Casting for Video & Photography cross – media

Casting for Video & Photography cross media: The nightmare of the "before and after effect!"

When we are in search of the star of our next project, I inevitably start to feel a dull pain behind one of my eyes. This pain is the fear of a model arriving looking nothing like their agency photo/video.

For the vast majority of our production I always demand a "face to face" audition for any model/actor, whether they have come from the top model agencies or street casting. Looking good in a photo taken last summer after 2 months in the gym and/or a short promise from the agency booker, is not enough for me anymore.

Last week I experienced that pain behind the eye in the most "heart in your mouth" way. For the production in question we had an extremely tight deadline and we absolutely had to cast an English/American look – not easy in Florence, Tuscany. "Mr X" who we cast from London looked great. Muscles popping everywhere, nicely tanned and totally without hair. Great for my short film about a body builder in training!

I arrived to see him in the flesh, looking great with his jacket on, but I started feeling the twinge as soon as he took it off, much smaller, not tanned, hair everywhere and not popping at every muscle seem like on his card. The show had to go on?
The "red guy on my shoulder" said "get him back in the taxi and on the plane back to London. Apologize humbly to all the crew who had a wasted morning and start all over again." The guy on the other shoulder said: "you need to pick up your head and make this work for the client, so that’s what I did.

So the message here is not to underestimate the upmost importance of the "before and after effect" and the impact it can have on your final product.