We have a lot of experience casting models for photoshoots; but for those, we generally find a model, then think of a theme that will work with them. But when casting actors, it’s the opposite; we had a specific idea in mind, and had to find the right actor to fill that part.
It starts with a casting call, which basically a job ad. We were pretty vague; only sharing the genre and the age range we were looking for (since we’re going for a classic ’80s horror style, that meant a woman in their low 20s). We also listed a rough estimate of how long the shoot would take and how much we were paying (yes, this is a production with a budget :P).
The casting call was posted to two sites. The first was the site we usually use to cast models, and the other was a Facebook group for independent film casting calls. We got about four responses from the modelling site; and 20 or so from the Facebook group. Of those, we contacted eight people that we thought would work (based on their headshot and resume); and of those eight, we managed to meet with four.
We held the auditions in a park on a weekend. We weren’t really sure what to do for an audition, so we ended up googling it between meetings (In the end, I don’t think we were too far off from the norm). Each actor was given a short scenario to act out (some asked ahead of time, so got it on the day), and we filmed the results.
The biggest surprise of the day, the thing we weren’t expecting, was that all of them were really good. Each actor had a different take on the material, but they were all uniquely impressive. After reviewing the auditions, we chose the one that that most closely matched our own take on the script.