Q: Do directors look at social media? —Taylor S.*
To do research.
During the casting process, a casting director, producer, or director may want to Google you to find out more about you. Your social media accounts are among the first things to pop up in a Google search for your name. For a director, your social media presence is a direct reflection of the actor they’re considering working with. Also, if you plan to work for family-friendly networks and brands, it’s becoming customary for them to do a social media check to make sure you’re a good fit for the brand, not a liability. The first impression you make on social media is very important, so make sure your accounts show any potential employers your best self.
To determine castability.
In some cases, directors do look at follower counts; having a large, engaged following does occasionally help an actor get cast. I recently spoke on a panel at a film festival, and one of my fellow panelists was an indie film director and producer. He said he has to submit follower counts for everyone “above the line” when seeking foreign distribution for his films. Having lead actors with a social media audience means the difference of thousands of dollars in revenue for his film. In that case, the director and team were definitely looking at social media. Though this happens, I wouldn’t obsess about it. Instead, focus on making the best first impression you can on social media and learn how to use it to build and maintain your industry relationships.
To see if you’re a team player.
Social media is becoming part of your job. Your next contract may include posting requirements, live-tweeting, or an Instagram takeover. Unfortunately, I’ve had many clients with no social media presence who were passed over for roles simply because they couldn’t share the project. If you’re not on social media, you’re not a team player because you can’t help spread the word. A director may be looking at this, too, especially for smaller indie films and web series.
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This story originally appeared in the Sept. 26 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.
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