked for more If the talent can show variation, then that tells the Director they have a lot of wiggle room to be more creative when directing them! But hey, again, that’s just me.
Casting is a very long, grueling, and sometimes emotionally challenging process — especially when having to make final decisions and choices — but it’s also rewarding to see many actors and actresses showcase their talent, rise to the occasion, and overcome any fear and shyness to show their talent — and I’m proud of every talent that puts their passion and energy into auditioning and expressing their craft – never give up and keep submitting, learning, growing, showcasing, and building your profiles. It’s merely a matter of time before you, too, will have an opportunity to rise and shine!