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This episode covers my experiences attaching cast to Amateur, including Michael Rainey Jr. (POWER, LUV), Josh Charles (THE GOOD WIFE, SPORTS NIGHT), Sharon Leal (ADDICTED, DREAMGIRLS), and Brian White (RAY DONOVAN, SCANDAL). We then move into the prep process on the film, and  touch on:

  • How a short film can help with attaching cast
  • The two-part process of auditioning Michael Rainey Jr. (who came us to via Jason Berman, who had produced a film with Michael in it, LUV)
  • The value of a casting director (in Amateur's case, Jessica Kelly and Kate Geller)
  • What an "offer" is and why you can only offer the part to one actor at a time
  • Doing street casting to find "real people," in this case, several basketball players who had never acted before
  • Location scouting and tax credits
  • Scheduling and what a "company move" is (and why we needed to avoid them)
  • The challenges of working with a child actor and the resulting limitations on shooting hours
  • Rehearsing and read-throughs
  • Tech scouts

….and more.

Thank you to the Panavision New Filmmaker Program, SonyG-technology, and Vision Research for their help in providing equipment on the film (which we'll cover more of in our forthcoming production episodes).

If you have questions about the making of the Netflix Original Film Amateur — or about your own feature project — you can ask me at or find me on twitter @ryanbkoo.

Here's the trailer for the feature Amateur. Watch it now on Netflix!

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