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Peter D. Marshall: Welcome to “Directors & Actors: Casting!”


(bright music) – Hi, and welcome to
this casting course. ú My name is Peter Marshall,@ and I am a director. I’ll be taking you
through the various stages of this course, and I’m very
excited to be with you today. Let’s talk about
the casting session. The casting session is a
very intimidating place for both directors and actors. It takes a lot of guts
for actors to walk into a small room and have 10
minutes to show their stuff in front of complete strangers. But it’s also tough
for directors as well. How can we tell in less
than 10 minutes who’s right for a particular
role in our film? As a director, I
understand how hard it is to actually find those moments
that you’re looking for with actors and say,
“That’s the person, “that’s what we want, that’s
what we want to find.” How do we find it? So that’s what we’re
gonna be digging into during this course. And to complicate
things even more, you’ll have to defend your
choices in the casting room, because it’s not always left
up to you who you choose. There’s studio
executives, producers, and even the dentist
bankrolling your indie film. They all want a say in
who’s right for the role. For actors, the audition is
sometimes the most vulnerable, soul-crushing experience
of their life, but it doesn’t have to be. There’s lots of anxiety that
happens in the casting room, and we’re gonna talk about
that during the course. When auditions are
carried out properly, they’re not there to induce
anxiety, like I’m having right now in front of this
camera, for the actors. They’re there to
basically help the actors go through the moments
and to be vulnerable and show your emotions,
and this is something that’s very, very important,
because so many times in auditions the actors
come into the room, it’s a very cold room, they
only get one shot at it, and it’s very anxious. Remember that auditions
are job interviews, and they’re very
nervous coming in. So something we will be
talking about in this course is how to solve that problem,
how to ease the tension for actors when they come in. And also when you’re
casting, the whole idea is to build trust between
the director and the actor so that the actors can
have believable moments, or what I call “Magic Moments.” And you want to find these
so that you know sort of the range that the
actors are working in. When it comes to the
actor/director relationship, it’s two-sided, the
director’s going to be able to communicate
well to the actors, and the actors want to
know, what do you want? And this is something that,
again, we build into this course is to show you how this
two-way trust works. Doing it this way will help
us to find the magic moments that we all need from the
actors in a casting session. Now, I’ve taken some
online courses as well, and I know you’re pretty
nervous and anxious about what’s gonna happen
in this room, with your assignments, the people that you’re
going to be meeting, how do you feel about
your experience in this. Well, I have to be honest
with you, I am nervous, and I am very anxious as well. This is the first time I’ve
been doing this to a camera. I’ve been 40 years in the
business on the other side of the camera, and this is
very uncomfortable for me. So I’m very anxious,
I’m gonna make mistakes, some type of things, I
have a piece of paper here that I’m gonna look down
and do cheat sheets on, I have Christian, the
director, giving me notes to do the take again,
but this is real. This is all real, and it’s
part of the experience of our business, so don’t
worry about the anxiety. If I can do this,
everybody can do this. So we’re really trying
to have some fun here, but also understand,
seriously, that this is live. A lot of the stuff we’re doing
in auditions will be live with the actors, and
you’re gonna see things for the first time like that. And it’s raw, and
that’s where we live in. In this business we
live in this raw, in-the-moment environment,
and things happen, and we have to go with it
and change things on the fly. So that’s what we’re gonna do, and we’re gonna have some fun. The other thing is,
we’re bringing directors and actors together in
this course, and that means we’re all gonna be a
little vulnerable together. And I think that’s the
best way to approach this. Vulnerability is important. Lowering your defenses,
who’s the real person inside? And that’s something
that a lot of directors, a lot of us, we close up, we
don’t really want to do that. And actors have to do
that for their living, but we on the other
side of the camera, we have to also get in
that moment with them, we have to be vulnerable. So that’s hard for a director, and that’s gonna make us all
anxious to do that as well. (upbeat music)

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