The job description of a casting director involves managing the process of casting actors and actresses for commercials, print advertisements, films, television programs and theatrical productions. Most such directors work on a freelance basis for production companies and studios.
In order to accomplish assignments, a casting director must work closely with talent agencies, producers, directors and writers to locate and sign talent for various productions.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Casting Director
•Reads scripts to determine casting requirements.
•Meets with directors, writers and producers to find out what type of talent they want.
•Reads breakdown notices which describe the physical attributes and specific skills needed in actors who are cast to play particular roles.
•Circulates breakdown notices among talent agencies and independent agents as part of a search for the perfect cast.
•Reviews the resumes and photographs of actors and actresses who wish to be cast in the production.
•Schedules the most qualified talent for auditions for roles in the production.
•Witnesses all rounds of the auditions.
•Calls and schedules the chosen actors for final auditions.
•Contacts the actors who win roles to arrange for signing a contract.
•Endeavors to sign big name start for leading role in a production.
•Assists with open auditions to fill smaller roles.
•Influences producers and directors on which actors to hire.
•Engages the help of casting assistants to fill all of the roles in a major production.
•Stays within the talent budget on every project.
•Knows where and how to find the best talent for specific projects.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Must have wide knowledge of actors, theater and film.
•Knowledge of how to operate a video camera and sound equipment.
•Must have good computer and technology skills.
•Must have strong persuasion and negotiation skills.
•Exceptional interpersonal skills are necessary.
•Must have excellent organizational and time management skills.
•Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
•The ability to recognize true talent is essential.
•Must have an exceptionally good memory.
•Must be highly detail oriented.
•Excellent leadership skills are required.
•Knowledge of health and safety laws that apply to actors and actresses on the set.
•Knowledge of writing contracts.
•Must be able to work with union employees.
Education and Experience
•Associate’s degree in Theater Arts.
•Bachelor’s degree in Film Production.
•Internship or experience working with an established casting director.
•Experience as an actor or actress.
•Certification from the Casting Society of America.
•Must be able to work in a high pressure environment.
•Must be willing to travel and work long hours including evenings and weekends.
•Must be able to establish a friendly and professional relationship with the director and producer of a production.
•Must be comfortable with constantly having to look for the next project on which to work.
•Salaries can range from $75,000 to $150,000 depending on track record and connections.
•Weekly salaries range from $350 to $500 a week.
•Production companies may pay as much as $100,000 for casting of one major film.
•Other production companies might pay as much as $5,000 for each major role cast.