Imagine this. The biggest streaming service on the planet just announced a casting call for their award winning documentary series. 10 episodes focusing on the unsung heroes of Austin, Texas. This is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for for years. This is the opportunity when we show what we’re made of. Our team focuses all of their resources on this project to do whatever it takes to get the right talent cast. It spreads like wildfire. Soon, we start receiving talent submissions, thousands of them. We need a plan.
We start off by going through every single episode that was aired – almost a hundred by this point, to truly get a feel for the type of talent and direction the showrunners go for. We create a list of the best episodes and note what made them work. It gets clearer. The show is seeking true authenticity, true grit in the stories they focus on. Something clicks – we need to interview potential talent and see if their live stories match the feeling that the show is going for.
A separate landing page is created just for this casting call, calling all talent to submit their stories for review. We film several videos inviting talent to apply and then blast them on every major social media platform to get attention. Soon, all of Texas begins to send us potential candidates.
We begin to audition potential matches – and every single one leaves us in tears. Grief, hardship, strength and character color every single story. Every 13 minute audition is a small look into the lives of true heroes that have contributed to their community, often against all odds. But the pool of candidates remains small, largely due to the location constraints. We need more people. We get an idea to contact local charities in Austin to see if they can nominate some of the heroes they know, and they do. So many reach out with nominees – the unsung heroes that are the backbone of every community.
Everyone’s staying overnight at the office, sorting through hundreds of applications and shortlisting those that we find compelling. Coffee is being consumed in large quantities, and pizza keeps on coming. The level of excitement is peaking with every great story that we find. We’re almost there. We almost have enough candidates to compile and send over. We need to help these people tell their incredible stories, and the casting directors searching for them.
Great casting is never about the number of applicants, it’s about finding that perfect match. Just like a needle in a haystack. It’s about seeing someone for who they truly are, about connecting to someone. It’s a painstaking process that needs a personal approach, a team of dedicated people willing to go above and beyond traditional means, a passion that outstrips simply “work”. I’m proud to be part of a team that understands what great casting is. That stays overnight to find the best talent available. That goes an extra mile because it’s the right thing to do for the right talent. This is what real casting is. This is KidsCasting.