Finding the right fit (see what I did there?) in talent is imperative to the success of your photo shoot or TVC, and casting is an important step in making sure you select the right person for the role.


What is a casting? 

A casting is a visual interview. You can either have an open or a closed/request casting. An open casting is when you tell modelling/talent/acting agencies (or have a job posting with casting details) to send any of their available talent to the casting. This can be a longer process and you’re likely to be seeing a lot of people that don’t fit the brief exactly. A closed or request casting is one where you are selecting the short listed talent, and narrowing it down to a smaller list (usually the top 3-4 candidates per role) and casting them to ensure they look like their digis (unedited digital photos of their features) in real life and then selecting the successful candidate.  

So, to ensure you interview the right talent, you want to make sure you have the right casting brief. 



What should you include in a casting brief? 

Make sure you have these details:

  • Age,
  • Gender,
  • Ethnicity, 
  • What the role would involve:
    • Specific skills, 
    • Specific accents,
  • Height, 
  • Dress Size, 
  • Specific requirements (body hair, tattoos etc.) and
  • Characterisation of the role for the talent i.e. “a young 20-year-old technology loving funky woman who looks like she lives in Newtown”.

Also when it comes to the talent, ensure you are across these aspects as well: 

  • Certain legal mandatories like for alcohol brands, all talent booked must be over 25 years old,
  • Whether they have worked with any competing brands, and 
  • Whether they have any advertisements (TVCs etc) on air at the moment.



How to have a casting? 

You have the perfect casting brief; now how should you hold a casting? It can be face to face or it can be self casting tape or it can be via zoom. 

Which option you choose really depends on your needs (time sensitivity/assessment of skills etc).

For face to face castings here are some tips:

  • You can ask the talent to try on the clothing they will likely be wearing for the shoot i.e. if it’s an e-commerce job, get them to try on the sample sizes.
  • You can film them enacting the scene they will be acting in the final TVC by providing them with a script beforehand. 
  • You can see how the talent moves in front of the camera by taking their photos or through taking videos.
  • Ensure the talent is available for the shoot dates, fits within the budget and has not worked with any competitor brands (if applicable). 
  • A face to face casting is a great option to check the model’s skin, nails, hair and teeth if needed e.g. for close up beauty shots.



For self casting tapes:

  • Detail exactly what you would like the talent to do within the self casting tape. If possible, send an example video clearly showcasing exactly what you need the talent to do.
  • A self test casting usually it follows the structure of:
  1. An introduction (name, age, measurements, what role they are casting for, whether they are available for the shoot and whether they have shot for any competitors or have any ads on air at the moment).
  2. Acting out the scene/skills that are required for the shoot.
  3. Various angles of them (side, front, back and walking towards camera).
  4. Again, any close ups required like close ups of their hands, or a tight shot of the talent smiling

Technology notes that you can pass onto the talent for self casting tapes: 

  • Camera setup: landscape is always preferred. Shoot horizontally. 
  • Sound: reduce background noise and don’t shoot where your voice would echo.
  • Lighting: ensure you have bright lighting and that you can be seen clearly in the self casting tape. Minimise shadows.
  • Clothing and background: use neutral, uncluttered backdrops and wear solid coloured clothing (white/black) that does not hide how you look.
  • Recording: place yourself in the center of the frame and look at the camera while filming.  



You can send casting videos up to 5MB directly in the inbuilt chat on, or if the file is larger than this, the talent can upload to vimeo or youtube and share the link with you directly in the chat.


Now that you’re set up for success, we cant wait to see who you cast for your next project!