Breaking Down the Casting Process – For Actors, Filmmakers and Producers

Started on August 3, 2021

Have you ever wondered what happens behind closed casting office doors, both before and after an audition? This is crucial information that helps you determine how you can best contribute to the overall casting puzzle. You need to understand project breakdowns, actor submissions, audition scheduling, and director callbacks. You will need insight as to why one actor may be selected to audition over another and you’ll also need to know about the many factors that determine which actors advance in the casting process and ultimately book the role.

If you’re an actor, you may focus on winning the room. If you’re a filmmaker, you may be focused on finding the best performance in the quickest way possible. If you’re a producer you may be focused on getting the best talent to attach to your package. Either way, every person involved with the project controls an important piece of the overall puzzle. If you’re an actor it’s important that you understand how the entire casting process works so you can win the room and book more work. If you’re a filmmaker or producer, it’s important that you understand the casting timeline to prepare for pre-production.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Project & Character Breakdowns
    • What project and character breakdowns are
    • How a breakdown is composed
    • The details to include in a project breakdown and in a character breakdown
    • The various forums and databases breakdowns are posted to
  • Actor Submissions
    • Details to note before submitting for a role
    • How to know if you’re right for a role
    • How to submit yourself for a role and/or how to alert your agent or manager to do so
    • If you can submit yourself for any project
    • How casting directors sort through actor submissions
    • What casting directors look for when sorting through actor submissions
    • The various elements that will help a casting director notice you and ultimately choose to schedule you for an audition
  • Scheduling Actor Auditions
    • How casting directors schedule actor auditions
    • How many actors are typically scheduled in a single day
    • What to do if you’re unavailable for your audition date or time
  • 1st Call Auditions
    • What a 1st call audition is
    • Who is typically in the casting room for a 1st call audition
    • What you should expect during a 1st call audition
    • What you should prepare for a 1st call audition
    • What the casting director’s process is after a day of 1st call auditions
    • Who will view your 1st call audition tape
  • Callback Auditions
    • What a callback audition is
    • Who is typically in the casting room for a callback audition
    • What you should expect during a callback audition
    • What you should prepare for a callback audition
    • If talent is ever brought directly into callbacks auditions
    • What the casting director/ director / producers process is after a day of callback auditions
    • How decisions are made and who weighs in
  • 2nd Callbacks, Chemistry Reads & Test Shoots
    • What a 2nd callback audition is and what to expect
    • If there are always 2nd callback auditions
    • What a chemistry read is and what to expect
    • What the casting director/ director / producers process is after a 2nd callback and/or chemistry reads
    • How decisions are made and who weighs in
    • What a test shoot is and what to expect
  • Putting Talent “On Avail”
    • What it means to be “put on avail”
    • Important do’s and don’ts of being “on avail”
    • How and when will you know if you are “released” from your avail or if you booked the job
  • Booking Talent
    • How and when you will know if you booked the job
    • What the casting directors steps are after getting the green light to book talent
    • If you should you call or email the casting office to find out if you booked the job
  • Q&A with Leah
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