5 Things I’ve Learned About Casting

By Alexia Macari-Skelly
Casting Assistant @ www.extrasireland.com

It’s been about two months now since I started working with Extras Ireland and The Production People (read my previous blog about being a Digital Intern here) – and in that short space of time I’ve learned so much. Casting is certainly an exciting and fast-paced world – sometimes a little stressful working to such tight deadlines but a good, exciting kind of stress! No two days are the same which makes for really interesting work and it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of creating a new Film, TV show, Commercial or Music Video. I’ve been having a think this week about what I’ve learned so far and I’d love to share my thoughts with you.

1. Gift of the Gab

Communication in any job is key but especially in Casting. There are so many people you may be in touch with just for one project – Directors, Producers, Wardrobe, Extras Co-Ordinators, Photographers, Casting Directors, Actors, Extras, Models… It’s incredibly important to make sure you pass information on correctly and in a timely manner to ensure everyone is ready and confident to rock and roll!

2. Best ’til Last

One thing that I find interesting (and surprising) is how Extras, Actors and Models are often the last people to be arranged for a shoot. If you’ve ever wondered why you might receive Availability Checks with “ASAP” in the subject line that is exactly the reason. There can be so many people involved in a project from Production to Crew to Cast and as this can take time to finalize and schedule, it can sometimes be a rush to the finish line when organizing Talent. Luckily, we have lots of reliable and enthusiastic Performers on our database who we know and trust so it’s easy for us to book them at the last minute as soon as we know who our clients need.

3. Tidy House, Tidy Mind

We have over 3,000 Extras, Actors and Models on our database – so as you can imagine, that is a lot of CVs, Headshots and Showreels. These all need to be organised and ready to go for when a job comes in so we can pinpoint the right people for it. Thankfully, our Head of Casting Aislinn’s incredible organisation (and love of spreadsheets!) helps ensure that we have all the accurate info in the correct place ready to go.

4. Stay Current

Let’s be honest, we all have that one photo that we took five years ago that we can’t seem to change on our profiles. Although it may seem the best and most flattering to you, old pictures in Casting are a no-no. One thing I’ve learned is just how much a person can change even in the space of a year. Production wants to know straight away what you currently look like – they don’t want to find out the day of the shoot! So embrace your ever-changing features and always keep us in the loop.

5. Don’t Give Up

Casting is extremely competitive and a large number of people are considered for every role. As we send on our recommendations to Production of suitable Talent, we always have in mind who we would think would best suit the role. However, as our Extras, Actors and Models know, we never get to decide who gets a part unfortunately – the final decision will always rest with Production (or the brand if it’s a Commercial). It’s easier said than done I know – but not getting a part should never be taken personally. Criteria and requirements can be so specific and change so quickly, so if one job doesn’t go your way it’s important to keep your chin up and move on to the next one!

So there we have it – just 5 of the many, many things I’ve learned over the last couple of months. Of course, there’s so much more for me to learn and I’m excited to find out what’s around the corner!

If you’re in need of Cast for your next project, get in touch – we’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or give us a call on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.