Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talking Headshots

I had one talent agent tell me that a big need for local actors is better demo clips (but keep them very short). Another talent agent told me it's not needed. But actors are telling me they do. And then there's my own personal experience.

As a director, do I look at an actor's demo? Absolutely. Without a doubt. It's so much better than a headshot. Usually a casting director will tell me to take a look at so and so and send me the link to their demo. It's important, my actor friends.

So what are the key ingredients to the actor demo? As a director, I'm used to the actual picture quality of not being good. I mean some actors had to copy a scene off of a consumer VHS. Does it count to have a small part next to a known actor? Yup.

What about length? Keep it short. One minute is good. Five minutes, and you can count on some directors (including me) having turned it off. I think casting director's have an even shorter attention span than directors. They have to look at a bunch of these.

I'm going to do a workshop next month where I take a few actors and I'll get my DP and we'll light and set it up, shoot with HD camera, with good lenses to offer rich depth of field. I'll direct the scene and then let the actors watch the editing in the afternoon.

I'm only taking a total of 8 actors for this workship (although I will let some audit the course). For more info, click here.


  1. Lauren Ashley CarterNovember 17, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    great video! haven't had time to read the site lately, but i'm back at it:D

  2. Hey, gonna be in NYC second week of Dec. Maybe we can get the gang together.