Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Casting

I love the articles at Backstage. On February 4th, Filmmaker Adam Green ("Frozen") really shed some profound light on the casting process:

"For me, so much of who I hire on my cast and crew is based just on how I feel around you. Are you going to jell with my crew? I've used the same crew for everything, and it's a family. So what I like are actors who are part of the filmmaking process and are intelligent about moviemaking. It's not just about "Look how pretty I am" and "I was on 'The OC' once." I'm not impressed...The thing about auditions is you can't really tell about a lot of things. I know some great actors that bomb every audition. Because it sucks; what an awkward process to walk into a room full of people you may or may not know. It's almost worse if you do know them, because how are they going to believe you as another character? So just be you, be relaxed, and don't come in with some sort of agenda or ego...And don't kiss my ass, either...So don't kiss ass, but at the same time just be you and do your thing...The conversation that happens before and after the actual read is usually where the decision is made...I take a long time to cast my stuff, and I'm very picky in who I cast, and I think that's why I've been so lucky. "

I'm finding this more and more - how does a filmmaker feel about me as an actor? Is he comfortable with me? I keep telling my colleagues, and I am saying the same to you as well, the entertainment industry is no different from any other industry - we have to nurture our talent so we can trust that when we call upon it whenever, it's there and we have to market ourselves and cultivate relationships to be known. The third thing is we have to be ourselves and communicate our personality. When I was Director of Marketing in high-tech, and I needed to hire staff, I used to hire people based not so much on their skill set (it was there on their resume and even if they were short one or two things, I knew I could train them) but more on their personality -- were they a good fit for me and my team and the company, did they have a good work ethic, did they come across as professional, did they have a life outside of work - things we would call "nontangibles". In Silicon Valley, the fit was so important, we would end up having candidates we like interview with other members of the team to ensure the fit was there, and that could turn into multiple interview situations - very picky, indeed. 

In the audition room, I try to get my personality across - I'm not saying being bigger than life - I'm saying letting them see who I am and what I am like - being myself - so it will make it easy for them to cast me by getting answers to the following questions: Is she professional? Does she have a good work ethic? Can I count on her to deliver the goods to help me meet my project's creative and financial goals?

I'm seeing that more emphasis is being placed on the personality side of things because you are already in the room because they know you can do the job and are what they are looking for -- so, bring yourself into the room, HAVE FUN and tip the scales in your favor!!

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