FIND ANSWERS WITH GUEST ANSWERER CASTING DIRECTOR EMILY SCHWEBER
Emily Schweber is a casting director with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Fresh off a win at SXSW (the film she cast, Eden took home the Audience award for Narrative Feature) and with titles like Krews, The United States of Leland, groundbreaking series American Family and Telling Lies in America – we thought she would be the perfect person to answer your questions about casting.
I just completed a reputable filmmaking lab at a prominent film organization and have gotten some funding to make my first feature film. I know I can knock this out of the park with the creative team I have in place, but it is going to take the right cast to make it really special. How do I go about finding a casting director as a first time director?
Find someone you like to be around. Someone who will be the realistic person in the room. Realistic, but not pessimistic. Working on a film is like an intense short-term relationship: sometimes we talk several times a day and at night for two months. So the compatibility is important. Call a producer and director that the casting director has worked with recently for a reference. If you hire a casting director with a big staff, ask who your point person will be. Meet that person as well, or ask to work with the casting director instead of an associate. To this point, filmmaker Diego Lopez says, “chemistry between you and your casting director is of utmost importance. Your casting director plays such a HUGE part of facilitating the process that it is important to have solid faith in the relationship and the ability of your casting director.”
How do I pick a good scene for an audition, what types of scenes make the best sides?
It’s got to be a scene between just two people and a scene that’s not too climactic or has too much action. I usually pick two contrasting scenes for each role (unless the character has only one scene). It’s not fair to the actors to pick something really heightened, like a crying scene. Even simple scenes show us what we need to see.
Have more questions about casting?
Contact numbers for casting directors can be found in several places. IMDbPro.com, Breakdown Services at 310-276-9166, the CSA (Casting Society of America) website if the casting director is a member, the app Actor Genie and LA411.com.
Emily can be reached at Emily Schweber Casting, 10642 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 207, LA, 90025; 310.470.9444, email@example.com
March 20th, 2012 • No Comments