Auditioning actors is a vital part of a film’s pre-production process; you must prepare your auditions to the tee.
The auditions are incredibly important. You must prepare and research thoroughly before inviting your talent to audition for your film – a poor audition process can damage relationships long term, so preparation is essential.
You want to make the actor feel relaxed; you need to create an atmosphere that will help them perform to the best of your ability, as this will allow you to spot if they’re right for the role.
In today’s article, we will explore 11 essential tips on how to hold a great audition.
Let’s check them out!
Important considerations when casting for your film
Here are a few considerations to consider when casting for your next film. These points will help you set up the best possible audition day/days to ensure you get the right actors through the door.
Look for experience and passion.
When searching for talent to come and audition for your film, look at the person who has a genuine connection with the character and brings them to life.
A common mistake when casting is to base your decisions merely on looks and not the actual connection. It’s easy to make the decision based on looks as you want the character to look similar to the way you picture.
However, this can be a massive issue as the character who fits the type lookswise may not connect with the character and provide a mediocre performance.
Always go for the actor who provides a performance that connects with the character and brings them to life. If you have to rewrite the character’s appearance once you have cast them. But trust us, a well-connected performance trumps a lookalike every day!
Do not give false hope.
This is important to remember when auditioning talent. The majority of actors you’ll see come through the door won’t fit the characters shoes. Sometimes you can become overfriendly with the actor. Being friendly isn’t the issue; it’s when you give them potential false hope.
Try and keep your thoughts and opinions guarded until you can reassess your feedback on the audition and discuss with your peers who you’d like to bring through to the next round.
This helps build a healthy relationship with the actors. You may have loved their audition, but they didn’t fit the role; however, they may be perfect for your main protagonist in a future production.
You can then call them up with confidence and ask them to audition for the role. It helps to stay professional and develop a professional relationship with the actors.
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Have a dedicated reader
Make sure you have a dedicated reader to read with the actors. Have someone feed the key lines to the actors throughout the audition so you can focus on their performance.
This will help bring a much better performance from the actor in their audition but will allow you to focus solely on their performance.
Read the script!
You expect the actor who’s auditioning to read the script, so you must as well! I know this seems obvious, but the number of times one of the audition personnel who’s judging the auditions hasn’t even read the script once is astonishing.
You will want to understand the emotion and recognise the scene’s atmosphere, allowing the actor to perform to their best ability.
If they ask you a question directly, you must be able to answer with the confidence you’ve read the script. Because who knows, the actor may want to turn the offer down as they feel you are not entirely invested in the project. It works both ways.
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Ask the actor if they have any questions.
This is an excellent point for auditioning actors.
Ask the actor if they have any questions or any interpretations of the script. This is a good point before they perform to see how they see the character play the scene. Maybe offer them a couple of pointers to keep them on the right track.
Or, allow them to go with their stance and play the scene how they feel; it may give you another take of the scene and help mould the scene for the better. Filmmaking is a collaborative process, after all!
Give the actor time
Make sure you give the actor enough time to talk about the production and ease them into the audition as you don’t want to rush them in and out of the door. This can be a common mistake at auditions. The people holding the auditions haven’t allocated the right amount of time and it can become a massive rush, and hinder the performance of the actors.
You may rush the perfect candidate for the role, and they may underperform because the audition is all over the place.
Run through the audition a couple of times, throw in different options and see what decisions they make; hell, you may even spot they’re perfect for another role.
Get them to read that role and enjoy the process!
The first take
Allow the actors to feel comfortable and to perform the first take with their interpretation. This relaxes the actor and brings a different perspective to the audition. You may even like their take and could potentially mould the character.
Even the best actors can become nervous at auditions, so feel free to let them relax and perform without pressure.
Then you can start working on your perspective and the ways you think the character behaves. It will make for a much better audition and give you a better picture of how the actor plays the role.
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Always bring copies
Make sure you have copious amounts of the script. Throughout the auditioning day, they’ll get lost, damaged and misplaced. So it’s important to have copies. The actor may also need refreshing during part of their performance, so having additional copies is a must.
This is mainly aimed at independent filmmakers. Rarely now a Hollywood or big-budget film will hold an open casting.
Open castings are great for independent filmmakers and are a good first stage when it comes to casting for your film. You will have a lot of people come through that are not right from the get-go.
But you’ll unearth some incredibly talented actors and will fit your roles to a tee—something to consider if you are still building your film network.
Let the actors know the next steps!
When auditioning the actor, remember to let them know the process in place for callbacks. Also, it’s worth letting them know how you’ll be in contact with them to tell them if they’ve got the part or not.
Once it’s over, be positive.
Once the actor has completed their audition, be positive and pleasant.
Simply thank them for their time and for their audition and wish them luck. Keep it brief, and then thank them for coming and tell them you’ll be in touch one way or the other.
It’s always good to be kind, as you’ll never know when a role will pop up that suits that actor if they were unsuccessful.
We hope this article on “11 Essential Tips on How to Hold GREAT Auditions.” was useful to you. Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
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