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Anything Goes : Keeping actors by Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels

Keeping actors

So here is my dilemma, I live in a small rural community that is comprised of mostly dairies, farms, etc. Although there is a college here there seems to be no real interest in the movies so I am having trouble getting actors that are dedicated enough to stay and complete the film. Some decide not to show the first day of shooting. I have even held open casting calls to only have only one person show up after sitting for several hours waiting for people to audition. So I am not sure what or how to get actors that will see the film all of the way through. Any suggestions?

Mike Daniels

At this point there hasn't been any monetary compensation, but there has been craft services provided as well as getting a copy of the completed film for their portfolio. I am also thinking that if accepted to the right festival it could even get them on IMDB.

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

I hope this doesn't sound harsh but one reason you may have a problem is that the ambitious actors, the ones who are really dedicated, leave your community to go to places where they think they have a better chance of success. And the pool of people who stay behind consists of those who talk about it but aren't 'deep down' interested. But don't give up. I agree with the comments that compensation of some kind may help. Last year I participated in a low budget horror shoot. One week. 84 pages. Grueling for everyone. The actors for the three leading roles were all experienced with good CVs. They were paid under the SAG ultra low budget agreement which meant they got $100 for an 'eight hour' day. They did it and they did it well. (We do owe them more money when the film sells.) So consider paying your actors. Perhaps daily. But I'd distribute the payments only AFTER you finish shooting. And always, in doing anything low budget, feed them well and make sure they know up front that will happen. Not that you will necessarily be able to do so, but we got free food, complete meals, from good local restaurants, for the promise, which we kept, of a 'Thank you' in the end credits.

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