How To Write An Effective Casting Call
by To Be Seen, posted 8 November 2015
GOOD castings attract GREAT actors; your casting call will determine the way your project is received and the standard of actors who apply for the role.
The Three B's of a GREAT Casting Call:
The Basics When, where
Give the deadline for the casting so the actors know the last point at which they can apply. Actors may have to re-schedule appointments to make the dates you specified so try to stick to the dates.
State the date and time of the casting and the shoot dates, including any recall dates and travel dates. If the casting is in London but the location for the shoot is in Manchester don't forget to highlight this.
Being straightforward with the payment details is essential for creating a good relationship with people you want to work with. State the payment clearly as well as any buyout options for all mediums; TV, print, internet etc. If it's an unpaid or low budget job then don't beat around the bush, promises of endless cups of tea and a credit are something to mention but not to be passed up as payment, avoid the up-selling of a unpaid job as an 'opportunity', it may well be, but this is for the actor to decide for themselves when considering an application.
The Brief Is it a bird, it is a plane?
As in any line of work, it is in the applicant's best interest to be fully informed before making themselves available for consideration. Tell them about your project, what outcome you envisage and what you are aiming to achieve in terms of the finished project. A well informed casting call is conducive to attracting the right people.
So whether you are casting for a film, TV advert, internet comedy or zombie flash-mob please let the actor know.
A short paragraph detailing the storyline gives the applicant more to chew on when considering an application.
If you are just starting out then mention your passion for the production and feel free to announce added extras and positives that the artists wouldn't otherwise know, for example; you have a great director assigned to the project or you are entering it into a film festival; the casting call is one place where 'TMI' is a good thing.
The Bios/ Breakdowns
Be specific when listing the character's requirements.
State exactly what you are you looking for e.g gender, playing age, ethnicity, hair colour, height and if you are prepared to be flexible do say so.
Casting on To Be Seen:
To post your casting go to Post a Job and complete all fields.
It's free of charge to post a casting call.
When actors apply to your casting call you will receive an automatic email containing their online profile and contact details. You can then contact them to invite them to an audition.
N.B All actors applying via To Be Seen can only apply to casting calls if they have at least one headshot on their profile.
You do not need to put an email in the casting call; applications will go automatically to the email address you put in Post a Job page. This email address will not be visible to applicants and they can only apply once for a casting.
Suggested Casting Template:
Deadline for applications:
Other physical characteristics: eg ethnicity, build, hair colour relating to the character
2-3 sentences describing the personality of character.