Select Page

There Is More To Being A Successful Actor Than Knowing Technique. As talent, of course, you are focused on your audition technique; how you get the call back and the booking. This blog is not about that. However, knowing and understanding the process will enable you to be a wiser actor which will help you be a more confident actor. Confidence can only add up to feeling more relaxed, resulting in a better audition.

There is a life to a commercial project before you receive your audition time. Understanding this path exists beforehand will be very helpful to you feeling an important part of the casting process.

It starts with the ad agency being hired by the product company (e.g. Pepsi, Apple, Tide) to produce their spots. This is not on a one-to-one basis. There is a very large agreement with the agency to produce a certain amount of spots per year. The agency is responsible for media strategy as well as their buying power. Products usually stay with the ad agency for years.

At the ad agency, there are tiers of creatives. The writer and art director create and pitch their ideas to a supervisor who agrees on which spots will be produced.

The Production Company

When the spot is ready to be produced, there is a system between the ad agencies and production companies whereby production companies are invited to bid for projects based on the interest of the ad agency in a particular director. The director is hired to enhance the concept of the spot.

The Casting Director

The production company will then contact the casting director to first figure out the budget that they feel will “win” the bid or figure out how to produce the job within budget after they are awarded the job . At that point I as a casting director spend time helping to figure out this budget regarding the number of prep and casting days and studio costs. This can be a quick process or sometimes that take hours and hours doing and re-doing budgets to meet the production companies needs.

The Prep Of The Breakdown

The Casting Director (moi) is then awarded the job and it is time to put the breakdown out. We first have to figure out mathematically how we will fit the number of characters into the number of days we have been alloted to cast.

Then casting has to put in place the staff to prep the job. This team consists of the session runner who runs the outside of the casting room, the inside-office staff to set up the schedules, maintain drops outs and re-scheduling requests and put in place the audition director who is inside the room actually directing you.

After the breakdown goes out to you there are hours and hours, usually well into the night and weekends, of prep that I and all other casting directors do. As I am prepping, many of you receive calls from me at night or over the weekend asking you something about your skill or your demo.

Casting Studio Involvement

At the same time we are availing and booking the casting studio rooms, the casting studios are juggling the availability of these rooms. Studies are constantly being put on avails, released and then booked. When you come to our facility, Castaway Studios, or any other, you always see a studio manager. It is the job of that studio manager to juggle the facilitation of the studios and keep the place running smoothly. This of course includes maintaining equipment and internet service to handle the large volume of usage.

The Talent Seals The Deal

The next time you receive your audition and walk into the casting for your audition, stop a moment and remember all the elements that went into the important moment of you being there. Now we are counting on you when you sign in and enter the casting room to give us a great audition. You are part of the process!!

(Put your text here.)

Any reproduction or usage of this article on other websites must be credited to Terry Berland, Casting Director and linked back to here.

Sign up for the Berland Casting newsletter or to communicate any subjects you would like covered. Click here for more info on Terry’s workshops.

Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera, television, voice-over, and hosting. Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. Her former casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has lent to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development and is the co-author of the how-to industry book,”Breaking Into Commercials.”