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Things I Learned During Casting…

March 23, 2009

…besides the fact that no one knows how to pronounce “gauche.”

It Helps to Write in English

Like Harrison Ford supposedly said to George Lucas on the set of Star Wars: “You can write this dialogue, George, but you sure as hell can’t say it.”

“Skillful” is darn near impossible to use in a sentence.  I changed the word to “skilled.”

“Sorry, not part of the job,” on page 4, did not work.  At all.  Shooter sounds cold and cruel, with no regard for Angel at all.  Thus, it’s now, “Sorry, not this time.”

“If this were real, he’d be dead by now,” sounds strange.  Something about the cadence.  “…He’d be ead already” works better.

There are a few other minor changes I’ve made.  You can see them in the latest draft, which is online now.

Other Actors Make a Difference

We already knew the seven actors we called back were good.  That’s why we called them back.  But once they were performing against another actor, they were fantastic.  We’ve had a hell of a time deciding which Angel/Shooter pairing we like best.  Which is, of course, a great problem to have.

(Nothing against Becca’s readings, of course; she was reading the same lines over and over, for hours on end.  The few times I read were universally terrible.)

Page Count is Meaningless

I wrote a two-and-a-half page scene for callbacks.  The actual auditions took between a minute and a minute and a half.  The script is 19 pages long, and I have no idea how long it will actually be on the screen.

Cazt is Awesome

I’ve mentioned Cazt before, but I don’t think I’ve explained their business model.  They have four or five rooms where you can hold auditions.  They don’t charge the production to use these rooms.  All you have to do is keep the place clean, record your casting sessions, and make a few notes about each actor.

They make their money by charging the actors to see those auditions and notes.  The actors can go to the Cazt.com website, pay a monthly fee, and watch their own auditions for every show at Cazt.  They also get to read the casting director’s notes, which are hopefully honest and helpful.  (We tried to be both.)

If you’re making a short or independent film, I highly recommend them.

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