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Casting Call Pro.... worth it!?

Good day to you all,

I know this has been mentioned many times on Shooting People but I just wanted to get some feedback on CCP.

I am considering paying the ridiculous annual subscription to CCP, but I am finding it hard to press the submit button as I already pay a subscription to Spotlight and Shooting People - both of which are worth it!

Will I be throwing £115 down the drain or has someone had a good experience with CCP? Does it actually list decent paid work that spotlight wouldn't?

Please help :)

Thank you all,
Matthew

  • We don't use them anymore when we're casting.

    I don't know how everyone else feels, though.

    4 years ago
  • I've cast 6 paid shorts and a paid feature from CCP - not for major roles necessarily, but bread and butter performer work certainly.

    4 years ago
  • Some stuff comes up from CCP sometimes and I've had a couple of jobs - enough to pay their subs. My main complaint is that THEY decide if you're suited to the part or not. And if they don't think so you can't apply! I know, arrogant or what. I've tried reasoning with them to no avail. Well, like most of these sites it's difficult to talk to the admin people anyway. Re Spotlight - I've been with them for years and have had very little from them. And they're not cheap. Suppose I should review my profile with them. Any advice re how one should relate to Spotlight?

    4 years ago
    • Interesting about CCP, I think it may be something I will look into after my wedding (when I have more money!).
      You can contact spotlight via email at questions@spotlight.com

      4 years ago
  • To open out the discussion, I'd be curious to know how actors rate the main casting sites.

    On the subject of Spotlight, it is surely the most reliable and comprehensive directory. Perhaps it's not so obvious how you get jobs from it, but I'm always a bit surprised if actors aren't on Spotlight. Their massive tomes used to sit on the shelves of every production company I worked for, although perhaps things have changed recently.

    I got a bit over enthusiastic the first time I was casting and posted on every casting site going, plus hard copy casting calls in all the London theatres and dramas schools. I was deluged and also got a lot of repeat responses, which made me feel sorry for people who'd posted out hard copies of their photo and CV more than once (even thought it was their own carelessness).

    4 years ago
  • I have been on spotlight since I graduated from Drama School in 2004, Don't think my agent would represent me if I didn't have a subscription as 95% of TV, Film, Stage and Advert castings go through Spotlight, they may be expensive but they are good at what they do.
    I really don't think I can pay out over £100 for CCP right now (mainly because I have my wedding in October), I really can't see that it would be better than spotlight and Shooting People

    4 years ago
  • Matthew,
    Happy wedding day for Oct!

    Daniel raises a good point about Spotlight with regards to being on there. And like you, I don't believe any decent agent will represent someone who isn't on it. I also like Casting Networks as they're growing all the time and have some great castings that only agents see, like Spotlight.

    CCP, as Paddy eluded to, offers a lot of bread and butter work. I definitely make enough off it to continue to see it worth paying the (yes overpriced!) annual fee. But you may have months where you aren't seeing much, then other times when a good deal of opportunities come through. I typically recommend actors to pay a little more to subscribe for a month or two (rather than the immediate annual amount) to see how they fair. Oh, and that price is pre-VAT. They're the only site I know of that doesn't include it in their initial quoted amount (so you'll pay more when it's time to submit your payment).

    I still love Shooting People. Paid work, a network of filmmakers, lots of member yeytbenefits and lovely people. :)

    4 years ago
    • A member

      I totally agree with Angela here; although, I am struggling a bit with SP I'm afraid...I feel that there has been a significant decrease in the amount of paid work ,and casting opportunities in general, this year.Not in previous years though!

      4 years ago
    • Thanks both.

      4 years ago
    • Angel is correct. You are on the best (Spotlight). Join CCP for a few months (not around Xmas time - things are quieter until February) and see how it goes. At the very least join it for free so your profile is up there and can be discovered by production companies when they search. I have used actors of CCP for many of my productions over the last five years. CCP does have a very good search engine.
      I also teach screen acting. I tell all my actors to never forget;
      1/ Acting is a business - your business, so treat it as one. You have to be pro-active. No one is going to audition you if they don't know you exist!
      2/ Many actors believe that when they get an agent they can sit back and wait for that email or call from them.
      Every actor I have coached, or worked with on a production, have initually got work through still searching, networking, answering adds - even when they have an agent.
      3/ It's a business of relationships - Be nice to everyone on set. Be enthusiastic. Never say no (unless the request is totally unreasonable).
      4/ Take direction. - Many actors I coach are good actors, but if they can't take direction they will not get the bigger parts in films. If a casting director is casting for a film. They test to see how good the actor is with direction. Many theatre trained actors don't take direction - on screen - as well as they think they do. Remember - continuity of performance is king!

      4 years ago
  • Congratulations Matthew.

    I'm new to working in London (most of my career has been in places like Rome and Milan, though I work mainly in English) and can only offer up the following numbers.

    I joined CCP August 12th and am still in the first free month of membership. In 22 days, I submitted 29 times (mostly paid and low-pay work), was viewed by production companies 13 of those times (what the hell happened to the other 16? :), auditioned for 2 roles (for which I am still officially Under Consideration, as per the site's Dashboard).

    Most importantly, CCP gives you the tools to find all this stuff out and track how you're doing. I've only seen overlap with Casting Networks 4 or 5 times and never with Spotlight.

    Though I haven't booked yet, I think it's worth it. We'll see. Let me know what you think.

    ciao
    gp

    4 years ago
  • I am one of the fortunate people to have free CCP for life as I was one of the first people to join. I have to say that sadly I think the quality of castings has dipped lately, perhaps symptomatic of the industry or perhaps because there are casting sites popping up all over the place at the moment. I’ve not had much luck with Casting Networks as yet, as Angela has (hi hun), I do try each new site that comes on the market, stay with the ones that are free and pay only when there is quality and value to it. I subscribe to Ron O’Brien’s CastCall (www.castcall.co.uk) and am very happy with that service and the quality of the castings are excellent at £10 a month it’s part of my acting budget. I’ve stopped and started as work has come and gone and he always remembers me, and that is something we don’t get from these bigger sites, a personal service.

    I have recently started to use The Page and they are currently free and due to a recent announcement staying free, which in all honesty is the way I think it should be. I don’t believe in any other industry you have to do anything other than register to use a job site. Actors aren’t known for full to brimming bank accounts, I haven’t worked out how much you’d have to spend to subscribe to all of them, I daren’t. I do however chop and change from time to time. But my staples are Spotlight, Shooting People, Mandy.com, Ron O’Brien and I check in to Talent Circle and the Equity job board too. Above all networking, creating my own contacts and using the internet like some sort of private casting detective.

    What are people’s thoughts about The Stage offering a casting section now?

    Good luck! And congratulations on the wedding :)

    4 years ago
  • You can pay monthly and cancel at any time. Do pay for a year. I don't use it anymore as never got anything from it or suitable castings.

    4 years ago
  • Hey Matt! Long time, no Duvet Day! ;P I was with CCP for a while a few years back before I had an agent and even then it wasn't worth it. Jobs were largely duplicated elsewhere on free sites such as Mandy or Talent Circle, LOADS of unpaid stuff and I hear that they now list working as an Extra as paid acting work. The only experience of paid work I had through CCP was with a scammy (though well-known) company that underpaid me for some photographic work. I think it's FAR too expensive for a website that offers so much unpaid work and lots of actors I know are leaving. Congrats on your wedding! :D

    4 years ago
    • Vanessa!! How are you!? Hope all is well.
      Is Talent Circle still going? I check Mandy.com but never have any luck! :(

      4 years ago
  • I would also second what Angie (hello lovely!) says about Casting Networks - I know several CDs such as Des Hamilton use it and I often have to log-in via the CN website when I go to a casting. :D

    4 years ago
  • Hi There,
    For film maker CCP is great because it not only has a simple back end but you find people you might not on spotlight. If you are doing a low budget short then there is no better place. You can see the actors clearly and watch their show reels. It is the baby brother of spotlight. So if you're in between great big paying gigs and Spielberg hasn't called you this morning...

    I find Mandy much harder to use and consequently I place the add but am more inclined to troll through millions of applications when the back end is designed well like CCP. So if you're on Mandy and the back end isn't working or is confusing you may miss out because it's just too hard and CCP is nice and easy, clear and well laid out.

    It's not a huge investment so I would highly recommend it. I have found loads of great actors on there who I always put forward for work.

    4 years ago
  • Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I felt the same and wasn't on it for a few years as I just felt it was so pricey with all the other subscriptions, but then I met an actress who said the majority of her income came for jobs on CCP. I waited until a job came up that was worth joining for, rejoined for the year (as it works out cheaper). Booked that job, earned £800 and have had about 5 different jobs this year and the majority of my acting income has come from work found on CCP. I'm only signed up to receive paid work updates and they've made it really easy to apply for jobs as you can quickly select a cover letter you've already written, tweak it to make it suitable for the job and send. It means that I can apply for stuff on the run and has definitely been worth it this year. All the best! Juliet

    4 years ago
  • I recently helped cast my short film, THE LEFT-HAND PATH, and found some really good actors just by surfing through LinkedIn. Didn't cost me a cent. Oh, yes, we're crowdfunding now, so if you think you might have an interest in an occult thriller, please take a look: igg.me/at/lefthandpath/x/2683394

    4 years ago
  • Well what a response. Thank you all.... I think I may wait until after the wedding (thank you for all the congrats!), and maybe try a month or two as a tester. It seems everyone has had very different experiences.

    It is as if spotlight knew I was skint.... Just had an email reminding me to renew my subscription!! I have until November tho.

    Thank you all again..... this is another reason why I love shooting people so much (even if the amount of paid work has gone down recently).

    Matt x

    4 years ago
  • As one of those who were founder members, I have noticed a change in CCP ranging from quality of jobs to attitude of CCP itself to its members. They seem out of touch with casting of actors. If I didn't have it for free, I wouldn't be a regular subscriber.

    4 years ago
  • I'm in America, so take this with a grain of salt. When I'm casting something, I never, ever, rely on one casting site. In fact, I make it a point to post on the lower cost sites, as I know how hard it is for actors nowadays. What's most important to me, is that I can see a reel on-line somewhere, and that I can see a head shot and resume without a lot of digging through the site. With that in mind, wouldn't it be more effective to spend your cash on 3 cheaper sites, than on one really expensive one?

    4 years ago
  • get a yearly subscription for free to help out in their office for three afternoons.

    4 years ago
  • Odd. Am I the only one to object to CCP's making judgements about whether or not we qualify for parts we apply for? In my younger years words like 'infuriating' would have come to mind. Now it's just annoying. Oh and frustrating that you can't get anyone to talk sense about it. But no-one else has mentioned it? Strange. Could be why they're not taking much notice of my complaint.
    And sorry if this sounds like a catalogue of moans, but SP Casting has almost dropped out of sight for jobs. It used to one of my major sites. Now it's more of a habit. I can't remember the last time I got any work - paid or unpaid - from SP. Apparently, so students have told me, they radically upped their fees which of course scares studets off.

    4 years ago
    • God that winds me up too. How do they have the gall to make people pay for information and then dictate to us what we can actually apply for!? I'm a professional, treat me like one. I won't make ridiculous suggestions and if people do so consistently they should be banned from the site, as it is supposedly only for professionals (which its not, it's for anyone with the cash). I've complained too and they just give some automatic response about a survey finding it the most effective way of doing things or something...
      A good percentage of the paid work is for party entertainers and teachers too. Why would I pay to find that sort of information?
      Sorry. Rant done

      4 years ago
    • @Gareth Bennett-Ryan
      I don't think I will be subscribing any time soon then!! :)

      4 years ago
  • Controversial, then? Firstly, I think this discussion splits between the buyers' market (casters) and the sellers' market (castees). SP is more for shooters, really, buyers, then, who can take a fairly hard-headed view of value for money on this one. Fact is, CCP's biggest appeal to many of us castees (actors) is its keeping-in-touch factor, which is far more effective, in my view, than any of the other casting websites. It's a pulse you can take every day, if you want, and if you have full membership, casters come looking for you, which is wonderful and psychological gold-dust. Spotlight you can't not be on, but the tomes are more or less history, so they're competing for the online market.
    I've just joined The Stage Casting thingy and we'll see how that goes. It's a real bore, there, that you have to re-input each and every one of your credits, big deterrent.
    All this started with value for money, I think, well in terms of fee-earning, the case is dubious, but if I throw in that morale boost factor alongside the various low-pay jobs I've picked up on CCP over the last 6 years, I'd say it remains well worth it.

    4 years ago
    • Thanks Chris... do let us know how you get on with The Stage.

      4 years ago
  • Matt - Talent Circle does seem to still be going, though it was threatening to fold at one point. I actually haven't looked on it for ages. Sadly I haven't had anything from SP. 99% of my work comes through my agent. Have a GREAT wedding! x

    4 years ago
    • Thanks Vanessa ;) x

      4 years ago
    • @Matthew Batte
      Talent Circle is under new management and is considerablybetter than it was, it's now run by Chris Jones, author of the Guerilla Film Makers Handbook and he runs the London Screenwriting Festival. It's getting much better bity by bit, it's still free whihc is a bonus!

      4 years ago
  • Hi Matthew, ccp is expensive and sometimes frustrating, but I always manage to earn more than the registration fee and I have recently found that more and more employers are contacting me directly rather than posting a job. Also if you are a Shooting People member you qualify for a discount (you may have to contact ccp admin to get the link). The best quality castings still come through Spotlight though. Have a wonderful wedding. Tracy x

    4 years ago
  • CCP is fine, does what it's meant to do.

    It's a bit like how Facebook is -- there's only so much you can blame on Facebook -- essentially it's just this thing that's open to post as you please. Some people post lots of pictures, some post none. Some statuses are hilarious, some are pathetic.

    CCP has all sorts of castings. Some big jobs, many small. The main thing is that it's useful. Especially for independent filmmakers, it enables them to connect with talent in a way that Spotlight doesn't.

    I've had numerous problems over the years with CCP, certain aspects bug me -- but hey, the service is free for producers/directors -- and I've met a huge amount of talented actors through it.

    My personal opinion is that, if you're an actor, Casting Call Pro is essential. But it's just my opinion!

    Daniel

    4 years ago
  • Hi, well firstly I agree that CCP has been challenging age wise, in theatre I get cast older but on TV and film sometimes younger, and CCP is too rigid for this. I have not had as much work from CCP or rather, even age appropriate auditions, but then for women over 45 that happens everywhere. I recently got my best job (though after 5 months still not paid) in an advert, through an agency (note: not a proper Agent; Agencies have hundreds on their books, agents concentrate on about 10 to 15.) I have to pay a lot to be on the agency's books, a load for CCP, a load for Spotlight which I have not had a casting from for years but I seem unable to want to stop, and now The Stage reckon they're going to be a serious player too. The Stage has a very good article this week all about casting, and indeed the whole paper is devoted to it, coinciding with its own new Casting. I don't think I will subscribe to that for a year, see how it works out. Maybe switch from Spotlight to The Stage if reviews are good. I got my first jobs from The Stage newspaper in the 1980s!

    4 years ago
  • I am producer and although I do my film castings through Casting agents, the smaller castings for shorts and corporates (all paid work) all went through CCP and I always found what I wanted. All these jobs would not have gone through Spotlight. I find CCP very easy to use and efficient and I would NEVER post for castings on Mandy as it is just a mess as an interface. Hope this helps.

    4 years ago
  • I found Spotlight to be a better site in the casting of my film BRIGHTON, but CCP was useful too. I found a number of decent options there, plus it was less expensive.

    To me, it's better to have 2 tools vs. 1, but if you can only have 1, I would choose Spotlight over CCP. Best of luck.

    4 years ago
  • I'm making a low budget feature and found most of my cast on CCP. I found it easy to use and liked the short-list feature. I used it for initial contact for people and then moved on to check them out on Spotlight.

    4 years ago