It seems ridiculous to claim that the future of casting is online. We already know that, surely. The future of everything is online.
However casting teams will admit to themselves that our use of the internet is very unsophisticated. There is still a pervasive view that casting teams need to be on the phones or even on the streets to maximise their casting potential. But increasingly this is just not the case and is as out of date as the fax machine.
But casting is very slow to evolve and often casting teams are just behind the times. And here’s the point, using the internet effectively could half the cost of casting your series.
Casting House has developed a specific technique that can revolutionise the casting process and the casting cost. For 5 years we’ve been quietly developing and tweaking it, but it is no longer good business sense to keep it a secret…so shortly I’m going to explain the most effective way of using the internet to cast a show…and I promise you aren’t doing it already.
However first I’d like to share some simple tips that have helped us to tap into the internet and make sure it’s an effective tool for casting shows. If your cast team isn’t doing the following, you are already out of date!
Get a website. If you are a small production company, or new to casting a factual series you must build a webpage that has your casting call details on it. Keep it simple, make it easy to build. There is no need for it to tie into the company website. However using a jpeg of a flier isn’t effecting when using social media. It won’t adapt well enough to a variety of devices and more importantly you can’t track what's happening to it.
Track your social media casting. Go to bit.ly and create a short link of your casting website. Not because it saves twitter characters, but because then you track how many times your webpage is opened and read. Once you have data about how many times your website is being read, you can manage a team. Create different bit.ly links for each team member and instantly you can see who is working hard and who is being effective. Have you worried about your team using social media because you can’t quantify how effective their time spent on it is. Here’s you answer….and friendly competition is important in keeping a casting team going over 6-12 weeks! A good researcher will get 500 clicks per day, and excellent one 1000.
Don’t dip in and out. Social media isn’t something that you do for half an hour and give up on. Social media builds through persistence. Make sure that if you are doing social media that you are committed to posting and Tweeting for at least a week, but preferably for the length of the production. You’ll see that your bit.ly data will build over time. Indeed, we normally find that the daily click rate builds between Monday and Friday and then resets over the weekend to start again.
Television production is evolving with the digital age, but one area that is being left behind is the Casting of Factual and factual entertainment programmes. I started my career in 1999 just as the internet emerged and for the first 10 years it had almost no impact on the way we cast shows at all.
Now we all use social media and internet casting agencies (if desperate) like StarNow. But we are still using these tools in a very naïve and unsophisticated way.
Casting house has been running for over 5 years and we have invested time and money in working out the best ways to tap into the internet to cast shows. Over the past 5 years one tool has been more effected than all others and on its own it can revolutionise the way we cast shows and the cost of casting them.
For five years we’ve been refining this technique and keeping it to ourselves, however now I’d like to share our secret.
In many ways the internet is our collective consciousness. Society is consistently pouring in its needs, desires, worries and questions. As people are typing in their search engine keywords they are flagging up their inner most thoughts. We can, of course, use this information to contact people who we need for the shows we are making.
In this blog I am going to spell out how we use the internet as our most powerful tool, so please keep following.