Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Pilot Season Casting Challenges
...for all of its importance, the process of casting pilots - for those actors who aren’t among the very small number well known enough to simply be offered a show outright - is, ironically, so strained and grueling that it doesn’t afford actors the opportunity to be cast in the show best suited to them, nor the producers a position of confidence that they have hired the best ensemble available.
...who gets cast can have little to do with acting ability anyway. Rather, because there are so many pilots competing for the same pool of talent, timing and competition issues can frustratingly undermine an actor getting cast in the right role. Studios and networks always demand that any actor going in to test for a show sign a "test deal," which says they can't accept another deal within a five- to ten-day period following their test; such contracts are required so an actor won’t be able to use the after-the-fact leverage of having beaten out the competition in order to negotiate a better deal for themselves. Most networks and studios will not test someone if they are being held by another pilot under one of these deals, therefore these actors are kept off the market even though they might not get the pilot that is tying them up. Meanwhile, their compensation for being held in this way is zero
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