We love it when we find articles by Bri Castellini that we didn’t know existed. Like this great one on how to gather a great crew for your latest indie effort:
by Bri Castellini
Not being able to pay your cast and crew is an issue shared by many web series creators, and here at Stareable we’ve written about that extensively. We’ve covered what you can offer instead of payment, how to fundraise so you could pay, and even how to make your second season/second project better than the first so it still seems worth pouring passion into for people other than you.
Today, however, I want to start at the source- the script. Many first time writers, especially ones burdened with producer brain and all too aware of their own lack of resources, will think only of story, character, and filming feasibility. Seems like enough, right? Not in the case of low budget projects, because you aren’t just pitching your (likely unpaid) crew on the story- you’re also pitching them on their involvement in it.
Emotional range. Even if your project is primarily a comedy, try to give an actor or character a few beats of genuine drama if you can- this will give the actor more options for their reel, or the ability to use one project for both a comedy and drama reel.
A variety of line lengths. A character who only has short, one-sentence lines won’t have a ton of options for their aforementioned reel, so having a few longer lines to showcase their performance or even monologues within episodes will go a long way. Don’t force a monologue into a show that doesn’t need monologues, but consider how you can give individual performers more opportunities to shine.
Character stakes. No one is going to want to join an unpaid project just to play an unnamed “wife.” If a supporting cast member needs to be on set for more than a day, give their character stakes in the story and plot so they feel like more than just a prop. This is just as much a story note as it is an actor one- if you find yourself with a character with more than two lines who isn’t impacting the story, ask yourself why that character is even there….
Read it all at Stareable
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Director at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on Stareable’s Blog.