Actors left to right: Molly Bhanja, Will Scarborough, Pakob Jarernpone, Chris Wolfe, and (partially obscured) Andrew Yackel.

Five Things I Learned About Casting An Independent Feature Film

Five things I learned about Casting an independent film

Being a first-time feature filmmaker with Liberty Mean, working with experienced filmmakers was crucial to success. Surrounded by film professionals who had done this many times made the experience very enjoyable and a terrific learning experience. In a series of blog posts, I am sharing the key things I learned.

1. CASTING CALL: If you are a small independent film seeking quality actors and you don’t have a casting director, then you are responsible for attracting the right talent yourself. Online outreach was critical to our ability to get over 400 actor resumes, and this outreach included local filmmaker associations as well as national sites such as IMDB and Casting Call Pro. Good descriptions of the film and the roles were critical in communicating the type of actors needed.

2. LOCATION: Make sure you have a warm, inviting place for your acting talent to come for their auditions, including a waiting area while others are completing their auditions. We were fortunate to work with a great restaurant/bar partner in Granville, Ohio called Moe’s Original BBQ (recommended by our partner band The Black Owls). Moe’s had places to sit while waiting downstairs in the restaurant, plus a large open performance area upstairs where we conducted the auditions.

3. VIDEO SUBMISSIONS: Since we were open to acting talent from across the country, it was important to provide a mechanism for actors who were too far away to audition in person. This is fairly simple with today’s technology and our entire lead film team could observe and provide feedback on all the candidates.

4. CALLBACKS: After initial auditions, we called back the best-fit actors for an additional audition, this time with other actors. This provided an opportunity to look for chemistry and how they interacted and responded to each other.

5. DOCUMENTATION: Maintain good records of everyone, including both notes from the auditions as well as the video submissions. This ensures that you can go back and look at each of the key candidates before making decisions.

The casting experience turned out to be very productive as we saw many talented people over the space of a couple months during pre-production, and the actors, in turn, were able to see the professionalism in our film production company. As we get closer to finishing up post-production, we are thrilled to see the performances by these fine actors and hope this will be a springboard for many of them in future roles.e-publish”> ..more

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