4 Things You Need to Do to Get Your Dream Cast

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Photo Source: Unsplash courtesy Avel Chuklanov

So you’re casting a project—congratulations! It can be a pretty exciting process for many content creators, but also has the potential to be incredibly time-consuming for those who aren’t too familiar with the process. Thankfully, whether you’re seeking talent for a film, web series, commercial, internal video, or any other type of project, Backstage’s team of casting experts is here with a handful of tips that can help you get the most out of your submissions. Here are a few things you should consider when casting any project. (And when you are ready to get casting, use Backstage right here!)

Take your time.
“Take your time. The process can feel overwhelming but taking the time to work with your actors to make sure you find the right person will pay off. You want to make sure you have an actor that you can work with on set, so directing them a little in the audition room is key.” —Christina Kleppinger, L.A. Casting Specialist

Keep an open mind.
“Don’t limit the scope of who can apply to your project. If a 6’4” blonde male who looks like Armie Hammer is not essential to your script, you don’t need to restrict your range.” —Veronika Claghorn, Casting Account Manager

“Don’t limit yourself. Sometimes an actor may make you see the role in a whole new way. You can always narrow your selections down later, but if you aren’t restricted by specific physical traits (i.e. they must have a beard), try to be as open as possible. Also, it’s always a good idea to use as many categories as apply to your project to ensure that you reach the greatest number of applicants.” —Melinda Loewenstein, Managing Casting Editor

Take your time, be open minded and flexible, and really know your piece and the characteristics you need to tell your story. Also, know the resources available to you and be organized!” —Hannah Williams, UK Casting Specialist

READ: How to Cast Your Indie

Provide the important details, but don’t overdo it.
“Be specific and brief in writing your notice. Leave out most of the expository information. It is important to describe the project sufficiently, but be succinct; writing a novel in a casting notice is typically just going to get overlooked.” —Elijah Cornell, Casting Account Manager

Avoid cliches. Read casting calls from professional CDs and take their lead. Make the vital information about your project as accessible as possible.” —Daniel Gelb, Casting Editor

“Give the actors adequate information from the outset to ensure that they are comfortable with the themes before they choose to submit. Nobody wants to encounter a random sex scene requiring full nudity only after they’ve been cast and finally have access to the full script. In commercial casting specifically, it is common for companies to wish to keep the product or company name confidential in the casting notice, but if there is potential for the actor to be embarrassed or uncomfortable to be associated with it, you will want to address this before they submit.” —Katie Swabb, Casting Editor

Always be professional.
“Remember, at the end of the day, you’re hiring for a job. Actors want to know they’re working with someone who is professional—even if you can’t pay talent, you can help make sure they know you’re serious by keeping your descriptions and your messages polite and to the point. Always offer a meal, credit, or footage, if you can.” —Gillian Heller, Casting Editor

Practice kindness and respect. It takes time and effort for actors to prepare for an audition. Let them perform everything you have asked them to prepare and thank them afterward.” —Lisa Hamill, Casting Editor

Looking to cast your project? Post an audition notice with Backstage right now!