How to Cast Actors for Your Short Film
Posted by StarNow on 17 Oct, 2016

How to Cast Actors for Your Short Film

Finding the right actors for your short film or production is crucial. Gone are the days of trawling through actor headshots and begging your friends to be in your short film. We’ve done the hard yards for you and put together some useful tips to help you successfully cast your film.

Finding the right talent can be difficult. The following companies can help you find that perfect actor or cast for your production:

  • Agents – represent more experienced talent, experience and exposure = higher fees.
  • Online profiles – StarNow profiles signed and unsigned talent, it’s free to place a casting call which goes out to up-and-coming talent who are looking for projects to work on.
  • Drama Schools – Try attending end of year and showcase events put on by drama schools. This allows you the chance to see newly trained actors performing in a number of different scenes.

Placing a casting call
  • Clearly outline each of the characters or parts that you are casting for.
  • List the skills, experience and physical attributes that you want the actors to have. The more details you include the better applications you’ll receive.
  • Make sure you are upfront with what you can pay. You don’t want to waste yours and other people’s time. Some actors are happy to work for experience and projects they can add to their showreel while others will expect to be paid for their work or have their expenses covered/meals provided.
  • Ask the actors to include a showreel in their application if possible. This can save you a lot of time in the audition room.

Doing a large number of auditions isn’t always the way to ensure you find the right person for the role. Remember the more people you bring into audition, the less time you can spend with each of them. Make sure you pre-screen your talent by really going through their resumes, head shots and showreels beforehand. This is to ensure that you are just bringing in the people that you instinctually feel could be a good fit. This means you end up with more time with the right people and a session that isn’t cluttered and confusing.

Narrowing down applications
  • Trust your instincts and gut feeling about someone.
  • Try to shortlist no more than 4 – 6 actors to audition for each character.
  • Try a couple of different looks. You never know who might actually work out.

Audition Process
  • Help the actor by giving them as much preparation as possible - scenes, look, any accents they might need. Help yourself find the right person!
  • In the audition room make sure the director directs the actor. It’s imperative that the actor can take direction.

Casting the right talent can take time. Remember to be open about your expectations; give lots of direction and if you are not sure about the actors, then hold more auditions.

Once you’ve found the talent it’s time to win the competition. Good luck!

Place a free casting on StarNow or check out our Actor Talent Directory!