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Old May 22nd, 2010, 10:04 PM   #1
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What Can You Tell Me About Conducting Auditions?

I had a read through of my nearly complete short screen play at a high school theatre class, and to my surprise there were a couple of people I would consider casting. (wasn't extcited about casting people that young) I have not contacted them yet but both of them expressed a general interest in working on the project.

My background is in theatre and this is my first venture into film/video. What is the most effecient and effective way to conduct film auditions? My first impulse would be to conduct them the same as stage auditions and simply tape it so I can see how they look on film. But I was also considering allowing them to prepare their own short video clip and send it in.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:45 AM   #2
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Their own short video clip could be the 124th take, with perhaps some nifty editing.

Just give them a short script piece to learn overnight, and then just do it to camera - try to get closer in than you'd imagine so you can see how closeups are going to work, and make sure the sound is managed so you can really hear what they sound like.

If they cannot manage the learning the script overnight, then question how they'd manage the real thing. You are the director, so don't be afraid to see how they can be pushed a little. If they are a bit 'over-confident' - after they've learned it, and probably practiced, chuck in a curve ball - ask them to change an accent, or do it older/younger and see what happens.

Much of course depends on if you need them more than they need you!
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 10:27 AM   #3
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I've done many auditions as an actor, and I can tell you that for the vast majority of them I've been given sides to learn ahead of time. The audition is done with a reader off camera, so choose a scene that works with just one person on camera, without crucial physical contact between characters, or complicated business with props.

It's very rare that you are asked to do something like a monologue or a prepared scene on tape. These I've only done to send tapes to audition I've not been available to attend personally.

For large roles, you may be given two or three scenes to learn that are longer, and they may try to do closeups of you. Generally they frame medium shots in a typical audition (I know this because I've asked from time to time).
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 11:36 AM   #4
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If you're auditioning minors, make sure there is at least one other person of each gender in the room with you during the audition. Can't be too careful.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #5
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When we do auditions, we do groups of people, maybe 2, 3, or 4 at a time. We give them a script with short dialog and action, give them a part to play, then give them a minute to look it over. When we say "action," they can hold the script in their hand and read from it if they want. We'll have them do the scene twice, then tell them to switch parts to see how versatile they are. A truly talented actor can switch roles and characters on the spot, and you can mold them into just about any character you want. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to work with this kind of talent!
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