Casting: How to Attract and Keep Top Quality Actors
You’ve brought your magnificent film idea through most of the pre-production and you’ve reached the part where you need the professional actors and voices to bring your project to life. If you’re working on a shoe-string budget, maybe you’re not able to pay the talent you hope to cast much, if at all. How can you hope to attract quality actors?
Give Them Credit
Actors are hoping to build a career in television or film. Guaranteeing them a place in your film project’s credits or a listing on IMDB.com, or both, to some actors is as good as money. If you offer this benefit, make sure it’s stated in any casting call press releases or postings. Since many actors actually get their start as extras or background players, who don’t normally get spoken lines or credit and IMDB.com listings, the offer of such will be incredibly appealing.
Provide a Comfortable and Safe Set Experience
Yes, the actor has met your qualifications and agreed to work for little or no money. That same lack of money is no excuse for not providing for your talent’s basic needs. If possible, secure a holding area that’s a shelter from the elements with a comfortable room temperature, particularly if filming takes place on a hot summer day or a freezing winter night. Provide or arrange for clean bathrooms with adequate supplies. The holding area should be clean and free of safety hazards with a parking area available. If you’re filming in a rough neighborhood, consider providing security for your set or contacting the local police and ask if they can help monitor and keep everyone safe.
Please Feed the Actors
Another incentive you can offer talent on lower-budget projects is meals. Ensuring your actors have at least one meal per 12 hours of filming, and water and snacks available at all times will help keep them focused on their roles. It will also keep them from leaving set for food which could bring your production to a grinding halt if you’re ready for their scenes and they aren’t there.
Here’s Your Copy
Offering actors a copy of the finished film as reimbursement is a great way to draw talent to your project and should be mentioned in any casting calls. Copies of projects they’ve worked on are not only a source of pride for actors but provide them with an opportunity to use their footage, with your permission, for their audition reels.
Remember your actors are people too. A kind, encouraging, but not indulgent, attitude will help inspire your talent to give their best performance and make your film project shine.
Need help casting your film project? Contact us today.