How to Land Big Name Talent in Your Indie Production

It’s all about excellence, pure and simple. Giving the star something to love. Noam Kroll explains:

low-budget-casting1-865x505by Noam Kroll

Most indie film directors and producers that are just starting out will feel that they have no chance of landing well known actors in their project. Many of them incorrectly assume that you need a multi-million dollar budget to hire name talent or that you need an “in” with a major talent agency. While money and connections can certainly help make things easier, they are by no means the only way to attract talent. In fact, many independent films are able tocast incredible actors at reasonable rates.

The fact is that many established actors are willing to work on independent films under the right circumstances andcasting name talent can absolutely be done. Below, we’ll explore this by looking at four things to take into account when casting well known actors in your indie film.

1. Money isn’t everything.

The idea that the only way to land a name actor is to pay their full rate is simply untrue. Money is one of only several factors that actors take into account when accepting or rejecting an offer, and if your production isn’t heavily budgeted then you need to look for alternate ways of making your project look attractive.

Many times, filmmakers working on small budgets don’t even let the idea of working with established talent enter their minds, and in the end they make zero effort to explore their options. The truth of the matter is that many Hollywood actors work on low budget films all the time for next to nothing, simply because they believe in the project and know it will add value to their careers in other ways.

2. Distribution matters.

Having a distribution deal in place before you approach name talent will dramatically improve your chances of booking them. It is very common for filmmakers to do pre-sale agreements with distributors that essentially stipulate the distribution company will front a set amount of budget during development/pre-production so that the film can be funded, and in turn will be distributed by that company.

Often times, independent films will pre-sell their foreign distribution before they even go to camera and save domestic distribution for after the film is complete. Regardless of the specific agreement that you might be able to make with a distributor, having distribution in place before approaching actors is absolutely essential. It will let them know that your project is real and that their work will actually get seen once the film is complete.

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