My photography studio is based just south of Boston MA.
Just like many cities, Boston is a movie-making town. Major motion pictures and television shows are in production virtually all the time here. And that means that there is a constant need for extras. Those regular looking people who sit at the next table, walk down the street, hand the star of the movie or TV show a cup of coffee … stuff like that.
And if you’re really .. really … really lucky you’ll get to say a few words on-camera … like “here’s your coffee”
Many times these people are not trained actors or models, so they have day jobs and they take the day off and do the extra work for fun or some extra income.
So how do you do to prepare for that all-important “casting call” where you’ll most likely have 15 to 30 seconds with the casting directors to show them that you are the exact type of person that they have been looking for?
And more importantly, how does one prepare for the dreaded question “do you have anything else?” ( don’t worry, I’ll explain in this article)
Well, first of all, you must have a headshot 8×10 print in hand when you go to the casting call. And make sure that your contact information (name, cell phone number, and email) is neatly handwritten on the back of the print. And it doesn’t hurt to put your height and special talents (I can play hockey, play the trumpet, I was in the Navy, I played semi-pro baseball, I’m a professional firefighter) handwritten on the back as well. Just state a few facts. I swear, this stuff could help get you the gig.
But, there is a myth that the quality of your headshot that you bring to these casting calls doesn’t matter and that any picture that your Mom took of you is fine.
Actually, a snapshot is just fine if you only want to be considered for “part of the crowd”.
Keep in mind, casting directors may see hundreds of people in one day. They are literally making yes and no decisions about you in a second. So the first impression that you make is crucial and the quality of your headshots does help you stand apart from others. Or at the very least, allow you to have a headshot that competes in quality with others (who have professional headshots).
And now about that “do you have anything else” question that I mentioned.
Good news, you’ve made a great first impression, they love your attitude, your look, and your headshot. You’ve been talking to them for a whole two minutes! But the extra that they are looking for is a “tough kid from the wrong side of the tracks” and your headshot has a big cheesy grin. They ask if you brought any other headshots … “more headshots?” you say … with a bewildered look
“No problem,” they say, So they tell you to stand up against the wall and look mean and they’ll take a picture of you with their phone. But NO! you planned for this!
You whip out another headshot with that “kid from the wrong side of the tracks” look and proudly hand it over. They smile and say “that’s perfect!!”
So, we always counsel our theatrical and modeling headshot clients to show a few sides of their personality so that they come prepared.
Every actor or model got their start from that first casting call when they were still completely unknown. But if they were really … really … really lucky, after they left the casting call, their headshot was put on the “maybe pile” and not thrown in the trash can.
This is John, he had just left the Navy and needed some headshots for that first casting call.
Dan Busler Photography is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance, and Event photography studio located in East Walpole MA.
firstname.lastname@example.org 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com