Many directors around the world would agree on one thing – casting is one of the most important elements in the process of filmmaking. So much so that there’s a popular saying that “casting is 90% of directing.” There’s an acknowledgment that a film that is properly cast will turn out impressive irrespective of many other factors. Proper casting makes for a more authentic and realistic film than if there were lapses in the casting process. This is no secret but many directors are not aware of how much they need to prioritize the casting process. They do not adequately understand how the right actors could dynamically change the complete picture in a positive light. This is what I aim to address in this post so if you’re a director, this one’s for you. Read to the end.
The Casting Call
The casting process is always a tasking one despite the numerous actors out there that are seeking a chance to wow you. Even though many times you could be wowed, you still need to know which actor fits what role perfectly, especially if the character you need is fiction. You’ll be shocked how commonly it happens that even though a talented actor walks in the room to audition for a role, there’ll still be some quality missing – quality that you are not willing to do without in your film. However, you can control this. You can reduce the odds of this dilemma happening in your audition room and make the casting process significantly more effective.
Firstly, get yourself an NYC casting director like Ken Lazer of Ken Lazer Casting Company. It’s always best to let people handle tasks in which they’re specialized in. NYC casting directors have proven to know their stuff with an impressive track record so if you want to make good use of your time and resources during the casting process, give it to casting directors who live and breathe for it.
Another thing you can do is understand just what you need. This means that you shouldn’t invite hundreds of people for a small project and make it hard for yourself to go through all their resumes and headshots. After you do go through them, you only need a select few people anyways so what’s the point? Be more selective as early as possible! If you don’t, you’ll only be wasting their time and yours. You should take the time needed to carefully handpick a select number of actors that already seem a good fit for the role. Then the casting process can work out as designed.
Casting is the single process that involves the selection of actors and the importance of the right actors cannot be overemphasized. Irrespective of the directing skills, no director can successfully change the fundamental psychological levels of an actor. To clarify, a good director may be able to make an actor act well in a new niche or style, but it’s simply impossible to change the fundamental persona of the actor. So in the end, it’s just not honest enough for the screen and it will reflect once you take a third-party look. It’s always best to work with an actor in their natural element rather than trying to craft an entirely new person. This is one mistake many directors make and is the major reason that films underperform.
If you approach the casting process the right way by doing your due diligence, you have already passed the halfway mark towards a successful film. It may seem quite tedious to invest so much time and resources in the casting process but be sure that it’s worth it. The casting process is more than a pre-production process; it is the point in time when you decide to bring your characters to life via a person who already seems to have the character within.
So why is casting so important?
It is the production process that involves the most important elements of filmmaking – the actors. Without the right actors and chemistry amongst them, a film is as good as doomed. Conversationally, with the right actors and chemistry amongst them, there is nothing that could prevent the audience from connecting with your film naturally because it’s no longer acting; it’s an extension of life! With all that said, the best thing you could do during the casting process is get an NYC casting director to work on our project.