Half 3: Casting | So You Need to Make a Fiction (or Any) Podcast?

Picture courtesy of Levi Jones.

Observe: Multitude is a podcast collective and manufacturing studio. This piece is a part of a ten half sequence by them that will help you create a fiction (or any) podcast. Did you see Half Two? Ensure you examine that out and are available again subsequent Tuesday for Half 4.

You’ve got the phrases, the crew, and the wherewithal to get your fiction podcast off the bottom. Now how do you discover the proper actors to carry your characters to life?

On the subject of discovering actors, the manufacturing crew owes it to the Author and their script to search out and forged the most effective individuals attainable. That will imply casting individuals intimately concerned within the mission so everybody “will get” what’s happening. Or, it may imply casting from a pool of recognized regulars who’re within the area, like pulling from an area theater, or hiring big-name actors that carry a fandom with them.

For our new audio sitcom, Subsequent Cease, we wished to give attention to casting from the widest pool attainable — however there was one caveat: they needed to be inside commuting distance of Multitude’s manufacturing studio, which is in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Because the plot of our sitcom revolves round a core set of roommates, we wished the actors to have the ability to file in the identical room, so they may react to, and improvise with, each other in actual time. As a result of we have been sure by the 5 boroughs, we opened up our search by contemplating folks that hadn’t acted in podcasts earlier than, which widened our complete pool to a spread of actors from completely different disciplines and codecs.

One piece of recommendation: you’ll want to set your manufacturing up for fulfillment by budgeting sufficient time to seek for the proper actors. Casting is time-consuming! Organising auditions, giving people sufficient time to submit, going via submissions, scheduling and working callbacks, and making last selections — all of those duties take dozens of hours to finish. Actually, they’re a whole job: Casting Director. These expert people know the way to create and run auditions, entry a large community of actors, plus they’ve a highly-tuned ear for what every function wants. Including a Casting Director to your manufacturing roster is a necessary a part of constructing a stable basis for a profitable podcast.

With our restricted funds, we determined to fold Casting Director beneath our Assistant Director’s obligations.

We determined to forged on Backstage, a serious web site that hosts casting requires TV, movie, theater, commercials, and podcasts. There’s a purpose why many use Backstage — it’s actually, very easy to get your job submit on the market. After paying the 17 greenback submission charge, we posted seperate casting calls, one for every particular person character in our script. When describing our characters, we made positive to speak about them each as actual individuals and sitcom archetypes. For instance: “Cam loves Survivor, works at a media job, and needs to be promoted so unhealthy. He’s additionally the goofball who maps the closest to Marshall from How I Met Your Mom.” Since we have been working inside the sitcom style, we wished potential actors to be on the identical web page for the work we have been doing.

We additionally didn’t specify gender, race, sexuality, or age for any function except a kind of parts was completely important to the character as written. We wished to get the most effective individuals attainable for every function.

Here is a screenshot of one of many casting calls we posted on Backstage for our newest podcast, Subsequent Cease.

As soon as our casting calls have been dwell, it was time to attend. Absolutely, nobody would undergo a small fiction podcast, proper? We have been so incorrect.

The reels hit us like a tidal wave. Fifty within the first few hours, then 100 by the tip of the day, and an increasing number of and extra. Who would have thought there have been so many actors in New York Metropolis? (We’re joking, we promise we’re joking).

As our Casting Director listened to all the reels, she prepped “sides” for every character. For these new to auditioning, a facet is a brief monologue for an actor to carry out throughout an audition. Our Casting Director’s aim was to choose sides that confirmed the complete vary of every character. Only a few characters are one-note, so it’s vital to see how somebody acts whereas each yelling and whispering. And as soon as we despatched the edges to the actors we have been inquisitive about, we might encourage them to ship us as much as three takes for all sides. The actor will not be picturing the function the identical approach we have been, so this could give them the chance to make completely different selections for the character they have been auditioning for. Unsurprisingly, we ended up casting lots of people who did three takes per facet!

As soon as the edges have been picked, we despatched them out to the actors. They despatched again their audio takes, and we sifted via the submissions for the ultimate callback. That is the place the Casting Director shines, constructing a profile of every actor with their reel and now the audio sides. Our Casting Director made her selections for callbacks, and ran them by the opposite three members of the manufacturing crew for enter. In the end, the Director would have last say, however because the one doing the legwork, the Casting Director has essentially the most data.

God, I Hope I Get It, I Hope I Get It

We by no means thought we’d be residing the Broadway director life, however one chilly day in January, that’s precisely how issues shook out. We invited teams of actors to a theater-style audition. The actors have been blended and matched with actors from completely different teams to see how every individual would work with others. We have been searching for sparks of chemistry between actors, how properly they knew the fabric, and whether or not they felt assured sufficient to improvise (and do it properly) through the audition.

Logistically, we knew we needed to hold these callbacks fairly tight. We’re a small outfit, so we couldn’t ask actors to sit down round for hours as a result of we’re not the one recreation on the town. To attenuate wait occasions and to accommodate any scheduling conflicts, we unfold our callbacks over two days. Respecting the time of fellow inventive professionals is the proper factor to do anyway, however in doing so, we’re additionally constructing a constructive affiliation with Multitude. That approach actors will wish to come again to audition after we forged for our subsequent manufacturing (or, at the very least, inform a buddy about how neat our hallway was).

That is the ultimate countdown. It’s recreation time. Let’s get some actors.

Some individuals may slot in completely to play a sure function. Different occasions, it might be troublesome to choose an actor for a job, and that’s okay. If there are two actors up for a similar function, it’s as a result of each brings completely different vitality and selections to the character. In the end, it’s as much as the manufacturing crew to determine which actor is the most effective match for the manufacturing. Different issues to think about: the auditioner’s chemistry with the opposite actors, their potential to improvise inside the confines of the scene, and voice distinguishability. That final level is vital; as a result of it’s a podcast and you may’t see faces, the actors’ voices should stand out to the ears of the viewers.

After our Director and Casting Director shared their ideas with each other, the complete manufacturing crew met for a rousing debate about who ought to be who. Right here’s how that regarded on for our crew: the Director and the Author mentioned who the characters are in accordance with our script, and the way every potential actor would embody that, or make completely different selections from what we’d envisioned to date. As in your casting course of, it’s essential to create space to listen to the opinion of each related stakeholder — that approach, your complete manufacturing crew will really feel motivated and acquired into the gig. However finally, the director has to make the decision.

You’ve picked the proper actors, so now it’s time to make the factor proper? We want. Truly, now it’s time to dig into one thing that’s tremendous vital however usually regarded over — it’s time to get the paperwork prepared for the actors. Thrilling? Perhaps not. Important? Undoubtedly, so extra on that subsequent week. Within the meantime, you’ll want to learn half two, “Assembling the Group.”