How to increase your chances of booking during Covid-19?

For months there was a huge unknown regarding the entertainment industry.
All the major industry hubs were at a standstill due to Covid-19.
Directors, Agents, Producers, Creatives, Actors, Casting Directors, (just to name a few )were left with no answers as to when they would ever receive a paycheck. Even worse how would the industry would ever continue. Could things ever go back to normal? As of now everyone is adapting to our new normal. Even with so much uncertainty, we are still as an industry getting more and more emails from parents concerned they are missing out on the next big gig. We can’t guarantee that you will be as busy as before, we have no way in knowing when or how often castings will be coming in. We can guarantee that everyone who fits the project specs is being submitted. It is ultimately up to the Clients, and Casting Directors as to who will be seen, and selected.
Virtual Casting’s are beginning to come in via Skype, and Zoom. We are having more Direct Bookings than usual. Safety precautions are in place, and Waivers are being signed. Not everyone is comfortable working while Covid-19 is still a threat. So make sure if you are not, you block-out all your dates until you are.
This is such a new territory for all the working pieces of a production. If you think organizing a shoot was tough before, just imagine now. So let’s increase your chances of being asked to audition, while helping everyone involved in the casting and selection process easier.
Here is our blog on how to dominate at Virtual Castings!


Headshots

Check out our blog on headshots!


A constant theme in our blogs!
Headshots, headshots headshots.
This is the most important when you are looking to be noticed, even more so now than ever before.
Casting Directors and production companies are almost exclusively relying on Virtual and Direct bookings.
If you want to stand out, you simply cannot have a photo you took on a cellphone 2 years ago in a dimly lit bathroom. Photographers are starting to do headshot sessions. Start making your appointments!
Contact your agency for a list of their recommend photographers.
Stats


UPDATE YOUR STATS!
This shouldn’t be something your agency has to remind you about.
It is your job to keep up with any changes in height and sizes.
With so many direct bookings happening, clients are relying on sizes being accurate.
You can’t be upset if your child isn’t booking if they are 7 years old, and their profile says they are wearing a 4t, 32 inches tall, and in a size 5 shoe.
Clients get so upset if they direct book a kid based off of their stats and end up being a completely different size. It makes your agent look bad, and you probably ruined your chance of ever being booked by that client again.


Zoom/Skype
Step 1: have your Skype and Zoom accounts created and ready to go.
Simple as that lol.
Some clients ask to have your Skype account listed one your Casting Networks profiles, so have that done before your agent even asks.
“Your very own at home Casting Office”
Some people don’t see this as important, but as an agency we believe it’s soooo important to have this upper hand.
When you go into a casting office you almost always are in front of a backdrop, have bright lights in your face, and have a camera set up in a tripod (for video) , or a photographer on the floor getting the perfect angles.
While it may be Virtually (pun not intended) impossible to recreate something it took casting professionals years to learn, and perfect… you can do our best to show them you take this seriously.
Here is a list of our Virtual Casting must-haves:


Backdrop
Blue is industry standard for Self-tapes, and Videos while white is more standard for Print. Determine which is your niche and buy accordingly.
Superior Seamless Photography Background Paper, 11 Royal Blue (53 inches Wide x 18 feet Long) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078P6T3TN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_nL73Eb68BGMPY
Huamei Seamless Photography Background Paper, Photo Backdrop Paper (4.4×16 Feet, Arctic White) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FD2P4FW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_6L73EbAYJZYYN
Backdrop Stand-
Emart 8.5 x 10 ft Photo Backdrop Stand, Adjustable Photography Muslin Background Support System Stand for Photo Video Studio https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FY4TVKH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_NM73EbEWPCD9J

Lighting
We recommend a simple ring light. Most ring lights feature a built-in Tri-pod for your smart phone.
You can add some box light for even more lighting but that’s entirely up to you!
Neewer Ring Light Kit:18″/48cm Outer 55W 5500K Dimmable LED Ring Light, Light Stand, Carrying Bag for Camera,Smartphone,YouTube,Self-Portrait Shooting, Black, Model:10088612 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXDNNBW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_oO73EbH6SBA27
MOUNTDOG Softbox Lighting Kit 20″X28″ Professional Photography Photo Studio Light Equipment with 2pcs 95W E27 Socket 5500K Video Lighting Bulb for Filming Portraits Shoot https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G3423NQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_VO73Eb9H1XGF0
Mic-
Being that we focus almost primarily on children, we know houses with kids get a little noisy.
These microphones work great to cancel out any noise.
Video Microphone with Adapter – Unidirectional On-Camera Microphone for iPhone – Directional Cardioid iPhone Microphone for Video Recording https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDYXBQZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_aQ73EbZ7JPCS6


Preparation/filming
We always recommend ongoing training.
Many coaches are offering virtual classes. Make sure to contact your agency for recommendations.
Less is always more when it comes to what casting directors/ clients look for. Like we always say, if their are no character/wardrobe instructions, be as blank of a canvas as you can. Let your talent speak louder than your outfit. Simple everyday clean attire (no pj’s though lol ) is usually expected. Extremely light to no make-up.
Camera should ALWAYS be horizontal when filming any video/ Skype/ Zoom unless specified.
Sides-
If you have sides. Have them memorized. It’s important to be engaged and not reading them off a paper. Make sure your reader also is prepared, and expressive.
You should not make direct contact to the camera if preforming sides. You should look slightly off camera.
Slate-
Your slate should be at the front of your tape.
Usually you include:
Full name
Age
Height
Location
Agency
Some projects will request specific information to be included.

Be on time! Always! If your Casting Director is not on time, be prepared the entire wait time as you would at an in person casting.
Try to minimize any distractions and outside noise.
Make sure you read notes for any props, or information you may need.



It’s going to take time for anyone in the industry to even imagine going back to normal, and until then it’s up to you to do your part in making the new normal, ok.
It’s not ideal for anyone, but together we can create new opportunities, content, and memories.
2020 is definitely one for the books. By following our guide you will have a much higher chance in securing a spot in a Casting Directors book. Together we will get through this. We can’t wait to see your home office set ups! Be sure to tag us once you have yours complete.

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