|Frank Gladstone directs voice actors in a Soho sound booth|
At a recent event at BAFTA in London, part of the BAFTA Guru series of lectures, a panel of industry experts discussed how, exactly, film-makers can go about casting their film.
|BAFTA Guru - educating film-makers|
The panel included casting director Des Hamilton, director Tom Harper and actress Phoebe Fox, who trained at RADA. The event was chaired by Edward Hicks – Head of Film TV & Radio at RADA.
Casting is a tricky issue for film-makers. Of course, director needs to cast great actors, performers who are just right for the role. But, in the world of independent film, you also need to find "marquee" or "A List" talent to help sell your film. Investors like big stars, and if you can get one to agree to do a voice, this can make a big difference in raising finance for your film.
|Pheobe Fox. Photo: |
Phoebe Fox was asked what actors are looking for in a project. Of course, a great script is vital, but for an actor "you gotta have a great scene that you really want to be in. If it doesn’t have that then – you’re f*cked".
She also suggested that it was important to "ask her opinion on the character – what does she think?" A good director should be "open to new ideas". That said, she "wants to be directed". Indecision is not welcome from directors. "Tell me what you want", she said. After all, properly trained actors "have range".
Des Hamilton suggested that the highest profile actors often have US agent, and this can make things complicated. Directors and producers on a project can wait a long time waiting for someone to say yes or no, and you can't wait forever. That said, putting pressure on leading talent may backfire. After all, “you can speed up a no much faster than you can speed up a yes”.
|Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on Gower St, London.|
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
It is, he said, "very hard to get A list talent. You’re better off shooting a great teaser/trailer and show them [investors and sales agents] how great the film is gonna be. There are only a small number of actors who can get films made and they tend to be very busy".
Tom Hicks agreed: "Aim high, but then move on if it doesn’t work out". He also suggested that if you need young talent, "go and find actors in the bar at RADA". Watch the annual shows there, and look for the rising talent. Then go and find them and make them an offer.
Once you've signed your talent, of course, you have to great a great performance out of them. To see our guide on directing voice actors for film and TV, follow this link.
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