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WriterManJimbo
08-13-2013, 07:05 PM
you're handed a script with a lead role with a hot 'rebel without a cause' style High School kid.

Who do you cast? Is there a male 18-25 that can open a medium budget thriller?

And how about the love interest?

I'm guessing there's some Twilight or Hunger Gamer? But don't know those worlds/actors very well.

(subtext -- I'm worried I may have written a script that is very difficult to cast)

EdFury
08-13-2013, 07:11 PM
you're handed a script with a lead role with a hot 'rebel without a cause' style High School kid.

Who do you cast? Is there a male 18-25 that can open a medium budget thriller?

And how about the love interest?

I'm guessing there's some Twilight or Hunger Gamer? But don't know those worlds/actors very well.

(subtext -- I'm worried I may have written a script that is very difficult to cast)

If I'm a producer? I delegate. I hire a great casting director and let them do their job. Find great choices for the roles. As a writer, you can't worry about it. Write the best script you can. If it's a GREAT script, actors will line up to do it.

WriterManJimbo
08-13-2013, 07:41 PM
If I'm a producer? I delegate. I hire a great casting director and let them do their job. Find great choices for the roles. As a writer, you can't worry about it. Write the best script you can. If it's a GREAT script, actors will line up to do it.

Truth be told...it's too late. Script is written. But what I'm trying to do is prepare myself for the question I am often asked -- 'who do you see starring in it?'

Johnny Depp in 1989 probably isn't a good answer!

jtwg50
08-13-2013, 07:43 PM
WriterMan: As stated before me, you'd hire a professional casting director. Producers do not cast. They collaborate. But a smart producer or director will listen to their casting director. Watch the free documentary currently on HBO about the two legendary masters, Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster. You'll be amazed... and learn a lot.

WriterManJimbo
08-13-2013, 08:01 PM
WriterMan: As stated before me, you'd hire a professional casting director. Producers do not cast. They collaborate. But a smart producer or director will listen to their casting director. Watch the free documentary currently on HBO about the two legendary masters, Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster. You'll be amazed... and learn a lot.


Sorry, I might have been too cute with my question. I wasn't asking 'how do movies get cast'...I was asking -- who are the hottest 18-25 year old males? Are there any that can play a high schooler that can open a movie?

I guess Taylor Lautner did it for Abduction. Who else is out there?

carcar
08-13-2013, 08:49 PM
Look, this is a question that people ask writers all the time. So while the CD will do the job once she comes on, I think you're right to have an answer in hand. The CD will probably be the first one to ask it. But without reading the script, it's hard to say who's right for the part. My first thought would be someone like Liam Hemsworth. But I'm not sure there's someone in that age range who can open a movie right now. HOWEVER, that could change in six months.

You should take a look at the upcoming movies geared at the under 25 female audience and see who those leads are, because, IMO, they will be driving that market and when they get behind a guy, he's golden. I would also look at television, a good breakout ground for young actors (Aaron Paul's too old, but someone like that (and you can say stuff like that) and any one who's gotten a lot of buzz in the indie circuit lately. The trick is finding someone who appeals to both young men and young women. And you should have some knowledge of their work. Like, you may have to watch Twilight or films of that ilk, along with the other stuff (preferably in the company of the intended audience so you can try to figure out what it is they like.)

The odds of you actually getting the actor you mention in this round are very slim. They just want a peg to hang their hat on. (And I would also mention a veteran actor for the older, but supporting part that is no doubt in there, so when they say so-and-so can't open a picture, you can say yes, but Aging Superstar is there, so so-and-so won't be carrying the weight all by himself.) They really only expect you to have a thoughtful conversation about it. But you should do a little research and come prepared. Have a least one obvious choice and one not-so-obvious.

emily blake
08-13-2013, 09:00 PM
Liam Hemsworth, Robert Pattinson.

A good way to find a list of names is to look on IMDB and filter by Starmeter.

Hamboogul
08-13-2013, 09:56 PM
Miles Teller.

ducky1288
08-13-2013, 10:02 PM
Max Irons, Matt Lanter, Jake Abel.

EdFury
08-13-2013, 10:52 PM
Look, this is a question that people ask writers all the time.

When I get asked that, I say... "It's not my job to cast. I don't write characters with actors in mind. I try to write a great story and hope that the best actors will be drawn to it."

WaitForIt
08-13-2013, 11:04 PM
If your character takes his shirt off, the answer is Taylor Lautner.

If your character does not take his shirt off, the answer is write in a shirtless scene, and then Taylor Lautner.

dave22
08-13-2013, 11:26 PM
If your character takes his shirt off, the answer is Taylor Lautner.

If your character does not take his shirt off, the answer is write in a shirtless scene, and then Taylor Lautner.

If your character requires acting ability and range, the answer is not Taylor Lautner.

I talked to a producer a couple months ago about an action script and his answer went like this, "I love it. It's fresh. It has an original take. It sounds interesting. The problem is that we just did an action movie called "Abduction". After that one my boss declared we will never do another action movie ever again." He then hemmed and hawed for about five minutes, arguing with himself while my writing partner and I sat there watching in utter fascination. He finally finished with, "No, she would kill me,"

WaitForIt
08-14-2013, 12:50 AM
If your character requires acting ability and range, the answer is not Taylor Lautner.

I talked to a producer a couple months ago about an action script and his answer went like this, "I love it. It's fresh. It has an original take. It sounds interesting. The problem is that we just did an action movie called "Abduction". After that one my boss declared we will never do another action movie ever again." He then hemmed and hawed for about five minutes, arguing with himself while my writing partner and I sat there watching in utter fascination. He finally finished with, "No, she would kill me,"

I've seen worse [pecs].

Two words: Magic Mike.

edit -- I didn't turn my brain on long enough to remember who the OP's audience is. Probably not the Magic Mike crowd. Unless Taylor Lautner is shirtless. Just pointing out how acting ability doesn't always correlate with revenues when there is manflesh to be ogled.

nativeson
08-14-2013, 08:28 AM
It seems the thinking on casting has started to change, a la Mazin's concept of 'writer plus.' Better to be useful :)

keithcalder
08-14-2013, 09:51 AM
When you are asked that question, here's the answer...

"The best thing about this script is that it can be done for a moderate budget or a low budget, so you can spend to cast a young star or you can cast an hot upcoming actor for SAG scale that you really believe in. Either way, the film is commercial and as a young person I can vouch that today's youth love discovering new talent."

And yes, I'm the producer.

keithcalder
08-14-2013, 09:52 AM
Also: Taylor Lautner didn't "open" ABDUCTION, that film was a commercial disappointment.

Also: Yes, producers do generally cast the leads of their movies. You don't just hire a casting director and then let them decide who's in your movie.

mrjonesprods
08-14-2013, 10:20 AM
If I'm a producer? I delegate. I hire a great casting director and let them do their job. Find great choices for the roles. As a writer, you can't worry about it.

WriterMan: As stated before me, you'd hire a professional casting director. Producers do not cast.

Getting the actor is a huge part of the producer's job - a greenlight/financing depends on it. In some cases the only reason the studio hires a producer is because they have a relationship with a star and the studio thinks the producer can deliver the talent.

A writer should be thinking about this stuff... If you want to stay involved in the process anyway. "Not my job" or "I don't write that way" makes it easy for the producer or studio to never ask your opinion again. Also, as the guy who dreamed up the character, you should have some opinions about who you at least think could be right or wrong for the role.

EdFury
08-14-2013, 11:59 AM
Getting the actor is a huge part of the producer's job - a greenlight/financing depends on it. In some cases the only reason the studio hires a producer is because they have a relationship with a star and the studio thinks the producer can deliver the talent.

A writer should be thinking about this stuff... If you want to stay involved in the process anyway. "Not my job" or "I don't write that way" makes it easy for the producer or studio to never ask your opinion again. Also, as the guy who dreamed up the character, you should have some opinions about who you at least think could be right or wrong for the role.

Thanks for that answer. Getting the right actors IS a producer and director job and they do have final say, but hiring the right casting agent to give you more choices, a group of actors for each role, expands the thought process and can give you actors you didn't even think of or even consider. That's what good producers and directors do, in my experience. They also get specific actors in mind as they read the script. People THEY picture in roles. You want them to do that, not give them ideas that may make them read the script differently. It needs to be all about your story first, again, in my opinion.

Just because, truthfully, I don't write with any actors in mind doesn't mean I'm not actively interested in the casting process after the film is optioned or sold. And I have had producers be pleasantly surprised at my, "I didn't write with any actors in mind. I just wanted a solid story with good parts that will attract the best actors you can get." answer and tell me how refreshing that is.

And in some of those cases, especially the cable network films I have written, I have had no say, no input, and my opinion hasn't been solicited. In the case of other films I have written, I have been actively involved and stay actively involved in the process. I still have no say (what writer does?), but my opinion counts to a certain extent. And my opinion is solicited. I do have opinions on who is right or wrong, but I also know how things work and when the correct time is to speak up and when it's the wrong time. It's a dance.

madworld
08-14-2013, 03:38 PM
Personally when I'm asked I can rattle off about 5 different actors (or actresses), not necessarily starting with the most marketable but my favorites for each role. But I do tend to look at if they're gettable, or hunting for a particular vehicle. They should be targeted, not just anybody obviously. I think it's important to illustrate that your project is castable and if your first choice doesn't pan out, there are other ways to go. Plus, it's kind of fun to cast.

I would not say "It's not my job to cast" ever. But EdFury always has very thoughtful posts, this could just be in the phrasing. Or maybe not, but to each his own. It certainly is a dance and you need to know when not to overstep boundaries, but in this case, if someone is asking your opinion - it's not a bad idea to have one (or 5).