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Casting Directors - What is a casting director?
Total posts: 245
Joined: 14 year(s) ago
Posted 12:51 AM Dec. 28, 2017

Casting Directors

What is a casting director?
Casting directors are hired by (and paid in full by) the producers and directors to audition talent for roles. Then their job is to show the best of the best to the producer and director for the final decision making.

They also know how to negotiate and finalize the talent's contracts.

The agent's job (in NYC, Calif and some parts of the us) is to get the actor's photo and resume in front of the casting director while they are actively casting projects.

In the Mid-Atlantic Region, Most Casting Directors keep their own files and cast from Them – Some will reach out to our local agency’s for some roles, But the majority is cast from their internal files or postings from other non-Agency companies like Actors’ Center, WIFV DC, TIVA DC or DragonukConnects.com.

Casting is one of the most important but least understood jobs in the
entertainment industry. Typically, casting directors offer a range of
services, from drawing up lists of prospects to screening candidates
on videotape to conducting nationwide searches and overseeing

Demands vary from negotiating a bit player's fee to populating a director's vision with the right faces and voices.

Casting is the only trade not recognized with an Academy Award; the
Casting Society of America honors outstanding achievement with its
annual Artios awards, the profession's equivalent of the Oscars.

The person who auditions and helps to select all of the speaking role
actors in film, television shows or plays. The CD must possess a vast
knowledge of the actor pool and be able to match a variety of actors
with just the right role. Directors and producers rely on the Casting
Director to assist them with assembling the perfect cast for their

Casting Directors are also responsible for serving as the liaison between the director, and the actors and their agents (again in NYC, Calif and some parts of the Country or with the Actors only if a Direct Hire). CDs negotiate the deals with agents (If Any – Directly with Actors on Direct Hires) once the actors have been cast and are also responsible for the contracts and SAG Status of each actor.

The Majority of Casting Directors are in NYC and LA because those are the Largest Markets in the US but there are Casting Directors in any state/Large City with a Viable Film/Video Production market.

A Busy Job
Casting directors probably have one of the busiest jobs in the Industry

It's their job to find or "cast" all of the roles for any given movie or television project in a limited time.

They are the ones that send out the "breakdowns" (a daily listing of all the acting roles the casting director looking to fill) to any agents they use for the specific roles they are looking for. So for example, in a movie script, if there is a little Asian girl who is eight years old, it will be up to the casting directors to the talent agents they use know that they are looking for an eight year old Asian girl for that particular movie project, get it?

Now as you know, there are many characters in a single movie or television show so you can now guess how busy it would be for the casting directors to find just the right actor…a good enough actor to fit the right roles.

So to sum it up, the casting director spends most of the day looking at tons of Headshots and Resumes from various agents or other sources they use to find talent and fill roles.

Once they see someone with a good resume' or experience and someone who may look like the character described in the script, they request an audition to the agent If there is 1 or directly to that particular actor.

Casting directors are hired to cast talent for:

Original Features
TV Programs
Print Work
Fashion Shows
And much, much more

The Audition Process
After the casting director feels you may be right for the role, you have to audition.

Now here's where all of your training and knowledge of acting has to come through.

The competition is fierce so you'll have to be prepared for this part--the
"audition process". One mental breakdown during the audition process
can mean you not getting the role so you'll have to pretend that
you're not as nervous as you feel inside. Pretend, see? You're acting
already---even before the audition!

Auditions can be anything. There Might not be anyone in the hiring process watching – just someone running the video camera. With this process - usually the Casting Director watches the video- edits their opinion of the top performances to the front of the DVD or Video stream and sends it off to the Director and or producer.

Or it can be a series of auditions before a casting panel, composed of individuals such as the producer, director and/or choreographer. In the early stages of the process, candidate performers often may present prepared audition pieces such as monologues or songs. Later stages may involve groups of candidates attempting material from the work under consideration in various combinations; the casting panel considers both the talent of the individual actors and the chemistry of their combination.

OR it can be anything in between.

Depending on the prestige of the role, casting calls may go out to the
public at large (typical for community theatre), to professional and
semi-professional local actors (for supporting roles in theatre and
film) or to specifically selected actors (for leading roles,
especially in films).

Did You Get The Part?

If you did good the first time, you'll have to most likely audition again but this time in front of the director and producers of the project.

So, your first audition might have been with just you and the video tech or possibly the casting director.

The second audition could be with the casting director, director, and producers.

The casting director is basically taking you in to show the top people what they found for that particular role for the television or movie project.

This process may vary at times and sometimes you may even have to audition a third time but this is basically how it goes.

You shouldn't be afraid of casting directors though.

They actually want you to do good on the audition because it makes them look good.

The History of Casting
Casting was born in the early 60's when the studio system collapsed
and power shifted to the stars and their agents. Previous to that
actors were under contract with the studios and negotiation was
nonexistent, since the studio owned the talent.

In the production of film and television, a similar process is followed.
However, especially for major productions, the process of selecting
candidates for sometimes hundreds of parts and possibly thousands of
extras may often require specialized staff; while the last word
remains with the people in artistic and production charge, a Casting
director (and/or Casting Assistant, Casting Associate) may be in
charge of most of the daily work involved in this recruiting process
during pre-production; in addition the "CD" may also remain as liaison
between director, actors and their agents once the parts have been

The significant organization of professional screen - and theater casting in the US is the Casting Society of America (CSA), but membership is optional.

At least in the early stages and for extras, casting may be decentralized geographically, often in conjunction with actual shooting planned in different states.

However for the top parts, the choice of one or more celebrities, whose presence is of enormous commercial importance, may rather follow strictly personal channels, e.g. direct contact with the director.

Smaller roles and Day-Player Roles (Speaking roles where the Shoot Schedule is from 1 day to usually a maximum of 5 days) are most likely to be cast in the location the project is being filmed in.