How to Cast your Film

Casting: Getting actors and organizing a casting for zero money.

Casting is one of the most important directorial skills. Even when you start to make your first short films , it is very important to have a casting.

Step 1

The first step is advertising your casting. This means that you go to the correct websites and advertise your film project.
One also needs to know how to fill out the Casting Call correctly. This is one of the most important and vital parts of the process. When we teach our film students at our Film Courses how to cast, we always actively go through the process of advertising the Casting with each group.

The words you use to advertise your film project to the actors who scan the castings is very important.  Get this wrong and you will have hardly any actors at your casting. When the Casting Call is filled out properly, we regularly get 150 – 200 actors applying for the casting call.

On the Casting websites you get to see the photo of the actors and the CV and in many cases you get to see video. My advise is to give everyone who applies an audtion.  You can never tell till the actor is in the room. Only then you can tell if the actor is right for your film project. When you go through the castings, the really good actors will shine brightly. Most of my film course students are very surprised at how easy it is to pick the right actors for the film project. Remember you could be giving one of the future TV or Film Stars their first break.

How much should you pay the actors? 

If you are creating a short film production with very little budget, you can place the film as a non-paying film.
In other words everyone involved is working on the film production for experience.

Most actors are working other jobs or casing for commercials which pay very well. They need  showreel material. This is where emerging film makers help emerging actors. The payment is the finished film which they will expect a copy of.  This is what will bring them to the next level.

If you have raised a substantial film budget, then you will need to pay your actors the minimum actors rates set by the actors unions.

Step 2

Casting is one of the fun parts of the preproduction process. All the actors arrive 10 minutes apart and they will then enter the casting room.
It is very important to photograph the actors with their contact details in the photo. When you have seen a hundred actors in one – two days it is very hard to remember who is who.

By going through the casting process, you will increase the quality of your film dramatically.

One of the big mistakes most beginners and emerging film makers make is that they skip casting and instead invite their friends and people that they think are talented to act in the film. This shows up in wooden performances and a film that seems to the audience,  amateur.

By having a casting, you will find the up and coming talent and the up and coming film stars of tomorrow. To learn how to effectively run a Casting please book on to the Online Film School. We direct you to  the very best websites to advertise your casting. We go into detail on how to attract the actors and run an effective casting on the Online Film School.

Colm O’Murchu      Director

Bio: Colm O’Murchu has taught film making and directing since 1997. He currently owns International Film Base and the Online Film School. Colm also regularly produces and directs his own film productions. He also is hired regularly as a DOP and Director for a multitude of film productions

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