"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.
So what are you going to do about it?
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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
""""One of the most mortifying moments I experienced in my theatrical career was when I was asked to bring the entirely African-American cast of a new musical we were workshopping, a new piece by an African-American librettist and composer, across the street to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and up into the plush boardroom so they could perform a song or two for the board of directors. I wanted to say something, but I didn't. For one thing, it would take an invaluable 45 minutes to an hour out of the creative team's limited time together. But... every year we had to do the same old song and dance for the board to remind them that yes, we did do new plays and musicals, so yes, it was sometimes a good idea to expose the board to new voices, to the vibrancy of an exciting work in progress.
You all know where this is going, don't you? I led the team in. The talent in that team! The writer/composer himself and the cast, lauded veterans of the stage and the most promising members of the next generation of acting giants. And there was our board. White, as white as can be, white white white white. And very comfortable. They'd just been served lunch, I believe. My theater spared no expense in pleasing our board and catering to their demands (oh my god, I'm feeling such rage right now! I'm pretty sure we had a staff member who was mostly dedicated to help our richest board members get house seats to shows on Broadway and the West End. But I digress...)
The only black face in the audience seated at the conference table? The only person of color? The head of our education department, of course. My heart went out to her.
The cast sang a song from the show. They did it. And they brought it. Because they were and are professionals. And the very pillars of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion reverberated down to the parking lot. It was breathtaking.
And I had just been complicit in the remaking of a scene for the millionth time: black bodies and voices entertaining white audiences, an institution raising money on the backs and voices of black bodies.
I was too mortified to apologize to our writer and to our cast, none of whom, I should add, expressed even an iota of discomfort. They were professionals, and they shone. And come to think of it, they'd probably all become accustomed to this scene. "It's just how theater works," they might have thought with a shrug of their shoulders. Or maybe they seethed inside, for the millionth time, when all they were trying to do is workshop a new musical.
Well, I apologize sincerely now to our writer and those actors. I wish I had had the courage to put my foot down. It is not how theater should work.
I quit the American theater on Valentine's Day 2016, so I've been out more than four years now. And honestly I don't plan to return, which is why I can write with such candor.
The heart of the problem, my friends, is with the non-profit structure, which is capitalism on steroids. Who are the bosses ultimately in an American institutional theater? The board of directors. Who are the board of directors? For the most part, those members of the community not with the strongest attachment to the art form but those with the deepest pockets. Often they're really not members of the community. They often just drop in. They are sometimes mere tourists.
It's no wonder that that board meeting was held in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The theater, like most American theaters, had built its board of directors on the old opera model: You get the richest folks together, offer them galas and house seats and receptions and private recitals and showings (for which artists often don't get paid extra, mind you), you pamper them and make them feel more special and entitled than they already do, and then they'll write you big checks to support the kind of art they like, the kind of art they can bring their kids and grandkids to. AND they--not the artists, not the community--get to hire the institution's leadership.
It is a rotten model. Rotten to the core. How can any artistic institution claim to be working for and in the community with that model?
It's got to be torn down. It's got to be reinvented. And I have no idea what the next model will be. I really don't. And no, honestly I don't think government is the solution frankly. Some of the most bloated, self-satisfied, decadent theater I've ever seen was in Germany, where it was almost fully government-funded. Lots of bells and whistles and provocations and completely soul-dead.
I see amazing and galvanizing lists of demands recently being made and posted by theater artists of color. These are vital demands. But they don't address the central issue. As long as the ultimate bosses of an artistic institution remain the community's deepest pockets, nothing will change. Nothing. You'll be putting band-aids on a gaping wound. Sorry, but it's true.
So please figure something else out. Maybe for a few years you just avoid the institutions. You've already started. In the pandemic, so many of you are making amazing art without an institution. Find those who truly adore your work and ask them to fund it. Screw non-profit. Form a corporation and value your art art-making as a resource that profits you, your viewers/audience and your community. I have no idea.
But please don't return to a new version of the old. After the virus, after he's out of office, after police reform and nationwide conversations about race, after, after, after, begin something new. I can't wait to see what it is!”
Words: Pier Carlo Talenti
Video: Griffin Matthews
April Yvette Thompson