February 11, 2016 at 11:21AM

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how to get actors locally without reimbursement?

I'm starting pre production in May for a short film I'm making; the only problem i have is getting decent local actors who will do the job for free. I live in Ohio so that makes it even more difficult but my question is where do you go to find local actors for free?

8 Comments

Why would anyone with talent work for free ?

Do they get part ownership of the finished film ?

Are you offering them anything equivalent to their time and talent ?

...If they knocked on your door and asked you to shoot their film for free would you be cool with it ?

February 11, 2016 at 12:55PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32524

I think you would be able to find many actors who would be willing to work for free, just for the experience and for the footage for their reel. Try putting an ad on Craigslist stating that it's a gig with no compensation. A lot of actors just starting out would probably jump at the chance just for the fun and the practice.

February 13, 2016 at 12:15AM, Edited February 13, 12:15AM

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David Summers
VFX Supervisor/Artist and Filmmaker
246

Local colleges.

February 13, 2016 at 3:49PM

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Start by going to as many local theater productions as possible. Get to know the actors and tell them you like their performances. Then, when it's time to shoot your film, invite them to audition.

February 13, 2016 at 7:00PM

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Tim McC
Director
88

What did you already do to get actors?

February 14, 2016 at 3:47AM, Edited February 14, 3:47AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9584

I live in Ohio as well and also struggled with this issue. I'm a film student and started working on projects but could never find any actors. I went to my university's theatre department but yet so many actors there only wanted to do stage work. You will find a small amount that want to transition into film, but it's difficult to work with.

About a year ago, I found an online service called Breakdown Express. It's absolutely fantastic! There are two separate websites within Breakdown, Express and Actors Access. Express is for experienced, union actors. Actors Access is strictly for non-union actors, but a lot of times SAG-AFTRA actors will look for work under Actors Access as well. Posting a casting call under Actors Access is free, but posting under Express includes a fee.

I've had great luck with Actors Access alone and have found tons of non-union actors located in Ohio with long film, commercial, and theatre resumes. The best part about it is that all of the actors are willing to work for free. I always buy my actors food and offer a place to stay while shooting, but they usually will just take the finished film for their reels. Go check it out at https://www.breakdownservices.com and finally find some actors! Also, since I live in Ohio I might be interested in helping you on your film!

February 15, 2016 at 10:22AM

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Jon Cibella
Director/Director of Photography
92

stop

February 18, 2016 at 9:13AM

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I have had good success with craigslist gigs and model mayhem, in Seattle we have the Stranger weekly with free advertising and of course college bill boards and a notice at watering holes. I pay transportation and I feed them good, normally just a few actors, so if they like Sushi or mango juice go to extra trouble with a buffet. I find refried bean platters from the grocery story popular with salsa. Then I create swag, I have a t shirt press and make transfers, printed on the printer and it goes on t shirts and backs of directors chairs. I get plastic coffee mugs that take photos and make them up with the production logo and so the whole experience is personalized. When I cast and do principal photography, I stress how the process of making the film should be fun and that energy will be reflected in the final production. I remind them we are making a real film because we are. Any actor that wants to learn more about filmmaking, I give them opportunity to learn as crew.

February 20, 2016 at 11:10PM

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