September 20, 2014 at 6:22AM

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Resources for finding actors

There seems to be unlimited resources to find crew for an independent film, but I'm not as familiar with any staple resources for finding actors. I'm working on a short film / music video and don't feel tapped in enough to where I may be able to locate good acting talent. I have personal connections and word-of-mouth will surely help, but I'm looking for someone with very specific attributes. Any suggestions on notable resources? Thank you!

9 Comments

I don't know of a college without a theater department. Get to know a few people there, find out which students are naturals.

September 20, 2014 at 5:47PM

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Michael P Ellis
President, Result Films Inc
246

As someone who used to cast music videos, video games, national commercials, films and TV shows, I can tell you this: Craigslist is a beautiful thing. Michael is right, every college with a theater department have actors who are willing to work. You can get "non-actors" but it takes a lot of effort sometimes to get them reeled in. It's best to cast people who are seasoned, even if you're an actor's director. That's dispensing more energy that you could use. Also, don't be afraid to contact talent agencies. They may have new actors who need the film credit on their resume.

September 21, 2014 at 9:15AM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
982

www.hollywoodauditions.com
www.auditionsfree.com
www.backstage.com
www.breakdownservices.com

Look up any local Casting Companies in your area or call the local SAG office, or the the one closest to you. Check the Arts and Theatre depts of local colleges and universities.

September 22, 2014 at 12:28PM

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Can probe Stage32, have good things.

September 23, 2014 at 8:09AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7716

I had 30 productions so far, where about 5 required auditions, and one of these five auditions needed 11 actors.

Oh, and all had to be of certain age, and had to agree to the project on the trade-for-reel basis.

I used mandy and there would be 50+ actors turning up for my auditions.:

http://www.mandy.com/

Good luck!

September 23, 2014 at 6:27PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3763

Presumably we are talking about no/low budget projects. For well-funded projects you would want to work with a energetic, well-connected casting agent.

The system I use involves every resource at my disposal. I always hold auditions and will not cast an actor until I've seen him/her perform on camera and until I've had an opportunity to see if s/he can take direction. Because I am working with micro-budgets and am not in a heavily populated area, I insist on actors showing up for the audition. If they can't make the audition, then how can they make the shoot?

That said, I use multiple resources. I post the audition notices on every acting website I can find including mandy and backstage. I also post flyers at every college or university within a reasonable driving distance (1 1/2 hours is about my limit). In addition, I usually contact someone in the drama/acting department so I have a personal contact inside the schools. Because I am about an hour away from Baltimore and 1 1/2 hours from D.C., I also hit up acting schools/sites in those areas.

In addition, we post flyers everywhere we can: restaurants, local community bulletin boards, and so on. You never know where the best actors are.

To help matters, I try and personally respond to every actor that contacts me, if their headshot and resume look like they might be appropriate for some role. I specifically ask if they are planning on attending one of the auditions. I don't, as I've said, let them send in a video audition unless I already know them or they just seem perfect for the role and they live a zillion miles away. This to me is very important because if is not enough for them to look right and act well, they also need to be reliable and cooperative.

By the time all is said and done, I have posted audition notices everywhere and probably reached a few thousand actors and wanna-be actors. Then I hold professional auditions and we see who turns up. If all goes well, I can cast significant roles from those, but I seldom find all my actors from the open auditions. For the current film, we held three open auditions on three different days. Each ran 4 hours and we auditions perhaps 120 or so actors. We had about 18 roles to fill and from the auditions we cast 12 roles, including 3 of the 4 leads. For the remaining roles, I go to acting websites (usually in Baltimore or D.C.) and start inviting actors with the right look to come audition. These are individual auditions that I usually hold in my home, but I still put everyone on camera and run them through the same process as in the open auditions. If all goes well, I at least have my main roles cast. If I have featured parts (1 day of shooting), I start looking for people who I know or someone I know knows and start asking if they want to audition. That is where I find the stragglers.

That's my process for finding actors.

September 25, 2014 at 9:19AM

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Kevin Alexander Boon
Writer/Director/Professor
86

You could Find groups on facebook with people interented in filmmaking or acting, and post something there!

October 6, 2014 at 8:41PM, Edited October 6, 8:41PM

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David Velasquez
Camarographer, Editor, VFX Artist
95

very good...

October 7, 2014 at 7:40PM

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Outside the US/UK try www.encast.it for English speaking projects.

December 16, 2015 at 11:00AM

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