Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Casting phobia

It's getting closer and closer to my filming weekend. I have most of the crew in. I still need a good sound guy who's willing to work for free, which, I'm told, is a bit of a tall order. It's not so much that I mind paying the guy, it's that I mind paying that guy and not anybody else.

I also still need two actresses and I must confess that casting frightens me more than directing.

I think that's probably because I don't like telling people bad news. I know I don't have to tell them right then, but still. I like people. I want to make them happy. So I'm a little afraid that I'm going to be overwhelmed by all these girls and their different abilities and want to hire them all. And what if they turn out to be bitchy?

I want to hire my friends. The two male parts will be played by my friends and they're fantastic. But what if my girl friends turn out to be wrong for the part? I'll feel so bad.

I'm not worried about this on the set. I manage a classroom just fine. A set will be no problem. But choosing the people to be on the set - that's a problem.

I went through a brief period where I played a lot of X-Box role playing games - Morrowind, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Fable - and I was never, ever the bad guy. Ever. I feel bad for the animated characters. God only knows how I'm going to say no to dozens of real people. But if I don't I'll end up with a crappy short and that is the last thing I want.

Oh God, what if they get on set and suck and THEN I have to fire them? Sweet Jesus, what a nightmare. Donald Trump and that guy from Hell's Kitchen I am not.

It might not be so bad if Partner were here. He used to work for a casting director and he's playing one of the two male roles in Game Night, but he's away in a land of a midwestern no-budget horror film.

He's not here to help so I have to do this all myself.

I'm going to start with friends and recommendations from friends. Then Partner is going to send me resumes and headshots of girls his agent represents. Then if I still don't have my girls I'll put out a casting notice or two.

But I really just hope the first girl to read is dynamite. Then I don't have to disappoint anybody.


  1. things i have learned or been taught:
    -it turns out actors have thicker skins than it seems. they are okay not getting parts even on things they'd be doing for free as a favor or whatever.
    -if you get a great actor, it matters less if they look the way you thought the character would.
    -pay your sound guy. sound guys aren't there for the love of it like everyone else is. and if your sound sucks there's nothing you can do about it. make sure he keeps his mouth shut about getting paid though.
    -also i know some amazing actors who are eager to work and i am glad to recommend them to you and vice versa.

  2. Emily
    Ive made a decent bunch of movies. Be careful casting solely within the comfort zone. A movie should not exist solely within the comfort zone. That being said, if this is going to be a very difficult shoot because of being underbudget (just guessing, shorts almost always are), then having ppl who are your friends of course helps. Thats just a consideration to weigh. My (fairly well informed, I would like to think) two cents.

  3. Thanks, Ben. Might take you up on those recommendations. You guys get some great actors to read your stuff. Can I have Amber Benson?

    And appreciate the input, Grumpy. I cast two of my friend because they were perfect for the roles and I knew that as soon as I finished the script. I just hope I feel the same when the girls start reading.

  4. shoot me an email, hey?


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