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New director...Tips on working with casted actors


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#1 C Kenneybrew

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:23 PM

I am making my first film (with non experienced actors)and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Im concerned with making them sign a release form. Where do I find these? And typically when do I distribute them? I also would like the the first process I need to do if the actors are cast online. What is the professional guideline to ensure a proper experience. Also I would like to know if I should sit them down first with the script and give them (a certain amount of time) to get their lines down. What time frame do I give and how can I keep free actors coming back?

-Sorry for the amount of questions


Thank You
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#2 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:02 PM

You will drown in details if you don't get help. Find a student locally that attends film/acting school and have them help as a casting director, or post for a casting director that is just starting out (you will need to pay them a little). Some have "extras casting" experience only and might want a better credit.

You keep free actors by treating them well, along with having enough help so that they believe the film is of a level of quality worth being a part of, and is being executed as professionally as possible.

If you don't have a somewhat professional casting process, good actors will smell this a mile a way and wont even show up to begin with.
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#3 Robert Costello

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:21 PM

when you say "non experienced actors" do you mean they have done little work before or they are not actors?

i usually give the release forms out after the actors or models or performers have had their work captured--
I also have my release forms worded so that it gives me the right to use everything shot on certain dates rather than for a film or project title--For me, this works better because I often change the title of whatever I might be doing-----just google 'release form' and you should find a multitude online. They are all pretty much the same so pick the one that makes the most sense to you and gives you complete ownership---

I also pretty much find everyone online and if you are doing something serious with a crew and other tech people it might be a good idea to meet them first and make sure they are not going to flake out (very common) --there are even contracts to this extent, but if they are volunteering it is harder to force someone or demand recuperative money if they don't show up....if your project is larger scale (some crew other than you) it might be a better bet to explain to them that they are playing an integral role and their cooperation is essential...
What ultimately motivates people is gain. Be it monetary or artistic enrichment or a fun atmosphere- Money is a wonderful incentive. A lot of actors do work for free, if you can find a way to pay someone even a small amount hourly or as a flat fee, more as a gratuity than as a wage (so as not to be insulting), you will much more likely find the actors there and on time and ready to go. But if it is people you know or who like the project they might do it without pay, their gain being part of the work.

Historically different directors approach lines and things differently- You can always have readings and rehearsals if you like--Some people like to have as few rehearsals as possible to keep them fresh...Scheduling a meeting with everyone might be a good way to see who is full on board--

As a person who uses non-actors regularly and preferably, it can be a bit of a challenge, especially if they look and feel perfect but feel like they don't know what they are doing, or have never been in a film or in front of a camera before, or think they're doing something wrong-- reassurance and patience making them feel comfortable seem to have worked best for me--

most of my thoughts are for dealing with 'non-actors' as opposed to 'non experienced actors'---and all things are subject to change based on the film you are trying to make--
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#4 Jon Schweigart

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:26 PM

You can find a lot of forms online for cast or crew.

Each production is different but on my last film which is 13 minutes, it was about a week after casting I assembled my entire cast and crew at a table read where they all signed and we got to know each other. At this stage don't expect the actors to have their parts down. We took notes and improved the script from there. A week after that I held a rehearsal with the new script in place and made sure all the motivation was there in the actors. I didn't start filming until about 5 weeks after the audition which seems slow but there was a lot to be done.
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rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera