Friday, October 22, 2010

Behind the Scenes of Hawaii Five-0 with the Casting Director

By Pam

I often go to Hawai’i Actors Network forum and read what the background actors are saying about their experience working on the Hawaii Five-0 set. Most are grateful for the opportunity, but some have no clue that they should have kept the phone number to call if they got an email to show up for work and some complain that they haven’t been called yet after submitting their information to casting. I have read actual posts from some of these people who spread all kinds of rumors about how casting works, what hoops a background actor has to go through to get an opportunity. They also compare feature film casting to TV casting. 

Today I saw that the casting director for Hawaii Five-0, Rachel Sutton, addressed some of these issues. I found it very interesting and informative. Here’s her explanation from behind-the-scenes.
“ok address T*'s "issue" with my casting techniques i will take a few min. out of my insanely busy day to give my 2 cents!!
First let me start off with a bit of general information...Writers write scripts...we have concept meetings to discuss the script with the Director of that episode, the Writers and the producers...after the meeting i sit with them to discuss who THEY want to see in the roles they wrote..ages, ethnicities,male, female etc. I usually have about 5 roles to cast for the episode. Keep in mind we prep these episodes in 6 or 7 an ideal world (like in Feature Films where you have MONTHS to prep) i would see 50 actors for each role!! But that would mean reading 250 people. Then i'd still have to edit footage, get directors, producers, and writers to pick someone, then get the network/studio to approve them all, mind you in 6 days...Bottom line is, episodic is very fast paced and to compare my techniques with the casting director of a feature film is slightly ignorant...At any rate the main gripe of T*'s, and apparently of many others, is that i don't read actors with out agents...i could give a RATS A** if you have an agent or not... i do have to move quickly and sometimes don't physically have the time (i'm a one woman show, no assistant..again not like a feature where you have a staff to help you) to call/email/set up auditions with independants. BUT if you are right for a part you better believe i will call you!!! REMEMBER i don't create the roles i just cast them...train, be a good actor, and pray the writers write a role YOU ARE RIGHT FOR...then hope for a good audition and then really PRAY that the Network/Studio is in a good mood when they watch your audition..because i've had people that our Producer/Director read in a callback and loved, get denied the part because the Studio/Network didn't like the performance... ALOHA”(sic)


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