How to Find Actors for Your Movie
If you're making a movie, you definitely require actors. And not just any actors, actors who have TALENT. When I make my films, I involve people who are talented. They either act or they wanna be actors. I'm here to give you some tips on how to find talented on-screen actors for your independent film.
1) Acting schools...
I started out auditioning student actors from the acting department of the college I was attending. I found one of my lead roles and he did great for a zombie film I made. There are several colleges, schools, and workshops EVERYWHERE. Well, mostly everywhere... and those who are serious about acting -- are HUNGRY for any chance at acting to either build up their resume or just feed that desire actors usually have.
I've met plenty of people who simply loved to act. It's their thing. I also like the acting, and I do it in my own films -- but filmmaking is my real passion. Point is, get 'em while they're hungry and striving to make a name for themselves.
2) The Theater...
Go to a local stage play or whatever. You will find amazing talents there. People who are so into acting -- they don't even think about it. It's a part of them. If you do hire a stage actor, make sure they project less with their tone of voice on camera. Obviously, on the stage they need to be "louder" in voice and body language for everyone to catch it. On a movie camera, it catches every subtle thing... so project less.
3) Online resources...
I was member of Backstage.com for a year... and it was AWESOME. The resources are endless and it's a great place to find serious actors and crew. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to re-new my subscription. But if you got extra dough, I recommend it. It's cool.
There are other reputable on-line resources too, like: www.playersdirectory.com and www.imdbpro.com
And there's always Craigslist, but I never found anyone serious there.
Recently, I found an actress on Facebook. So, Facebook, can be an asset as well and I'll attach a video of my short film that she was a part of it.
4) Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
This is probably the best route to get professional actors who are a part of a legit union. If you're low on a budget and you want SAG actors, then you can try their Ultra Low-Budget agreement. You can call them up at (323) 954-1600 or go to their website for more info: http://www.sag.org
5) Contacting Agents or Managers
If you know which legit actor you want, you can contact their agent or manager. I recommend picking up the Hollywood Agents & Managers Directory (Hollywood Representation Directory). Muster up a plan, pitch the movie, and they if they like it -- they'll negoiate a price and a schedule and whatnot. If you can afford a well-known celebrity actor, you can also find their agents in the same book. Remember, having a marketable face makes your movie marketable and you'll maybe make a profit after you spend thousands -- if not millions -- on your movie.
6) Film Festivals
What's more fun than a film festival...? I love it. You know what's also good about it? There are filmmakers and actors all over the area. Network and make new friends -- meet new actors and you get the rest. Plus, many actors go to film festivals to get noticed by filmmakers so they can land a new role. Win-win.
7) Use your friends, family, and yourself!
Now don't tell me you don't have ONE FRIEND or ONE FAMILY MEMBER who has natural talents to be in front of the camera and act. There's always at least one. Maybe you have those acting talents that you've yet to discover? Who knows -- give it a try.
... have fun. Finding actors and actresses is a very fun process, but keep it professional. Make sure you have proper paper work (releases and contracts) when you hire an actor. Sometimes they'll work for food and sometimes they'll demand payment and other times they demand nothing but a chance to act because they love it. I usually feel guilty when I hire those actors, because it feels like slavery in a way... so I buy a pizza. Less guilt... yeah.
Peace out. The Jet signing out.
The Jet's Hubs
- How to Write Movie Dialogue
- Director's POV: NOWHERE JOHNNY Part One
- How to Add Production Value to Your Movie
Wanna make your film feel like a real movie? Read on...
- How to Direct Actors
Jet breaks directing actors down to a simple process.
- How to Make Screenwriting Fun and Simple
A fun and simple process to writing a movie.
See some of my actors in my film!
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