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Old 03-18-2018, 06:20 AM   #1
Onalos
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Asking for Video Auditions or Not?

On my latest project I received like 70 applications. Some people applied for more than 1 role so I don't know how many actually applied. I only needed 3 roles, so I contacted about 11 people. Sent them the script in PDF file and asked for a video audition. Only 4 got back to me with questions "what scene would be best? Do you want to see a monologue as well? Etc." And only 1 actually sent me a video audition.

I accepted that 1 person and now I'm having issues with that person to the point I may replace her. Which leaves me back to square 1. No actors for the 3 roles I needed.

Is this a common thing? Is finding actors a numbers game? Do others go through this? Also should I stop asking for video auditions and tell the applicants to audition in person? I now feel that I need to know if a person handles direction well, which makes video auditions useless to me unless they are VERY talented.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:19 AM   #2
mlesemann
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Video auditions are very common.

What I see most frequently (I'm a writer and producer, my husband is an actor) is that first the producer or casting director posts a description of the characters, and asks for head shots and resumes for those roles. Then ask people who submit and seem like they might fit to submit a video audition for a specific role, and give them the sides for the audition.

Don't give them the entire script and ask them to pick a scene, which is what it looks to me like you've done (apologies if I misunderstood).

It's fairly common to do call backs with the best candidates in person.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:17 PM   #3
Onalos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post

Don't give them the entire script and ask them to pick a scene, which is what it looks to me like you've done (apologies if I misunderstood).
That's exactly what I did haha. I won't do that again as some people never got back to me and now my full script is out there for anyone to sell.

How can you tell if someone is right from video auditions? I gave the role to someone who did alright on a video audition, but now me and my team have a few issues with that person. I believe you need to see how well an actor can handle direction. How can you do that by video audition? Or is your process video audition first and then in-person audition?
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:50 PM   #4
mlesemann
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I think it's fine to cast a small role by video audition only. But if you're talking about the lead(s) and major supporting roles in a feature, then I recommend doing call-backs in person.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onalos View Post

How can you tell if someone is right from video auditions? I gave the role to someone who did alright on a video audition, but now me and my team have a few issues with that person. I believe you need to see how well an actor can handle direction.
You have answered your own question.

Making a movie is a journey, isn't it? You moved from using friends as
actors to hiring someone you didn't know based on a video audition.
And it seems to not be working for you.

I would never hire based on a video audition for the reason you just
gave - how do you know if the person can take direction or work well
with the team. I need to spend some time with the actors I'm considering.
I learned that over several projects. It doesn't matter what other directors
do, I know what I want.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:09 AM   #6
Feutus Lapdance
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Video auditions are no substitute for real auditions. You cant feel chemistry or dedication in a video.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:44 AM   #7
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Yes it's a numbers game, but not exactly the way you are playing it.

You may want to rent a space out for the day and schedule auditions every 15 minutes. Only schedule people you have a good feeling about. Have a handler there to manage people and anyone making casting decisions. Have water and fruit. Videotape them, so you will need someone to run the camera.

They can read sides from the script (any portions you choose, called sides since they may or may not be full scenes) and/or a monologue, your choosing. Every actor has a prepared monologue, but to me they are not as useful as sides, AND they will take up 50% more audition time when doing both.

Take notes on the back of the headshot. Watch the videos. Do you callbacks for a second audition and you can have certain actors interact or just read more sides.

Then, make your decisions. Numbers game, yes.

Pro Tip: Ask their general availability and any planned vacations. You may want to do this earlier than later so no one wastes time.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:10 PM   #8
Rayandmigdalia
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We make low budget films and have had enormous success with video auditions. Why? We live in an isolated area, and actors will not travel 3 hours to audition for a role that they might not get. Give them an audition script and let them do it at home. You can tell from 100 miles away whether they are good or not.

An actor who will NOT record an audition in his own home would not show up for an in-person audition, let alone showing up for your actual shoot.

Wannabe actors will answer your ad at 3 in the morning. When they get a script and see that they actually have to put some effort into an audition, they're gone.

Look at the origin of where your applicants live. They haven't really READ your ad. They apply to ALL ads. They live 500 miles away. That's why they don't answer when you contact them.

In your initial contact, ask for a resume. When they say "I don't really have any experience but I've always wanted to be an actor"...forget it. They can't do it. Period. You are looking for "serious" actors who have taken acting classes and/or have done some "live" stage work. Being an "actor" in 50 films as an extra does not make them an actor. You need someone who has delivered lines of dialogue in a film.

Many "working" actors are actually too busy to do an audition tape for you, BUT, you can ask them if they have "a reel". If they do, this will have examples of their best work. You can tell if they are good or not even if they haven't done YOUR audition script.

Of course audition requirements change as per your budget...

Last edited by Rayandmigdalia; 03-20-2018 at 11:17 PM.
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