The Casting Director works closely with the director and producer, as head of the casting department. They must find the best available actor for each role based on performance, but also on other factors such as experience, skills and box-office appeal. They draw on their vast casting knowledge and their networks of both emerging and existing talent and talent pools. They work closely with the director and producer during the pre-production, breaking down the script and gaining a strong sense of the creative ambitions of the director. They must work within the casting budget, planning and carrying out casting auditions and interviews, in various locations or through electronic casting. They must publicise and manage a scout as required. They must plan and manage open castings, auditions and cataloging talent. They must keep dialogue open and find solutions to any casting issues that might arise.
For this role, you will need:
Comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of actors, their specific talents, work, background, industry profile and representatives.
Skills, instinct and ability to find new as well as established talent, a wide network of contacts across the industry.
Understanding of the actors’ salary quotes and the budget of the film.
Ability to understand what director is striving to achieve creatively in the film and how to achieve these goals through casting.
Great communication skills.
There are no usual career paths for the Casting Director, often they would have worked their way through the Casting Department. A qualification in Film Studies can be useful. Regardless of education, several years of experience is essential.