kari_harrisCasting awakens

Kari, intro­duced her­self as the prin­ci­ple of Kari Har­ris Cast­ing (http://www.kariharriscasting.com/) which opened it’s doors in 2004 after a his­to­ry with Pro­to­type Cast­ing over at Fox stu­dios for many years.  When they closed their doors she basi­cal­ly decid­ed to open her own door.  She spoke of the expe­ri­ence being one that helped her redis­cov­er  the joy of her job and her clients.  Her cred­its over the last decade and a half include the tele­vi­sion series, Cyber Girl (won AFI 2001), Lennie Cahill Shoots Through (won AFI 2004), Liq­uid Bridge, In the Red and Soar (won Flick­er­fest awards 2004 – Best Achieve­ment for Orig­i­nal Screen­play & Most Pop­u­lar Film).  Kari has cast mul­ti­ple high end adver­tis­ing cam­paigns for var­i­ous award win­ning agen­cies, such as Euro RSCG World­wide, George Pater­son Y & R, Leo Bur­nett, M & C Saatchi, Ogilvy Aus­tralia, McCann Erick­son and Clemenger BBDO.  Her work is fea­tured on her web­site as men­tioned above and actors can find ref­er­ences use­ful on the face­book page – www.facebook.com/KHCasting.

Projects — the up and downs

Kari, explained that there were numer­ous ways projects come to the atten­tion of cast­ing agents, includ­ing being asked by a pro­duc­er, or told by an actor eager to be intro­duced or the usu­al indus­try grapevines.  She said that the Cast­ing Agent is one of the first bod­ies brought on board a pro­duc­tion (even though, she admit­ted regret­ful­ly, we are not usu­al­ly fund­ed till pre-pro­duc­tion begins).  The draw­back being of course that some pro­duc­tions sim­ply do not get made.

The process

That aside, and pre­sum­ing all goes well, the Cast­ing Agent meets with the pro­duc­er to dis­cuss the vision of the script and under­stand the integri­ty of the script.  Upon break­ing down the script into char­ac­ter briefs, and then get­ting the rather telling, producer’s wish list.  Then it’s is the Cast­ing Director’s job to pro­voke them to think seri­ous­ly about the wish list and inject some man­ner of real­i­ty to it.  (Besides, Nicole, Rus­sel and Bryan have oth­er engage­ments)  <sigh>  After some provo­ca­tion (in a nice man­ner) the Cast­ing Agent begins the process of sug­gest­ing peo­ple based on the re-engi­neered wish list and starts bring­ing them in for con­sid­er­a­tion.  They speak to Agents for the select­ed lead roles and then begin Cast­ing for the myr­i­ad num­ber of roles in a film. We pro­vide the Showreel DVDs for the pro­duc­ers and even­tu­al­ly nar­row it all down.  Coor­di­nat­ing Sched­ules for Actors and Agents can become quite a com­plex task and as she said eas­i­er to tell than do. Cast­ing agents make rec­om­men­da­tions for the pro­duc­ers and to keep a rep­u­ta­tion, need nev­er to sub­mit some­one that is not up to scratch.  Being ready for the role as an Actor is an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion.  Some­times, as Kari said, we need to decide on whether to keep peo­ple on tap or not for the pro­duc­er.   The most impor­tant resource in con­tem­po­rary times for Cast­ing Direc­tors are the On-line Data­bas­es (ecast­er, show­cast or AT2).  Kari sug­gest­ed that actors should be on at least one of them.

Images.

Kari’s advice about your pho­to shoots. Get it done prop­er­ly.  Not a snap­shot shoot in your back yard.  DO remem­ber, If you send a Pho­to to an Agent don’t for­get to put your name & phone num­ber on the back.  The pho­to may get sep­a­rat­ed from a Resume and if and when it does, you become an unlo­cat­able asset.  Of then what use is your fab­u­lous face for that great part that you would be ide­al for, if only you’d both­ered to think a lit­tle.

Showreels

Kari said that DVD’s and Showreels are cri­tiqued by agents although Kari admits they may be put aside in the busy hus­tle in pref­er­ence for view­ing them dur­ing qui­eter times.  But she also went on to speak of how use­ful the short film indus­try in Aus­tralia was in sim­ply pro­vid­ing both oppor­tu­ni­ties to keep work­ing and for mate­r­i­al that can be used in Showreels.  Kari did through stress that The­atre work was an impor­tant “quiver for your bow”.