How Casting Agencies Work ?
Casting the right actor or model for a part can make or break any project. And these days directors are too busy to audition hundreds of talents for one role. So who makes sure that an interesting character gets a deserving act in the film or ad?
Well, this is where the casting agencies come in. Most jobs these days rely on either a casting agency or a casting director to find the right talents. Apart from the main leads (that are decided by the directors and producers) the whole supporting cast in any job is decided by such agencies. This makes the role of a casting agency in any job production very critical, and that is why these agencies get involved in any job from the time of the pre production.
Meet the film’s director and if possible writers. Get to know the story and characters. Read the script and learn about the characters.
Make sure that all the casting remains under the budget of the production.
Have a list of talents ready, preferably with headshots or videos, to speed up the process.
Make sure that the talents chosen have their dates available for the production.
Take auditions and show them to the director. Remember, the agency only recommends an actor, its the director/producer who make the final decision.
Sometimes negotiate contracts between the production and talents. However, most of the negotiations is done by the actor’s agent. But if an actor is unrepresented, casting director can step in.
Keep a backup for all talents ready until the talents are finalised and locked.
Help talents understand the characters while the director is busy. This includes preparing the talents for their roles.
So by understanding a casting agency or director’s responsibility, we can easily say that they are like a middleman between the talents and a production.
How do Casting Agencies choose talents?
Casting agencies create a database of talents. This includes collecting headshots, videos and audition tapes of several talents and categorise them according to their age, looks and abilities. This way, when a production demands for an actor, the casting agency treats it like opening a directory, pick the most appropriate actor and recommend that person to the production.
If there is no such actor in their database, they hold auditions (paid for by the production), and then send their recommendations to the production. After that, the selected candidates get to appear for another audition that is more personal and detailed. Once everything is finalised, the casting agency informs the talents, congratulating them for getting the role.