Saturday, March 24, 2012

Realistic Expectations

Every so often I see a particular casting notice (due to repostings) and think "you're hoping to get actors to commit to what and for how much?"  The notice doesn't say much about the actual project.  Things like what it's about or a character breakdown.  But if I remember correctly, the filmmaker's last film was at some Brazilian film festival.  The film being cast might be a great movie.  I don't know.  But I think the filmmaker is hoping for a bigger commitment from actors than is realistic.

So what commitment do I refer to?  Four months of rehearsal before shooting for character development.  I think stage performances often have less rehearsal time!  I could understand this rehearsal time if the actors needed to be trained for wire work -by an expert!!- or several dance numbers needed to be learned, but the notice did not indicate this.  Any actor that needs four months rehearsal to find the character's motivation in the "John and his parents are at the kitchen table discussing his bad report card" scene doesn't deserve to be cast as himself in his family's home videos.

Does this mean my character better be dancing on wires if you want me to work on your "four months rehearsal" film?  No, had the pay been significantly higher than "no pay", I might have taken a closer look at it.  Sure, I'm available to rehearse the previously mentioned report card scene a few evenings next month for $$$.

I want to make clear that I'm not calling on actors to refuse to work on this project and I wish the filmmaker the best.  But I have serious doubts about professional actors replying to the notice.

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