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Practical Advice for Submitting to Online Casting Calls
Often times it is an assistant who is downloading everything and getting it in order, not the casting director. To make it as easy as possible for them to fit your info into an organized forum follow these steps.
should ALWAYS be in .jpg format and should be small enough to easily view
on screen. No larger than 400 X 500 pixels is necessary. 300 X 400 is
even better. Anything bigger is difficult to view onscreen and takes too
long to download.
2. Send no more than 2 headshots, and don't send more than one unless
they make a big difference. Different hairstyles or colors, facial hair,
glasses that change your look drastically are all good. Different clothing
is NOT necessary. Different posses are NOT necessary. The main question
the casting director is trying to answer is, "Does this person look
like this character?"
3. The filename of your headshot should always be 'your_name.jpg' If you
send two, name them with 'your_name1.jpg' and 'your_name2.jpg' Filenames
like 'smile2.jpg' or 'ligit.jpg' make it impossible for the casting director
to match your shots up with the right resume when decision time comes.
4. Keep the file names short. Just 'your_name.jpg' is perfect. There is
no need to include the words 'headshot, pic, photo, bw, or ANYTHING except
your name. The '.jpg' file type tells the casting director that the file
is an image. Long names can cause a web browser crash on some computers.
You don't want your headshots doing that!
5. Color headshots leave less to the imagination of the casting director,
which is great. Yes, yes, most professional headshots are in black and
white. If b/w is all you have that's fine. It has remained industry standard
because it's cheaper to print in mass quantities than color.
Obviously, this is not the case online. Many headshot photographers are
now shooting digitally in color and making black and white versions for
printing. Make sure you get color versions of the same headshots if at
all possible. The most convenient way is to get them is as digital files
so you never have to print or scan them. You can save them onto your computer,
resize them to the proportions mentioned above and keep them in a folder
along with your resume on your desktop.
6. Make sure your name appears printed on your headshot(s) and that it
is readable. This makes it even easier for the casting director to keep
track of who he/she is looking at.
Word is installed on nearly every casting office's computer and, therefore,
is a great standard file format to create and send your resume in.
Online Portfolios/Promotional Websites.
2. Make sure the file name includes '.doc' at the end.
3. Name your resume the same name as your headshot: 'your_name.doc'. That
way your resume will wind up alphabetized right next to your headshot
in a long list of submissions, making it so easy to keep track of who
you are. You won't have to worry about calling them the same filename
because the headshot will always be a .jpg and the resume will always
be a .doc.
4. Again keep the file
name short. Just 'your_name.doc' is perfect. Do not include the word 'resume'
or any other descriptive words except your name. The '.doc' file type
suffix tells the casting director that the file is a document. Long names
can cause a web browser crash on some computers.
5. Don't be creative with fonts. Use generic fonts that you know everyone
has installed on their computers. 'New York' is a solid generic font.
If the font you choose is not installed on the casting director's computer
your resume will likely read like ancient Greek text, and you will become
another victim of the early weeding out process.
1. If you
must include links to your site, ALSO include your resume and headshot(s)
in the email.
Email Attachments vs. Pasted in the Body.
a casting call is posted there are often hundreds of responses. The casting
crew must immediately begin a narrowing down process. If you provide only
a link to a web site, you are most likely going to be passed over by the
person assisting the real decision makers. The assistants simply don't
have the time to go to your web-site, decide which headshot to download
(if they know how), re-label the file name to your name, find your resume,
copy and paste it into a readable Word document, and label it again with
You may have an incredible site and that's great, but chances are it won't
be seen by anyone accept maybe a curious assistant who will quickly move
on from it because they are crunched for time.
casting offices prefer that everything be pasted into the body of the
email rather than attached. I suppose this is a precaution taken against
viruses (being on a Mac, I don't have to worry about that... yet). If
this condition is stated in the post, then by all means, comply with it.
Your email will likely be deleted before being read if you don't.
Taking Direction From the First Point of Contact.
2. It is likely that if people aren't accepting attachments they are using
their email programs to organize the responses. Most email programs will
sort by the subject line of the email. Therefore, include your name in
the subject line of your response. If you are interested in a particular
character that is listed in the post, you may want your subject line to
read: "Character - Your Name." If they ask you for a specific subject,
then definitely include it exactly as directed followed by your name.
1. No one
wants to work with an actor who can't take direction. Therefore, follow
any direction given in a post as precisely as possible and you'll at least
assure yourself a position among those being considered for a call-back.
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