Photo by Debra Lopez
"Talent is only 7% of the reason for casting someone"
Here's who gets offered the role first:
Both of these folks guarantee more viewership when they are cast
Then the CD does back-up auditions just in case the "name" actor can't fit the shoot dates in their schedule. Who gets seen for the role next?
So if your career is sitting still. There are real reasons why u can't make headway.
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Check out this article by Alex Needham about how casting decisions are made:
SXSW film: casting directors lift the secrets of their profession In a South by Southwest session, top casting directors break down the costs of hiring top actors for independent films and discuss YouTube’s role in hiring
Four top casting directors revealed some of the secrets of their industry at a SXSW panel in Austin, Texas, on Saturday.
Christian Kaplan from Fox, Joseph Middleton from Paramount, Paul Weber from Weber Casting and Randi Hiller from Disney, whose job is to find the right actors for the right roles in the films they work on, discussed attempting to find new film stars on Vine; why having greater acting talent than a rival may only account for 7% of the reason an actor is cast in a particular role; and exactly how independent filmmakers can snare the stars that will ensure their film gets funded.
An independent filmmaker in the audience, who said that his first film had enjoyed some success, asked the panel whether he would be able to get the star he wanted in a second movie with a $650,000 to $1m budget.
Middleton said that for that money he was unlikely to get Brad Pitt. The director admitted that he had Marisa Tomei in mind, nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Wrestler.
“Marisa Tomei you can get,” declared Middleton. “I would pay her $150,000 from a $1m budget and a point or two from the back end” – in other words, 1% or 2% of the profits. “Everyone wants money up front,” he added.
Hiller recommended that the filmmaker should also offer a bonus system, by which Tomei would get $10,000 if, say, the film won an award or got to a certain number in the box office chart.
Middleton added that for casting a film with that kind of budget, he would expect to be paid $50,000.
Discussing her work, Hiller said few actors could be so versatile that they become entirely different people, and that most essentially play versions of themselves – or, as she put it, they “operate on the same base energy sphere”. She said some, like Sean Penn, could expand the perameters widely.
AdvertisementAs an example, she said that Kevin Spacey “is not particularly warm” and would be unlikely to be cast in an avuncular role.
To an audience including a high proportion of actors and filmmakers, Hiller said that actors should take comfort from the fact that there are many variables besides talent determining whether or not they got a particular part. Acting talent, she said, may only account for 7% of the reason a particular actor would be cast in role, citing other factors ranging from age and ethnicity to “box office value in China”.
Hiller illustrated her point by adding that an actor friend’s agent had told him he wasn’t leading man material. The actor finally realised that this meant he wasn’t handsome enough, but took comfort in the fact that this was something he could not change.
The casting directors added that the audition tapes of actors who weren’t suitable for particular roles would be kept on file, and such actors could frequently be called back for jobs the casting directors discerned would fit them better. Kaplan said that he had recently cast a well-known actor who he remembered from an audition five years ago: “No-one has seen this guy’s edge.”
Kaplan said that while in the past he used to visit comedy clubs to find people to star in his films, these days producers demanded that casting directors look on YouTube and Vine to find tomorrow’s stars.
“YouTube stars are trendsetters,” said Weber. “Often they come alive on camera but they’re not well-trained.”
While a couple of them have been signed by film studios, Middleton said that the jury was out on whether they would motivate people to go to the cinema, since “you see that person for free every single day”.
The panel, three-quarters of whom were former actors, added that studios were making a genuine effort to be more progressive. Kaplan said that he had a mandate for diversity: “We cast our movies as we see the world.”
Hiller said that Disney now ensure that the female characters in the studio’s films are more powerful, and not the passive heroines of days gone by. However, one thing hasn’t changed. If an actor has a controversial public image, he or she is unlikely to be cast in a Disney movie.
It doesn't mean that people who can't act are as likely to be cast as people who can.
Read more tufsoft 14 Mar 2015 See more comments Most popular in US
April Yvette Thompson