ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Ways to Make the Most of Auditions, Advice for Movie Directors

Updated on November 7, 2014

Casting Done Right

Director, Actor, Casting Director, Camera Operator, even a boom operator! These guys even wore their matching shirts - Pros! You'll note they even have a reader, though often times the reader is also the producer.
Director, Actor, Casting Director, Camera Operator, even a boom operator! These guys even wore their matching shirts - Pros! You'll note they even have a reader, though often times the reader is also the producer. | Source

Tips from a Casting Director

“Time is Money,” says every businessman in the world, and it’s doubly true in the film industry. Having one event cover several purposes helps to save time, and thus, money. When casting, the less money you have to throw around, the more important it is to use every opportunity with actors wisely. But let’s make sure we’re on the same page before we delve into auditioning advice.

Why Host an Audition?

Very simply, auditions are held to see a selection of actors perform your script on film or video. Some auditions do not require reading from the script for which they are auditioning. In such cases, the actor prepares a monologue, often the preference at open auditions. Open auditions can be more tedious, but give a director greater variety. Closed auditions, which are by invite only, may take more time before the audition, but it also helps to eliminate excess time spent on unlikely candidates. The following is a casting director’s advice to film directors, producers, and fellow casting directors.


It is paramount that you record your actors because, in film, all that matters is how they look on screen.

Get It On Camera!

It is paramount that you record your actors because, in film, all that matters is how they look on screen. Make sure to get close up shots, to see how well actors captivate an audience. If your actor is at a distance, then a video audition can be negotiated. Actors can record themselves reading from your script, and send it in for consideration. Depending on how popular your preferred actor is, all you may get is a meeting. Many experienced actors don’t like to read, especially if they know you need their reputation to help sell the film. In such cases, best to come to an audition prepared, knowing their previous work and using it as the basis for such a meeting. No matter the situation, make sure you get a recording!

That’s it, right? There’s no other reason to conduct auditions. Actually, there are many more, but the following are examples of how you can make your casting session into a multi-purpose meet ‘n greet.

Practice Directing

This is the perfect opportunity for a director training session. I often recommend that directors come prepared with three versions of how they want a reading to be performed, using specific and descriptive words. This preliminary interaction with actors allows the director to get into a groove before principle photography, which is almost mandatory in situations where there is no time for rehearsals. While preparation is key, so is instinct and authority. Auditions are the best time to make tweaks in communication to see if you can elicit the performance you are looking for. Use this time to see if you can mold your actors. Just make sure someone is watching the clock. Molding can take time, so better that you invite them back for another round than run late.


Be considerate and wait until the playback to take notes so you can reserve your attention for the delicate ego of your actor.

Show the Actors How You Work

During casting, a director will usually have a camera operator, a producer, and a casting director present in the room, and ideally a greeter stationed outside the room. After the casting director introduces everyone in the room, the director takes over. During the audition, the director will show the actors how you communicate with your crew, and how you run the show. Are you a Hitchcock and see your actors as meat puppets, or do you relinquish control by getting to know the actor instead like Lee Daniels? These directorial choices all indicate to the actor what your set will be like. And, trust me, the last thing you want is an actor who refuses to work with you because they felt uncomfortable during auditions. Your best case scenario is when an actor is not the right fit for the part, but is so in love with you that they will happily work with you again (think Nathan Fillion and Joss Whedon before Firefly).

Explore Ideas for the Script Not Previously Considered

If you’ve written the script you are now directing, sometimes it becomes apparent that the lines aren’t crap because of the actors; they are crap because the dialogue is lackluster. Time to improvise! Try setting up a situation for the actor to work within and see what lines naturally come out of it. Some of the most memorable lines in cinematic history were improvised. For the sake of time, however, don’t worry about asking an actor’s analysis of the character. That’s best saved for after they’ve earned the role.

Ultimately, your job as Casting Director is to…

Make the Director Look Good

It has happened, more often than I care to admit, where the director will ask an actor to do something, they roll camera, the actor starts, and the director is looking down at the script or looks away to take notes. This is when, as the casting director, you must keep your attention on your actors. Then, make sure the director doesn’t do it again. Be considerate and wait until the playback to take notes so you can reserve your attention for the delicate ego of your actor.

Speaking of ego, you may want to pull the director aside to remind him of this courtesy. Saying it in front of an actor would only be embarrassing for everyone.

Discovered other tricks to the auditioning process? Share the love in the comments! No one likes auditioning, but we can all help each other through the process. Happy casting!

Alan Tudyk's Video Audition for Firefly

How did Alan Tudyk's Firefly Scene Turn Out?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)