How to Find Actors for Your Movie

Angelina Jolie = epic actress.
Angelina Jolie = epic actress.

So.

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.

And lastly...

... 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.



See some of my actors in my film!

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Comments 4 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Great short film, not entirely sure I understood the point of it, but I THINK I got it.


The Jet profile image

The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay Author

Thank you for watching it. Haha. The main message is about how disconnected certain people can be to each other even when loved.


RoryMacbeth profile image

RoryMacbeth 4 years ago

very good advice--best of luck with your flicks--I'd recommend that you write a book on the subject and sell it on smashwords--


The Jet profile image

The Jet 3 years ago from The Bay Author

Thanks. I'm gonna need all the luck I can get. I would write a book -- if I had the time. Haha

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