So often I hear actors, members of the public, members of our industry, relate to us as ‘Casting Agents’.
Do you have any idea how much this irks a Casting Director?
We are NOT agents. We are Consultants and Directors for placing actors (read characters) in the relevant roles.
We do not represent actors. We do not get paid by actors. We do not get paid a commission.
So please do not relate to us as Casting Agents!
Now I understand how this confusion happens. It happens because there is a big black hole of understanding when it comes to what exactly do Casting Directors do? And what is the difference between a Casting Agent and a Casting Director?
(Ok….. we don’t mind you calling us a Casting Consultant…. it is in fact what we do. We consult on the cast.)
But back to why it happens.
It happens because up until now, we have had little exposure in the industry as to who and what we are and where we fit in. It is still not uncommon to see no line item in a film budget for the casting. How many actors who have been around and are now producing / directing their first film and they think “Ive got a limited budget here, where can I save some $$?” The first thing to go is the CD. Why? With a computer and a little bit of knowledge anyone can call themselves a Casting Director.
But it is not the CD’s responsibility just to put names on a page because certain actors happen to be available.
Or the classic “my friend is a great actor. He/she is available. I’ll cast them!!” (Then they wonder why their film didn’t do well at the box office!) Casting counts guys! Casting bloody counts!
Now I know there are CD’s who do just see it as their job to get names on the page, as long as they are of the right age, height, etc….. but we take it a whole lot more seriously. We dissect the script- character by character, working out how each character informs the story, drives the story forward and relates to each other.
Very often we will change the age and the sex to make the story more interesting, exciting.
This is what a good Casting Director does. All the while being mindful of the budget.
OK…… rant over…..
It’s been many years now that Greg and I have been campaigning for the recognition of CD’s.
As you are possibly well aware, Greg was the inaugural President of the Casting Guild of Australia. We, along with other key Casting Directors, figured that this was our first step for CD recognition.
The thinking was, if we can get the CD’s around Australia to come together and form a guild, then we have a good chance of gaining further recognition. Hence Greg was the proud first Prez of the CGA Australia.
And now, this year, after much campaigning and help from other members from the industry, and the help of Casting Networks to sponsor the award, we have our first Casting Award category in our AACTA Awards this year! Yay! This is certainly an achievement and one we as Casting Directors collectively are immensely proud of.
If you happen to reside in Australia and care about our screen industry why not jump on board?https://www.aacta.org/aacta-awards/