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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Control Your Casting Call

The process of finding the perfect model is a matter of art , science and more than a little luck

Control Your Casting Call There's a famous picture in the book A Day in the Life of Hollywood that depicts an enormous trash bin of discarded headshots at Propaganda Films. Right there, on the top of the pile, was the headshot of one of my closest friends, Maili. As I looked at the 11x14 image, all I could think of was that poor Maili's reputation as a model/actress was diminishing with each book sale. On a dull day when I should be talking to someone about getting more work, I like to browse through our stacks of headshots and zed cards. I have a soft spot for anyone trying to work as a model or an actor or actress. On his or her side of the camera, the process is anxiety-provoking because there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why a particular model gets chosen. On my side of the camera, the casting process is delicate and political without any rhyme or reason why a client chooses the models they do. Without a doubt, it's my most favorite part of the process, next to actually shooting the job.

As the budgets of your jobs increase, so does the pressure to choose the perfect model. Choose wisely, and you're a hero. Choose poorly, and you could end up funding a reshoot. Nervous? Good. Let's get started.

I'm Seeing A Demure, Confident Girl With Untamed Overtones

Modeling agencies are crazy places. Someone, usually an agent, is always having some level of tantrum. Everywhere you look, there are stunning faces and provocative bodies. It can be intimidating if you're not used to it.

At some point in your career, you'll hold a casting at an agency. The first stage of a successful casting is to discern the look the client is trying to convey in the ad. This will give birth to a string of adjectives that you never knew existed. Then, suddenly, in the name of keeping the client happy, you'll find that your response is equally bizarre. This mindless destruction of the English language will continue until someone finds a phrase that everyone in the meeting can get his or her head around. One of my all-time favorites was "androgynous with a unique femininity."


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