14 / 06 / 2021
Top Tips for Casting Online
Over the last year, it is safe to say the world of casting has completely changed. No longer were we sending models and actors to bustling studios for castings in person; instead the whole world moved online. Suddenly, we were all inundated with self tape requests and Zoom casting slots.
As the world begins to open back up and things start to return to normal, we all hope to see the return of real life castings. However, online casting does seem to have made quite the impression and looks as though it could be around to stay for some time to come.
With that in mind, here are some of our top tips for online castings and how your child can make the best impression possible when casting from the comfort of their own home!
1. Make sure you have their full name displayed as their username.
Make it easy for the casting director to be able to identify your child by using their full name as their user name on Zoom. Nicknames, abbreviations and emojis are all great for their gaming profiles, but for online castings, keep it simple! Casting directors want to see their full name so they know exactly who they are. They have so many people to see in one session and no one wants to miss out on a job because their username wasn’t clear!
2. Nail the set ups.
Spend some time testing out some set ups in your home to make sure your child has the perfect space. Ideally, you will be able to find a set up where your child can have a close, a mid and a full length shot; all without having to change the camera angle multiple times. The lighting is important so make sure wherever your child is, is well lit and they have a tidy space around them. This is likely to be a process of trial and error, so make sure you have a little practise of this before their casting slot! Also, if your child is using a smart phone or iPad, make sure these are always in landscape mode.
3. Don’t feel the need to change scenes.
If a casting requires your child to play out multiple scenarios and different scenes, do not feel as though you have to change the environment and set up. This can take up lots of valuable time and really the casting team just want to see your child showing off their best skills. No one expects you to be a professional cameraman and stage manager!
4. Props and costume.
While it is great to have a couple of props on hand to help with characterisation, try not to let your child hinder themself by having too many. The same goes for costume and wardrobe choices; of course it is great to give a gentle nod to the character they are portraying, just don’t let them get het up on trying to completely transform themself. Too much fuss can distract the casting team from the performance.
5. Ensure your child learns the material provided as well as possible.
If your child is provided with material ahead of the casting, get them to familiarise themself with the content as much as possible. Always know which casting director they are seeing, what the casting is for and what role they are up for. If you are unsure, always ask your booker!!
6. Always be on time.
Make sure your child is ready and waiting in the virtual waiting room ahead of their time slot. We have all had trouble at least once trying to enter a Zoom call, so make sure they are set up and ready with plenty of time to spare. Try not to wait until their time slot to log on just in case there are any unforeseen technical issues.
7. Breathe, relax and have fun!
The casting team will always want your child to do their best so make sure they are relaxed and have fun. Tell them to take on board any direction and tips they may be given and be adaptable.
Sarah Wilson, Sandra Reynolds Junior Booker - ''Always make sure you have practiced your set up before joining a zoom casting or starting to record your self-tape. The Casting Director will want to see your child at their best and a well practiced set up will ensure they can focus on their performance instead of needing to adjust camera angles and lighting halfway through!"
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