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How to hire actors for your next film

Hello, fellow filmmakers, actors, money makers and dream chasers!

This blog is for you ;)

We all love movies and we love MAKING them.

I think at least half of the actors made or tried to make a short film, and play a director behind the lens. It's an extremely valuable experience and you learn SO MUCH! I am speaking from a personal experience :) When I directed few short films on a very small budget, I had to be a casting director, producer, editor, PA along with accountant and doing some catering. It was one of the best experiences I could've asked for! Not to mention I have met some talented and humble actors.

But we're not here to talk about me, not today anyway. Hope that didn't sound too selfish ;)

If you are a filmmaker, you need to know how to hire your actors, and that's what I am going to talk about with you today.

  1. Finish writing your script. You will look unprofessional if you are in the middle of writing your screenplay and still not sure how many actors and crew members to look for.

  2. Know how many actors you need for your short film, feature, tv show or web-series. Whatever you're into. Have locations, crew, budget, etc all figured out and good to go.

  3. Register on Breakdown Express. It's an easy platform with TONS of eligible actors and actresses to choose from.

  4. Put a detailed breakdown. That means you gotta have a name of your project, casting director's name, director's name, location of a shoot, union or non-union, start date of filming, pay. And please, please, PLEASE PAY YOUR ACTORS! We take classes, spend money on headshots, demo reels, memory cards for auditions, car insurance to go from point A to point B... It's an expensive career, especially in the start.

  5. Post a casting on every legit acting site: Casting Networks, IMDb, 800 casting, even Facebook casting call groups.

  6. If you are looking for new actors with little or no experience, contact them via email. Don't direct message them on Facebook. I get message requests all the time from people who I've never met and I almost never check those. Be professional and reach out to them via email.

  7. If you are looking for SAG-E or SAG-AFTRA actors, contact their agents. You can search actor's name on IMDb and they will have contact info on their profile. NEVER TEXT THEM!

  8. DON'T be a time waster and message an actor with a question "You wanna be in a movie?". That's some scam, kidnapper shit right there. No self-respecting filmmaker is going to talk to an actor like that.

These two things are for actors. You gotta have a tough skin in this industry, but you also need to trust your instincts and put logic into some things.

  1. Beware of scammers! Google the heck out of them. Not to sound racist or sexist or anything, but the ones I see are males in their 30's from either India or Africa. They usually answer the moment you send them a DM.

  2. Beware of human trafficking! If a random man somehow finds your email, phone number, etc and asks you to audition in your lingerie, perform a sex scene for some movie with Brad Pitt overseas, it pays thousands of dollars, and it sounds too good to be true- probably freakin' is! Also, if some director whose name doesn't come up in your browser asks you to audition at his house- RUUUUNNN!!!

Well, that should about do it. Filmmakers- be professional and have your shit figured out, and actors- be wary of bad guys from the Internet :)

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