Casting A Shadow.

Posted May 3rd, 2013 by Ben

Nina Forever stars Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Cian Barry, Abigail Hardingham, Elizabeth Elvin, David Troughton and Sean Verey. Finding this diverse cast was a strenuous and stressful four month process. My thoughts on it from the start of the project are here but Harriet Fleuriot caught up with Casting Director Emily Tilelli to get her view…

Can you tell us what your role is on the film?
My role is to take the directors vision for the films characters and to suggest, audition and secure the most suitable actors to ultimately be cast in those roles.

When did you get involved and how long will your work on this last for?
I joined the Nina Forever team in the development/pre-production stages of the project and worked on auditioning and attaching all the cast during the 4month period prior to the shoot.

Why did you get involved with the film? What appealed to you about it?
This is a no-brainer! I loved the script and knew without doubt the Blaine Brothers would do their own writing justice by creating a truly beautiful film. The script was so deliciously dark and entertaining and the characters, well they’re a casting director’s dream. I knew casting a character like Nina and of course finding actors who would have the incredible chemistry required to bring the script to life, would be especially challenging. What can I say…..I love a challenge!

Have you worked with the Blaines before? Can you talk about how its been working with them and are there any other crew members that you’ve had to work closely with?
I had not worked with the Blaines before but was very aware of their short film projects and hoped to one day work with them so when our producer Cassandra Sigsgaard sent me their script and introduced me to Chris and Ben I was thrilled. Working with the Blaines was a very collaborative process and it was clear we were all ‘on the same page’ from the start. We constantly bounced ideas around and ran every studio session together. It was so refreshing to work with directors who truly understood and respected the process. They encouraged the actors who auditioned to play with physicality and interpretation of the dialogue which for me is so important in the audition process. I also worked very closely with our wonderful producer Cass. Cass and I first worked together on a short film in 2012 and so it was really lovely to collaborate again. This is a producer who can move mountains I tell you and I absolutely have her to thank for thinking of me to cast Nina Forever.

What’s exciting you the most about your work on this film? What are the highlights? Any funny stories/anecdotes?
I’ve never been so excited about a project I’ve worked on. Just in their auditions alone, our cast had me laughing, crying and holding my breath at every turn. The feeling you get as a CD when an actor walks into the audition room and gives everything of themselves to a role, literally leaving you speechless, can not be measured.
I really did feel honored to work with and watch such incredibly talent actors breath the characters I loved so much to life. Funny stories? Gosh there are so many but in a nutshell I think the reactions of Ben, Chris, Cass and I each time one of our cast walked out of the audition room were pretty priceless. Ben bites his entire fist and looks like he might just explode with excitement, Chris stands arms crossed and grinning, his eyes gleaming behind his glasses like the cat that got the cream, Cass relaxes into her chair and beams a smile from ear to ear and I stand there looking at the others with tears of anticipation in my eyes. It was emotional.

Why is the rehearsal process so important?
The rehearsal process is very important as it’s the time when the cast can really explore their characters and their physicality with the actors they’re playing opposite. On a film like Nina Forever, with so much of the movement in the love scenes choreographed, Abi, Fiona and Cian really needed that time to work through the script and find their chemistry with one another and of course with Chris and Ben.

Can you sum up the Nina Forever in a sentence?
Boy meets girl, Blaine style!

Who do you think this film will appeal to?
Anyone who’s been in love, lost love and who doesn’t faint at the sight of blood!

Cian Barry, Emily Tilelli, Fiona O'Shaughnessy and Abigail Hardingham.

Cian Barry, Emily Tilelli, Fiona O’Shaughnessy and Abigail Hardingham.

Over on our Kickstarter page you can snaffle the £18 pledge which gets you a ticket to “Cast me with ET Casting”, a seminar and Q&A with Casting Director Emily Tilleli. The event takes place on 18 May 10.30am – 12pm. There are limited tickets, so come on over and support independent film AND get some goodies…

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