Many filmmakers take the DIY approach to casting a film because the prospect of hiring casting directors is intimidating. This is because 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, he or she works for you. And working with these professionals are key to the process of taking your film from development to the next stage. The best casting directors are going to suggest actors and actresses for the roles in your film.
The Filmmaker’s Seal Of Approval
Working with a casting director is a seal of approval on your film. You say to the world that the film is good enough, and that you had enough funding to get that person involved. And as a bonus, many casting directors have relationships with actors, actresses, and reputable agents. This provides a great advantage for you.
A good casting director will have his or her 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 will 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, then they’re probably not going to get name actors for your films. On the flip side, if they’ve done a film with recognizable names, that’s good news.
Qualifying a Casting Director
If your prospective casting director has been around for years, and has worked on lots of films, that’s great. When your film goes out to the breakdowns (the reports on what’s being cast that goes to agents and managers), and that casting director’s name is attached to it, then people start to take the film more seriously.
When it comes to filling biggest roles in your film, the casting director usually make introductions. But as a producer, you will be responsible for closing the deal. For the smaller roles, working with casting directors will make your life easy. They’ll close the deals, give the actors the contracts, and take all those other steps off your plate.
If it’s not obvious by now, I’m 100% behind hiring a casting directors for my film projects. And the time to hire a casting director is in the development stage of your film. If you’re working on your next project, and you’d like to learn more about hiring actors. I put together this training on how to Cast Name Actors.