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Old 05-12-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
Fear
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recasting lead role?

2 days ago I told an actor he's gotten the lead role for my feature film (It's a zero budget film). However, last night I completely re-wrote the script and the main character's personality type has changed completely!

How bad is it to tell someone that just celebrated getting the role that we made need to re-cast due to scripting alterations?

This actor could still half pull it off but he wouldn't be able to execute the character perfectly because it's just not his style.

How un-professional is it for films to drop a lead actor for the good of the production?

I feel like just telling him he may not be suitable for the role anymore because of how drastically it's changed. I feel bad doing this though because he was so enthusiastic about the script and willing to help out in any way to get this film made
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:12 AM   #2
Sweetie
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Quote:
last night I completely re-wrote the script
Take some time to think it over. If your script was at the point where it could go through a complete re-write overnight, it'd be my opinion that you're too early in the process to be casting. You need to consider developing the script further before you make the same error again.

You may have made an error in casting this actor. That's fine, it happens. While it will suck for the actor, your main responsibility is to your film and your investors (if you have any). What you want to avoid is doing this again and again and again.

Quote:
How un-professional is it for films to drop a lead actor for the good of the production?
It is unprofessional. Not because you're dropping an actor, it's unprofessional because you did your casting and then rewrote the script. Obviously you weren't happy with the script in the first place. Script changes happen, but complete rewrites after casting, especially ones that write a lead actor out, shouldn't happen.

That being said, I was speaking with an actor a few nights ago. This happened to him. He was only a supporting character. A script thread was removed, thus removing the need for his character to return (a sequel). Obviously he was bummed but not angry.

S/he may get angry with you. They may never be willing to work with you again. They may recommend to their friends that they don't work with you again and so on. The lesson to learn is how to avoid the same error in the future.

Sit down and talk with them. Explain the situation. Genuinely apologize. Be firm. Don't give false hope and don't unnecessarily crush their dreams. Give it time before you make more decisions. You may be able to find another way to include them in your movie. Who knows, after tomorrow nights re-write, they may become the lead once again.... or even better, become the fun-to-play antagonist.

Last edited by Sweetie; 05-12-2015 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Fixing crappy English & clarification - Don't write posts when tired
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:01 PM   #3
directorik
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Originally Posted by Fear View Post
This actor could still half pull it off but he wouldn't be able to execute the character perfectly because it's just not his style.
Does the actor feel he could only half pull it of because the
roll isn't his style? Or are you categorizing him based on his
other work? If he's a good actor he may surprise you with his
versatility.

I agree with Sweetie; I think was unprofessional of you to cast
the movie and then rewrite the script to the point where the
actor you hired cannot do the part. If you think he cannot play
the part as written you need to fire him and find someone else.
You're going to feel bad and he's going to feel bad.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:20 PM   #4
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I don't know... Zero budget and people you like make themselves available to make it work and this is what they get.

Go with people who are motivated and if you want to make a great movie, it'll be in the future. Won't be this one. If you can't pay people enough to treat them like garbage you can't do it when they aren't paid either. The second the team hears about a rewrite 50% of them will get impulses... Impulses that will lead to ideas not to show up for the third day of shooting.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:46 PM   #5
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Didn't that happen with Terminator? I understand Lance Henriksen was supposed to be the robot, but James Cameron decided to cast Arnie instead.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:58 PM   #6
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It sounds to me like he hasn't lost the role - but rather the project has fallen apart.
And now you're going to start a new project instead. Maybe it's just his character that changed though

I'm not ready to attempt a feature film myself - good luck!
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:39 AM   #7
Fear
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Actually, this latest re-write is so good I want to play the lead role myself so I fired him, yes, and now I will play the lead role

Last edited by Fear; 05-19-2015 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:04 AM   #8
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... and down the rabbit hole we go.

You sound like you'd be painful to work with.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:22 AM   #9
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good luck writing, directing and starring in your own movie.
Does this impact your budget now that you are no longer part of the crew?
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:58 PM   #10
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Actually, this latest re-write is so good I want to play the lead role myself so I fired him, yes, and now I will play the lead role
This makes it ten times more unprofessional. So he was okay to cast if the role/film was just okay, but now that you got it better you should be the star? Don't be surprised if word gets around about this stunt. I don't mean to be rude, but this sounds like it was really in poor taste.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:15 PM   #11
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This makes it ten times more unprofessional
I agree but I didn't know how to phrase it without risking offending him.
So I won't put it in my own words.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:24 PM   #12
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I could not blame anyone who quit you. Loyalty is a two way street.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:04 AM   #13
Fear
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chill

Guys i was joking. He's still my lead actor! I just decided to troll you because everyone was being judgmental criticizing my original script and condemning my project!

The lead actor, wants me to stick with the original script because he prefers the simplified obvious humor, but i prefer the new script because the humor is a lot more dark & satircal and has greater impact

There's nothing wrong with script re-writes leading all the way up to the shoot as long as you're not writing or changing characters (which I did). but all is good. No one is getting replaced.

The budget is only 5k. It's a passion project. I always wanted to take the piss out of my nations' film industry and now I will!
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:06 AM   #14
Fear
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So he was okay to cast if the role/film was just okay, but now that you got it better you should be the star? Don't be surprised if word gets around about this stunt
you make it sound more worse than it is

Last edited by Fear; 05-27-2015 at 06:10 AM.
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