Monday, November 29, 2010

Ramblings on Casting, Auditions & Working with a Family

It's Casting Week here at Elgin Road!  Which means, we're holding auditions in Victoria & Vancouver - a feat in and of itself.

According to the ACTRA low budget union agreements, we're supposed to shoot in a location where the actors can return home every night - which means, we either can't hire actors from Vancouver & shoot in Victoria, or we can't hire Victoria actors and shoot in Vancouver.

Or option C: we don't sign with the union.  We had planned to just rent a house with a garage (since our film is set in 1 location - "Locked in a Garage Band" - get it?), and accommodate all our traveling actors in the location for the 2 week shoot, but now we have to rethink that plan.  If we go union. 

Oh and one more strike against going with the  union is that we can't hire any non-Canadian actors.  So, if an actor from Seattle comes up to Vancouver & nails the audition, we can't hire them.  If we go union.

Or, we could just say, "&&^$ it! We're doing our own thing!"

Which is much more our style anyway.  We won't be shooting ridiculously long days.  Jen has 3 kids, ages 8, 4 and 1 so there's no 12-15 hour days happening on our shoot - she hardly gets any sleep as it is!  Plus, we're not A-holes.  We treat people really well, feed them great food and are doing this movie for fun so, hopefully everyone will enjoy working on the set and not complaining that we're dickheads for not going union.

The only down side is that great, experienced, union actors want to audition and they can't if we don't sign.

Ugh. Big decision folks.

So, what else is happening?

Oh yeah - all these resumes & headshots are pouring in.  It's absolutely amazing to see how many incredibly talented people want to work with us.  There are a tonne of musically inclined actors applying because of the garage band theme, and I have to admit - I'm kind of intimidated by their resumes.  But maybe they won't be nearly as cool in person?  Some are sending in You Tube video clips, which are really great.  Most of the time.  Some are random - of course. It wouldn't be an open casting call without some randoms right?

We've been shooting funny videos on Jen's Nikon D90 all night to test it out & see if we can use it to shoot auditions this weekend.  It only runs for 20 minutes at a time, but so far it's holding up really well.  The auditions are planned for 8 minutes each, with a 2 minute break between each actor for Jen & our amazing Casting Director to take notes, discuss quickly and reset the camera.

Jen's kids are super-hyper about being on camera, which we mistakenly did right before bed-time, so I type while Jen & her hubby try to get the kids wound down & ready for bed.  They love their routines and tonight was definitely not a normal night in the living room.

Seriously, how are we going to shoot a movie without dirsupting their family routines too much?  The kids are in bed by 7pm.  

The joys of casting, auditions & working with a busy family.

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