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For every production, be it film, television, theatre or commercials, someone needs to decide which actors will suit the roles. Casting directors use their years of artistic taste and expertise to contact, interview, negotiate with and hire the most suitable actor for each role. Working closely with directors and producers, in the pre-production stages, casting directors must visualise the role needing to be filled and fill it with the right person for the right price.
Casting directors have a passion for the craft of acting and keep up-to-date with the latest trends in acting talent. With each position casting directors need to assess the artistic limits of different actors, judge their experience and skills, and decide when to take a risk in casting a new or unusual talent.
Much like an agent, being a casting director requires a lot of networking; creating contacts with agents, actors, directors and producers. Casting directors spend a lot of time interviewing actors, assessing and filtering the talent, whether in theatre, film or television. Once decided, negotiations would commence, discussing budgets, fees and working conditions. Good communication and interpersonal skills are a pre-requisite in this field, being able to deal with demands of all parties.
Many casting directors will work independently, with their own offices and assistants. Word of mouth is crucial in this business, both for getting a job as well as finding clients and contracts.