CASTING DIRECTOR BLOG

CastWeb: The Lowdown

20 Jul 2020, Posted by Nicci in Casting Tips

Hello Acting Peeps,

Today we continue with part 4 of our look into the the casting industry chatting with ALL the platforms and tools in the casting space so you can all better understand how to use all the MANY amazing tools there are out there that can to help boost your career.

Today we hear from the CastWeb founders Patrick and Rodney. As I always say wherever possible I ask the same questions to everybody so you can compare their answers and filter out for yourself what resonates with you and what is marketing speak. I have put these into bullet points to make them more digestible, but I have tried hard not to put any editorial bias on this editing process.

For avoidance of doubt I must stress that NONE of these discussions with companies in this space are sponsored and there are no affiliate links or relationships.

So firstly guys…

What is CastWeb?

CastWeb is a casting and information resource for those looking to cast and work within the film, TV, Theatre, modelling & advertising industries.
Established since 1999 and recognised industry-wide, CastWeb produces regular daily updates for subscribers detailing work available on stage, screen & in print.

How do I get access to CastWeb – what are the top 5 tips?

To be eligible for a CastWeb subscription, you must be a professional actor with an entry in The Spotlight, Mandy, Starnow or IMDB.
We’ve found that to be considered seriously by any casting director performers should possess as many of the following assets as possible:

  • A professional standard showreel
  • At least 3 professionally taken headshots
  • As many professional credits as possible
  • Talent!
  • Patience!
  • Fortitude!
  • What are the benefits?

Whilst CastWeb could not claim to project performers straight to the awards podium it is a great tool to use to access audition/casting opportunities especially in commercial work and theatre.

What do you do to ensure fairness is undertaken as part of the casting process when casting directors submit briefs?

CastWeb’s default position is to post all casting opportu§ities to all subscribers irrespective of suitability. On some occasions though casting directors may wish us to target their brief for reasons of reducing the response to a more manageable size or restricting the brief to agents only… or even certain types of agents only.

They will do this for a range of reasons: because time may be short or they are only looking for high end models or actors with profile and even just actors living in a certain location. Whilst this may seem unfair, casting directors may be given a brief which, if sent to all talent and all agents, could halt their ability to work effectively due to the sheer number of resulting submissions.

The industry is often criticised for being elitist and middle-class how have you seen the industry change over the past 5 years if at all?

The last 5 years must be taken into context as being an extension of the rapid changes that have taken place in the industry over the last 20. On the plus side the internet has opened the door to an ever-widening and diverging demographic of actors and performers of all classes, ethnicities and orientations. However there are negatives which are sadly becoming the norm’.

We believe that self-tapes are being increasingly requested and – after some considerable work by the actor in question – not even being viewed let alone considered, we believe that this can be a lazy way of casting unless casting directors and their clients commit to viewing all submitted material.

Fortunately this practise is not as prevalent in the UK as it is in the US but this needs to be monitored. The internet also offers opportunities to rogue agents who set up attractive professional sites and target young impressionable would-be actors/performers/models with the promise of a glittering career in exchange for a joining fee or professional modelling shots etc. It is an ongoing problem and sadly at the very bottom of the relevant authorities investigation priorities.

How do you see the industry changing over the next 5 years?

CastWeb has no crystal ball here Nicci! What we’d LIKE to see is an emphasis on a maintaining a simple technical approach to enable casting directors to meet actors IN PERSON!

Less emphasis on developing an ever increasing and bewildering functionality to existing systems and more emphasis on getting actors directly in front of casting directors. It may sound ironic coming from one of the very first all-internet casting services in the world but we must be guarded against allowing technology to interfere with a profession which is by its very nature possibly the most human!

Thanks to Patrick and Rodney.

You can read more about CastWeb at:

castweb.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/groups/49641001494/
twitter.com/castweb

You can also read more about this series of blogs here and also read our previous interviews with Casting Networks and Spotlight.

 

 

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