CASTING YOUR INDEPENDENT FILM
“Roles to live by”
Now I’m sure you’ll have some sort of an ideal for what your characters look and act like, but try and keep an open mind, you never know who may walk through your door. You may have imagined your character as a blond, but perhaps unless it is a very specific thing about the character that a brunette may actually be the perfect fit.
If you didn’t already have people in mind to play the characters in your film, then it may be a good idea to hold open auditions for your film. You can put up flyers visit your local theatre troops and of course you can of course post this across all social media sites, craigslist, any related pages you may have found on Facebook, related websites, you can even search casting sites, you never know who could potentially be interested in your film. Actors like to act, they like money, but exposure is exposure if they believe in what you are doing they’re in!
People have to work so it would be a good idea to hold auditions for entire day, say 12pm-8pm. This is a good window of time for the 9-5ers and the service industry people to all have an opportunity to show off their talents.
It is a good idea to try and hold your auditions at someplace that is not your house. You want to look professional. Try and find a local public place that will allow you to hold the auditions at there establishment. This could everything from a church, to a bar. If you have a friend who has office space ask to you use it for an evening or a weekend to hold the auditions.
So, before you hold the audition you are going to need to prepare for the audition. You will need to print out “sides” (Excerpts of the script to be read), prepare some directorial material in order to be able to give the actors direction. Make sure to have them read a few different ways in order to get a grasp of there range, even if it’s not something you actually intend for the character. Have fun with it, but don’t be too ridiculous. Use “as-ifs”, “Imagery”, and action verbs to help guide their performance.
You will need to have a camera set up in order to record the auditions. This is crucial as you may find that you thought one actor was amazing in the room, but another really seemed to shine through on camera.
Assign a number to each actors audition to reference the actors more easily, and have them fill out availability sheets and their ability to take time away from work if needed.
Make sure you review the auditions thoroughly. Watch them a few times with your other producers and discuss the options. If you need to, hold callbacks then if there is a disagreement on an actor, take a vote!
Check out Auditioning Actors @ thefrugalfilmmaker
and Casting Your Independent Film @ NakedFilmmaker for more on auditioning actors.