Casting Unseen…

I’ve been hard at work gathering my cast and crew. Cue screaming and fainting. Hopefully.

The story is more emotionally harrowing, and very different from what one might expect of a horror film these days. In fact, I describe it as an indie-horror, as it deals far more with character development and circumstances than blood-soaked peril. It’s actually amusing to think how few traditional elements of the typical horror yarn are in attendance. There is no nudity (although, it is implied), no blood (save a few small drops), and no body count (per se). But what is there is suggested in an exciting and intriguing way. In other words, if I do my job, you’ll feel far more than what you may be used to feeling. Every piece of dialog and action counts, with grave circumstances looming like a yellow moon.

At the moment, I’ve got my hands full. Back in July I posted a notice on the industry networking site, and took out an ad in Backstage magazine. Before I knew it I had nearly 400 resumes and replies in my inbox. Picking through them was fun, but also extremely challenging. There was no way I was going to be able to see all those interested, so how do I pare down my choices? Obviously, those with the best looks for the various roles found themselves in a special folder. Then I checked all corresponding reels and related media. Once I narrowed it down to those who seemed both capable of what I was looking for and legitimately enthusiastic about the project, I found myself drafting an email to over 80 hopefuls. Since I was dealing with 6 principal characters and a handful of minor roles, I still needed to get the number down to a manageable list. Again, what was most important to me was genuine interest in the material. I wanted actors who believed in the project and saw participating as a way to both further their careers and create something special.

After sending the script to a more select list, and few email updates later, I opened the process to video submissions. This allowed those who didn’t have a reel to compete on the same level. They could read from the script, juggle kittens, make a sandwich, or just say hello. And they only had to show me what they wanted me to see. It gave those who I might not be able to meet with in person a distinct advantage in some ways, and they could submit as many videos as they liked. Enthusiasm and ability: that’s what I’m looking for. So far, I’ve received a couple and am waiting on a few more.

As it stands, I’m still working on a date to travel to NYC for in-person auditions and meetings. The number in contention is much smaller now – down to a few dozen – and I’ll say it’s getting very difficult to decide on some of the roles. Everyone has their strengths, and my mind has been opened to various physical types for the characters. What makes it even more difficult is that I’m dealing with what seem to be some very nice people. If you’re reading this and you’re one of them, damn you.

I’ll also be asking for hand-outs, shortly. You read that right. I’m submitting my proposal to crowd-funding website this week, and there will be some juicy rewards for even the smallest donations if it’s accepted.

We’re making movies, people, and I’m very excited. Next update may include news of my attempts at clips and music licensing, and after that, photos and descriptions of shooting locations. I think I’ve found some great places to scare and move the faithful, and perhaps by then, a few more talented people to help me.

– Scott

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