So let’s say you’ve just wrapped a project, and you’ve been fortunate enough to recruit actors and staff that worked for “deferred” pay, and your actors aren’t really expecting any form of payment at all. What do you do? Count your blessings that you were fortunate enough to find people that shared in your vision and were willing to work for free? Or do something for your dedicated crew to let them know that you appreciate them?
The question answers itself- but here are things you can do for people that are brave enough to enter a casting room with the knowledge that if or when they’re cast, they may have to work on the blind faith that you’ll be a generous filmmaker:
a. Always give actors their footage once you’ve edited the final cut. While this should be standard practice, we do, from time to time, hear of instances when actors take part in a production, but never hear back from the filmmaker, and therefore never have access to the footage that they created. When this happens, it is a shame. Always be sure to stay in close contact with your actors- from the moment you deliver the news that they’ve landed a role in your casting room, the moment you help them incorporate their footage into their reels.
b. Offer editing services if possible. Sometimes, actors lack the editing resources or know-how to edit footage from their production into their reels. Creating clips that each actor can insert in their body of work is essential to making an actor feel as if participation in your production was worth it.
c. List your project on IMDB. Listing your project on IMDB will lend credibility to your actor’s resumes, and bolster their experience in the industry.
d. Consider them for future roles. Inviting them into your casting space months after your former project has wrapped can serve as a valuable token of appreciation that can help pay dividends to actors long after they’ve lent their services to you.
These are just a few things a casting director or filmmaker can do to be a good steward for the actors you’re lucky enough to work with.