Mad Dog Casting

Doubtless to say, I’m sure a lot of readers can guess the line this blog post is likely to take…after all, you are reading it on an extras agency blog!

However, it is an important topic to address as it is something that happens…

Mad Dog 2020 is fortunate enough to be able to call on many fantastic, loyal and hardworking supporting artists, some having been with us from the start, so this may be more useful for those just getting in to the industry. Hopefully, this can provide insight, context and understanding in to an issue that effects the casting process significantly.

Whether we are casting for 1,000 battlefield soldiers, 10 ladies in waiting or a dog walker, the client process doesn’t differ. We diligently make our selections from our diverse book to put forward, according to the brief and await the client’s choice(s) – often going through assistant directors, producers and the Director. As previously discussed on the Mad Dog 2020 blog, whether it be a major feature film, TV series or commercial, projects are carefully planned according to a creative vision that is detailed and precise. Every face matters and once a client has selected those that have been put forward as available, it is expected all round that that is the face that will show up on set.

Of course, there are circumstances of which cannot be helped or avoided but to help everyone involved, we’ve put together a few pointers as a guide:

  • If you have put yourself forward for a job, you will automatically be pencilled for it until we have heard back from the client. Often it is the night before the shoot when the final confirmation comes through. It is your responsibility to keep track of your pencilled dates and bookings.
  • If you are on a pencil, you can accept other offers of work. However, if you do get booked on to something else on the date or dates you are pencilled for, you must let us know by calling the office or sending a message via the app.
  • Check all the details first – locations being too far away, travel costs not being covered etc are not excuses to not go to set. If these are deal breakers for you and such details are not explicitly set out upfront, do not put yourself forward.
  • Don’t ignore your booking confirmation /check in. If you can’t go to set, let us know, ignoring correspondence only makes things more difficult. The quicker we can replace you, the better. It also helps your fellow supporting artists, as we cannot send out releases until bookings are confirmed.
  • Treat it as any other job – as with any other profession, you wouldn’t expect to keep your job if you didn’t turn up without a good reason. Reputation is everything and we are not inclined to put artists forward if we don’t think we can rely on them.
  • Drop outs cause a lot of extra work for our Project Managers and Productions and can damage reputation, both with our clients and our reliable artists. This costs reliable artists time and opportunities as well as productions time and money.
  • Drop outs also delay releases, meaning artists who consistently hold pencils do not get timely releases due to very late working to cover drop outs.

We remove people from our books who drop out without timely, valid and plausible reasons. We are reasonable people and know that things do happen that make it genuinely not possible to avoid a late drop out. We will not strike anyone out without a valid reason. Reliability is key in all jobs and is expected of all Mad Dog 2020 artists.

Casting is a full circle process – the happier clients are, the more work Mad Dog 2020 receives and the more work we can offer to our supporting artists. Help us help you!

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