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Using Skype for auditions/castings

Why isn't Skype used more often for auditions/castings? Why should actors be expected to spend perhaps two or three hours travelling to an audition, which could be done just as easily over the Internet?
Frank Gordon

  • as a producer and a casting director , BCOS one can always look at a show reel if one didnt want to check the real life actor!. (2) live auditions are needed as we need to see that the actor can do it infront of people, and are reliable will show up to the set and on time. If you cant be bothered to come to an audition you will not be faithful in getting to the set.

    5 years ago
  • many auditions do refund or pay towards travelling expenses to get to auditions. I did in instances where i kept them waiting , or they had travelled from outside London or i needed them to come in at last min.

    5 years ago
  • Elizabeth. You are one of those rare ones who pay actors travel expenses for an audition if actors are kept waiting. But what's the difference between an actor who is kept waiting and one who isn't? They still pay the same amount of money. Going to an audition IS part of our work and, as actors, we should be aware it's up to us. I do, however, believe that travel to recalls should be reimbursed. I had a casting for a major London theatre production to which we were recalled 4 times and not once were we offered any expenses.
    But I'm off on a tangient, If there are a great deal of castings and you are spreading your nets wide to actors outside your local vicinity then Skype or taped initial auditions would be a good way to goso you can streamline your choices.
    Whilst wearing my producers/directors hat I've used video casting and sent detailed instructions as to what I'd like to see from each actor. The good and keen ones with follow the instructions to the letter. The half-hearted ones tend to mis-interpret your instructions and direction and they are the type of actor you don't want in your production as they can't take direction in written form. So how can they take direction during the production. You can now cherry pick from a wider selection and with no expense to either you or the actor. Skyping and Video casting is a good idea so long as the person casting the session makes it clear with what they want.

    5 years ago
  • As an actor, I've mainly been required to put my audition on tape to send in, it's part of my marketing toolbox. There are a lot of actors vying for the same role, we should make myself as available as possible. When the time comes for me to audition via Skype my account is ready and waiting. I think these tools can make the castings team job more efficient, especially in the early stages of casting.

    At some point during the process through, I do like to meet them team and visa-versa,apart from the obvious it's good to know that your all going to get along and work hard towards the end goal of the project.

    A 1st AD friend of mine uses Skype a lot when speaking to people about projects, both potential employees and for the team she brings together, especially contacts abroad.

    This is the way the industry is going, I say jump on board!

    5 years ago
  • I use skype all the time with project updates discussions with crew, writers etc. Havent yet used for auditions but am about to hold auditions and may well use it as an option for someone I maybe interested in but cannot get to see first round.

    5 years ago
  • The technology is there, use it to its advantage. Skype is great, I use it all the time. It is a money and time saver, especially multiple meets.
    Face to face , in the flesh meetings cannot be replaced and we all know when it is crucial to meet someone live and direct.

    5 years ago
  • An actor auditioning in person will always have and advantage over an actor auditioning via video.

    I can see how the travel costs might be an added burden at a time when money is tight for everyone, but at least for actors they are tax deductible. Most employees have to pay their own travel costs to job interviews and don't get to write it off against their tax bill.

    Another thought: aren't actors allowed to claim Job Seekers Allowance in the UK, which also gives extra provision for travel costs to interviews?

    5 years ago
    • A member

      That is true Daniel, but the situation at present allows casting directors to be very, very general in who they call in for auditions at extremely short notice. No one is benefitting from this (apart from maybe the CD who can negotiate their fee according to time spent seeing people). A video audition allows actors the time to present their idea of a particular character on camera (maybe video auditions are less well suited to theatre jobs?!), Which the director can also take their time looking over before deciding who they'd like to meet. It seems like there is some resistence to this new technology but really it's not difficult to anyone with a smart phone to take advantage of. It seems like a win all round!

      5 years ago
  • This is interesting as we are currently using a video audition service - Let It Cast - for the preliminary round of castings for our feature film.

    As an actor I have always jumped at the chance of a video audition. I have been to so many castings and auditions with lazy casting directors who obviously have no idea what they are looking for (or who have maybe even already cast the part but need to be looking busy to justify their fee?!). So they spread the net wide and call in whoever they can. Because they can. And actors will come flocking! What a waste of everyone's time and money.

    Now I am on the other side I am a little disappointed with the response from actors who have obviously not read the instructions (which seem pretty straight forward to me) properly and simply uploaded their showreel! We have been met with some more obvious negativity from actors too, who seem to feel it's hassle and a waste of their time. Maybe this is because we are only a low budget production, which might be a fair call... but I guess these are the actors that wouldn't be a good match for us.

    I think a video audition is a great tool. It gives actors a great chance and time to show themselves on camera, in their interpretation of the role in question.

    I do see it as an introduction though and would of course want to meet anyone on person before offering them a role. There's a lot of working chemistry that cannot be judged through a webcam! But I would be confident that everyone we recall has a damn good chance of getting the part and we're not wasting anyone's time!

    5 years ago
  • Hi All, we run the Universal Film and Festival Organisation, www.uffo.org and the magazine www.ufmag.org. We are creating a huib for submission, selection, judging and distribution. We also have a corner for auditions and bios, do you audition and post it on a private Chanel on UFFO Tube, same with your bio/cv.

    We are a few months away from the trials but are looking for people to help out with testing the system. e mail me editor@ufmag.org

    5 years ago
  • I've just been asked for a Skype audition but don't have a webcam. (damn, more expense!) And I've NEVER been paid expenses for an audition (and must have done 100+ - how much is that in fares to the smoke?) So maybe Skype has found a convert - although it's only the second time I've been asked. I've got a horrible feeling whatever our arguments it's going to become the norm.

    5 years ago
  • I see using Skype or video for first round auditions as another valuable technological tool so long as both parties do their proper due diligence: clear and accurate descriptions and expectations from those conducting the audition, and actors who closely read and follow those instructions. Once the field is narrowed, in-person auditions would be necessary. It's also a great way to compile visual talent dossiers for future projects.

    5 years ago
  • At the Nancy Bishop film acting workshop I went to in Prague, she said that a lot of actors she teaches now send in video reels with what the CD has asked for and often get cast that way, especially for actors based in continental Europe, because there can be a whole lot more travelling involved and it's quicker to send a video reel even just made using an in-built camera, then having a follow-up chat on Skype and going on that alone, to cast actors. I certainly have had an increase in the actors I coach for my Voice Coaching business (www.howtosingforyourlife.com) giving voicework and singing lessons to actors over Skype and I think that all of this technology is great in saving time and money on travel. I would most certainly approve of a CD assessing how direct-able I am, based on how well I followed instructions to complete a video task. I appreciate that some people don't have access to this technology though, which is the downside and is a shame because having the ease of making little videos on iMovie is SO useful and I'm SO grateful for my little macbook!

    5 years ago

Discussion closed