Many filmmakers take the DIY approach to cast a film because the prospect of hiring casting directors is intimidating. Many indie producers feel like casting directors are the coveted gatekeepers to Hollywood. But this is a limiting belief.
As a producer, when you hire a casting director, they work for you. And working with these professionals is key to taking your film from development to the next stage. The best casting directors will suggest actors and actresses for the roles in your movie.
Hire A Casting Director
Working with a casting director is a seal of approval on your film. You tell the world that the film is good enough and that you have enough funding to get that person involved. And as a bonus, many casting directors have relationships with actors, managers, and reputable agents. These relationships become your relationships, which can significantly benefit your production.
A good casting director will have their finger on the pulse of Hollywood. They may know who’s looking for a specific role. They may know which actors like working in indie films. They will know which actors work on lower-budget films and which actors only do studio films. And they will know how to help you.
So how do you know if your casting director is reputable? The answer is to look them up on IMDBPro. Search the person, and look at the films they’ve cast. If you don’t recognize any names in any of those films, they’ll probably not get name actors for your movies. Conversely, that’s good news if they’ve done a film with recognizable names.
Qualifying a Casting Director
Working with a well-known casting director will make your production more legitimate. Other industry players will see your film in the breakdown reports. (Breakdowns are sent to agents and managers, detailing each character role needing to be cast in a production.) And this alone can help spread word of mouth and help your project gain momentum.
The casting director usually makes introductions when filling the most prominent roles in your film. But as a producer, you will be responsible for closing the deal. Working with casting directors will make life easy for the more minor roles. They’ll work with agents and managers to negotiate the arrangements and take all those other steps off your plate.
If it’s not apparent, I’m 100% in support of hiring casting directors for my film projects. And the time to hire a casting director is in the development stage of your film. Suppose you’re working on your next project and want to learn more about hiring actors. I put together this training on how to Cast Name Actors.