SCHEDULING ACTORS — Filmmaking Advice

A Chapter selection from the Bridgeport Film Club Guidebook

In the previous Chapter selection, we talked about selecting actors for your film project after you’ve received headshot / resume submissions.

You’ve received a pile of headshots, resumes, and reels, you’ve selected the best candidates for your short film, now it’s time to schedule auditions.

For a standard audition where we will watch an actor perform one of their monologues, we usually schedule three actors every fifteen minutes. It’s important to balance time to speak with each actor with being able to see as many actors as possible.

Monologues usually run about two minutes. By scheduling three actors every fifteen minutes, each actor will get about five minutes of audition time.

When scheduling actors, it’s easier to book every fifteen minutes. For example, if you are holding auditions from 7pm to 10pm, it is easier for an actor to remember 7pm, 7:15pm, 7:30pm, etc. I think this also makes it easier to be on time.

By booking three actors for every audition slot, it cuts down on time spent waiting for the actor and for yourself.

Through no fault of their own, people are sometimes late or can’t make an audition. By breaking auditions up into fifteen minute segments, it’s easier to adjust for last minute changes or emergencies.

When contacting actors for an audition, we prefer to call their main phone number. To make the calls go quickly we use a script. Something along the lines of:

“Hi (Actor’s name), we would like to invite you to an audition for (name of production), a short film about (logline*) in the role of (x). Auditions will be held on (Day and Date) from (start time to end time) at (address and cross streets near your audition location). We would like to see you at (time). Please prepare a two minute comedic or dramatic monologue. Please call or text me back at (phone number) to confirm.”

When scheduling forty to fifty actors, the schedule will need to adjust depending on the actor’s availability. I usually get requests for the first or last available audition slot because of previous conflicts. It is important to be considerate, polite and patient during these interactions because the audition process is probably the actor’s first experience with you or your company. Also, there is the occasional call when the actor isn’t available. If we’re holding a second audition day, we will let them know when that is, or if they are a really good candidate we will invite them to the call back or ask them to submit a self-tape audition.

When scheduling actors for an audition, prep your call script, schedule three actors for every fifteen minute audition slot and be flexible. When you’re calling in forty or fifty actors, you have to be prepared.


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Next on Deck!

We’ve realeased our web series Squarehead! Check it out at: vimeo.com/bridgeportfilmclub

Next week we will talk about holding auditions and later this week, we will be releasing a new Short Film!

Check out the previous chapter section: SELECTING ACTORS — Filmmaking Advice

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