How To Cast For Your Short Film : One Person's Perspective

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If you make short  films for fun or for profit, you may have run into the casting blues. Yes, you can always cast yourself but if you are tired of doing documentaries or would like to be the role of a film director, it's time to track down the actors. This is the fun and sometimes tricky part.

For myself, I opted to use Craigslist which ended up providing me with a flood of resumes containing the names of actors with impressive resumes. If you are on limited time, try jotting down a few names and go from there. I personally chatted with a few actors at a local coffee shop.  I really liked one young individual with an impressive resume that included training at an American acting school. He got cast.

I liked another individual too, but in my opinion, he didn't look like the right person for the role. But that was my big mistake. One the day of the shoot, the first person whom I hired -- the guy with the training in California, somehow decided this wasn't for him and he walked off the set.  If he thought he was too good for the role, all power to him.  But not only did he ruin it for the rest of the cast, he also showed what  a truly unprofessional, rude and unreliable actor he truly was.

But like the saying goes, the show must go on. I went back to the resumes and called up the second actor whom I had earlier rejected. He turned out to be the most versatile actor that i have ever hired and he ended up being in several of my short films. 

If there is a lesson in all of this: actors are a fickle bunch. Some are professional, and some are as difficult to deal with as the highest paying prima donna actors in Hollywood. Always keep other actors in mind just in case your original actors that you selected decides to run off and break your agreement.  If possible, make the actor sign a contract and if they renege on the contract, make them pay.

It's always good to be positive and not to allow one disrespectful actor spoil your mood. Always be professional and you will go further that way. 

If you are seeking to hire actors, there is always the  reality of not knowing what goes on behind the mind of the actor. Filming a movie is not always going to be smooth sailing.  But somehow even if you have to work with difficult actors, the outcome is that you are going to complete the film --for the love of art!.  

About the author


I work in Vancouver, BC, and produce a regular web publication, I am so excited that I am an author on Amazon as well. I enjoy making films and hope to make it at the Sundance Film Festival or Venice Film Festival someday soon. See you at the movies!

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