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View Full Version : Could this happen? Auditions for films/movies



Eriador117
09-08-2011, 02:49 PM
Okay, so one of my characters is a student and works as a courier/messenger to help pay for university. One of his packages is for a casting director/director of a film who is holding open auditions at a London hotel. He turns up with the package and as he goes into the room, the director asks him his name and where he's from etc., thinking he has come to audition, despite the fact he has a parcel and the name of the courier company on his t-shirt.

MC explains that he is just there to deliver a parcel and not to audition for a film. But the director feels he has something and invites him to audition anyway. Could this ever happen in real life? And if it could and the director is impressed, what would the next step be? Another audition? A screen test or a read-through with some other actors?

I'm not an actor, have never been to an audition or anything like that, so any information on the process involved would be most welcome :)

Thanks,
Annette.

alleycat
09-08-2011, 03:02 PM
Of course, anything could happen. To me that almost seems like a made-for-TV movie plot device (". . . guy is mistaken for someone else and can't convince anyone he's not and gets in to a jam . . . ").

An alternate would be for the guy to know where he's going, gets in the door because he's got the package to deliver, for a lark decides to try out for one of the parts, gets the attention of the casting director, etc.

Just an idea.

shaldna
09-08-2011, 03:16 PM
Sure it can happen - I've known people to get stopped in teh street and asked if they could act because they had the right 'look' about them for a part.

Usually there is a first audition, or casting call, then they can be invited back for a screen test or a second read through. Sometimes the second read through is with someone else they are thinking of casting oppostite that person, this is to see if they look right, or if the chemistry is right between them etc.

Eriador117
09-08-2011, 03:32 PM
Thank you :) I was stuck on this part because I wasn't sure it could happen or not, but it needed to for the story.

Take care,
Annette

areteus
09-08-2011, 03:33 PM
It seems a little implausible, to be honest, but it could happen in the right circumstances. if the auditioners who have turned up are all useless and the director is despairing of finding someone, for example...

Also, for main parts, I am sure there are equity rules to take into consideration?

alleycat
09-08-2011, 03:36 PM
If you need more help, you might contact Celia Cyanide here. She's an actress who's been in some indie films.

waylander
09-08-2011, 03:39 PM
Sure it could. There are plenty of examples of people whose acting career started when they went along to support a friend who was auditioning and then got asked to audition

shaldna
09-08-2011, 04:51 PM
Also, for main parts, I am sure there are equity rules to take into consideration?

The rules for Equity have changed a lot in the last few years. It used to be that you couldn't get professional work without an equity card, but you couldn't get and equity card without professional work - it was a nightmare.

These days so long as you are working or have an offer of work you can apply to Equity.

You don't need an Equity memebership to work professionally, but some compnaies, including the BBC, have an agreement with Equity which means that they don't usually, unless in extremely rare circumstances, hire anyone who doesn't have a membership - but see my point above that all you need is an OFFER of professional work to apply.

Becca_H
09-08-2011, 04:56 PM
If you want to go for this, bear in mind that most couriers only deliver to the reception. They don't want to go any further because time is money.

You'd need to engineer a reason as to why he's taking it directly to the person, and how he manages to get through whatever security is there.

Maryn
09-08-2011, 06:05 PM
While it was a guy on the run rather than a courier, this is exactly what happened in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Realistic or not, it's an acceptable plot point.

You could sidestep the equity issue by having the film that's casting be a non-equity indie. (Edit: Oopsie. WriteKnight is correct, Equity is stage.) You could evade the deliver-to-reception aspect by requiring the signature of the recipient himself, not his employee. Or change the courier to a process server or someone else who deals directly with the addressee and not his underlings or agents.

Maryn, who loves Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

WriteKnight
09-08-2011, 06:58 PM
As Maryn says - this is the exact setup for "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" - which is a fun film with a bit of an insider's look at Hollywood.

And people keep mentioning "Equity" which is the union for stage actors - it's SAG (Screen Actors Guild) that is the union for film actors here in America. You don't need a card to get a part - you can GET your card when you're cast. The rules for if/when/ how many actors need to be SAG depends on the Budget among other things.

Drachen Jager
09-08-2011, 09:48 PM
Tim Roth got his first part in a similar manner. He was biking by a theatre when he got a flat. He went inside to ask for a bicycle pump and ended up with a role in the production.

Cyia
09-09-2011, 12:12 AM
I can't vouch for the accuracy of either of these, but AFAIK:

Clint Eastwood got his first role after the casting director saw him leaning in a door frame, waiting to pick up the friend who was actually auditioning. He looked the part that was being cast.

Michael Caine's first role happened because he was the only one who fit the costume.

movieman
09-09-2011, 01:35 AM
I'm not an actor, have never been to an audition or anything like that, so any information on the process involved would be most welcome.

Some years ago a friend was working as a runner for a production company in London; they went to one of the TV stations to deliver a parcel and walked out of said TV station with a part in a soap opera. Admittedly only a few minutes onscreen with one or two lines, but it's not too far from what you were imagining.

Selcaby
09-09-2011, 02:21 AM
And people keep mentioning "Equity" which is the union for stage actors - it's SAG (Screen Actors Guild) that is the union for film actors here in America. You don't need a card to get a part - you can GET your card when you're cast. The rules for if/when/ how many actors need to be SAG depends on the Budget among other things.

There are two unions called Equity. The US one is only for stage actors, but the UK one covers screen acting as well.

shaldna
09-09-2011, 01:07 PM
There are two unions called Equity. The US one is only for stage actors, but the UK one covers screen acting as well.


This. Sorry, I should have mentioned that in my explanation above.

Eriador117
09-09-2011, 02:42 PM
Thanks so much, everyone! I think I'll have him need to have the signature of the person so he can't leave it at reception. Good to know that it has indeed happened to some people :)

Implausible it might be, but not impossible, to paraphrase that detective ;)

Take care,
Annette

Brutal Mustang
09-09-2011, 03:04 PM
Sure it can happen - I've known people to get stopped in teh street and asked if they could act because they had the right 'look' about them for a part.

I was, for a commercial. I was a pretty shy kid, though. Never auditioned.

Becky Black
09-09-2011, 03:52 PM
I genuinely heard just yesterday of someone who wasn't an actor and had just gone along to the audition to give his actor friend a lift ending up with the part. So it's not impossible. I guess if someone has the right looks for the character they're casting then there's nothing to lose by asking them to audition.

Now if I could just recall where I heard the story. Might have been on the radio.

Becky Black
09-09-2011, 03:59 PM
...You could evade the deliver-to-reception aspect by requiring the signature of the recipient himself, not his employee. Or change the courier to a process server or someone else who deals directly with the addressee and not his underlings or agents.

Maryn, who loves Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Or have the people taking the audition come down to reception for some reason. Smoke break? Or maybe the coffee is there. So when courier arrives, receptionist says "Oh there's Mr/Mrs So-and-So over there, you can give it right to them."

Jstwatchin
09-10-2011, 06:09 AM
MC explains that he is just there to deliver a parcel and not to audition for a film. But the director feels he has something and invites him to audition anyway. Could this ever happen in real life? And if it could and the director is impressed, what would the next step be? Another audition? A screen test or a read-through with some other actors?


I've worked in Hollywood for a number of years and yes it does happen. Mostly in commercials, indies and small parts though. You will also have to remember - being invited to audition does NOT mean you'll get the part, not even remotely. I have seen many, many people being invited to audition for one small part. Whether you'll get it NOW depends on if you can also act.

ScottB
09-13-2011, 11:18 PM
It would also depend largely on the part, and type of production. If these are auditions for a critical role involving specific skills or acting abilities, probably not too believable. But if it's for a supporting role where the casting director is mainly just looking for someone with the right "look", then definitely. I've stopped people on the street, at a Mountain Man Rendezvous, or grabbed family and friends that fit the part.

You've seen King Kong, right? 'Course it could happen.