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Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)

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Ralph Chaney
Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)
on Oct 3, 2017 at 6:51:20 pm

Greetings,

Not about lighting but I know the people on this thread and appreciate their broad experience.

I've got an out-of-town shoot in Salt Lake City. Part of it will include a Host-type person doing an introduction, then some voice-over work. Need someone solid who can hit lines and easily make variations to delivery if needed.

In San Diego, I often go to local TV news talent for this sort of thing. They do this all the time and know how to deliver.

How do you suggest I find someone like this? Any leads? THANK YOU!!!

-> Ralph


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Todd Terry
Re: Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)
on Oct 3, 2017 at 8:06:20 pm

I'd cast that the same way we always do, which is to post a casting call and get submissions in from talent agents through Breakdown Express and directly from talent through Actors Access (breakdownservices.com).

It's easy and free (at least it's free on the producer's side of things), and the only way I know to really get lots of people in to check out.

Although I've used them in the past (and am a former one myself), I tend to steer clear of news people most of the time, especially if any acting ability is required (which you usually need, even in an on-camera spokesperson role). Unless you really work with them, 99% of them are too "anchormannish" for my taste... although now and then you'll find someone versatile enough to do the job.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Ralph Chaney
Re: Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)
on Oct 3, 2017 at 9:43:44 pm

Todd,

I hear you on the Newscaster voice... Oi! Even when I say something like, "pretend you are a little boy talking to your mom", it still comes out, "GOOD EVENINIG MOTHER. I'M CHUCK NUGENT, YOUR SON..."

Thanks for the link. I worked through the site and posted a call.

-> Ralph


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Todd Terry
Re: Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)
on Oct 3, 2017 at 11:01:38 pm

[Ralph Chaney] "Thanks for the link. I worked through the site and posted a call."

Good deal.

Couple of tips about that....

Depending on how much of a day rate you are offering, you may get a few submissions, or you may get TONS. It can be a little bit overwhelming. We generally get somewhere between 300 and 1500 submissions for each role that we post.

Since that is a dauntingly high number, time to start filtering (it's the control panel on the left side of your project window). The first thing I do is eliminate any submissions that don't have any reels attached. You can't tell much from a headshot, I have to see a performance.... so if the submission doesn't have a reel, out it goes. That usually eliminates half right off the bat, sometimes a lot more. Next I do a geographic filter, and limit my search to anyone within 200 miles of me. I'm in Huntsville Alabama, so that lets me keep all submissions from places like Birmingham, Nashville, and Atlanta (and by far most of the actors we hire are from Atlanta), but it eliminates all the submissions we get from Tampa, New Orleans, etc. I don't mind hiring people from farther away (and we've hired from MUCH farther than that), but I'd rather not get too far from home because it just becomes logistically more difficult.

The higher the dayrate, the more/better people you will get obviously. For very minor jobs, we've actually posted extremely low rates on occasion... maybe $200-300. You won't get any or many talent agencies submit for those, but you'll get some individual submissions though Actors Access. For higher rates, you'll get tons of AA submissions as well as tons of agencies. I don't know what your project is or it's usage, but for broadcast commercials (either single market or, say, statewide), I've found I get a sufficient number of great people if our dayrate is in the $750-$1000 neighborhood. I don't think I've ever gone over $1500, and even that much is rare.

And... I should have mentioned this before I you posted your breakdown, but I also say that while we are willing to consider hiring talent from anywhere, all roles are "as-local" hires.... meaning the rate we pay is the rate we pay, and there are no additional allowances for travel or accommodations. If your dayrate is high enough, that will not deter actors from submitting... there are lots of people who want to work. I also say that our dayrates are inclusive of agents' commissions and any other fees. So I know right out of the gate the total amount that I will be paying.

When your submissions come in (and they usually start RIGHT away), if an actor is represented you'll be able to see their agent's contact info. You can contact the agent directly to hire someone, or schedule an audition. BUT, if an actor submits directly through Actors Access, there usually IS no contact info (unless someone happens to put an email address or phone number in their notes, which is not usual). The only way to contact these people is through the Cmail system, which should be easy but be VERY careful about that. Basically, Breakdown Services wants you to use Cmail ONLY to tell an actor "You've got the job," and they HATE its use for anything else, ESPECIALLY asking an actor to contact you. I used to do that all the time, telling an actor to send me a message to my real email address, and I took it from there to arrange auditions, etc. Breakdown Services HATES that and really yelled at me about it, claiming I violated their TOS and threatening to suspend my account. If you want to consider an Actors Access actor, you MUST go through the Breakdown Services scheduling system, which is a GIANT pain in the rear... but it's the only way they will allow.

Hope it works for you, good luck!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Ralph Chaney
Re: Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)
on Oct 4, 2017 at 6:25:01 am

Wow, Todd. Thank you for the inside track on this. It can take a good while to get to know this first hand so thank you for the advance notice. Breakdown is still working with me on the details of my submission (what's "proper"/allowed for things like ethnicity and union things...) and I hope to get it posted tomorrow.

Ours is a limited need for talent in this shoot. A handful of standups for an industrial for the feds in a government office. This one part of a three-day shoot shouldn't go more than 2 hours, maybe three (that'd be scary) with someone who can remember lines and can take direction. $300. Willing to go up if need be. Salt Lake should have enough local talent...? They have a robust theater scene too, I think.

We shall see .

-> Ralph


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Todd Terry
Re: Off Topic, but... (Looking for Talent in Salt Lake City: Need leads, suggestions...)
on Oct 4, 2017 at 2:25:09 pm

[Ralph Chaney] "...still working with me on the details of my submission (what's "proper"/allowed for things like ethnicity and union things...)"

Well when hiring actors, unlike almost every other kind of employment, it's perfectly politically correct to specify things that you could never mention in any other kind of job posting.... age, gender, ethnicity, type, heck even weight... all of that is not only permissible but is expected. The breakdown submission form will have check boxes for the main traits (gender, age, ethnicity) but in your role description you can put absolutely anything else as well.

As for the union situation, unless you want to go through the ginormous red-tape hassle of doing a union shoot, I always specify that this is a non-union shoot. The thing is, if you do that you'll still get plenty of union actors submitting, they are simply willing to work on a non-union set. Of course AFTRA/SAG does not like that, but they have no authority over who you hire...zero. If a union actor wants to work on a non-union project, they can and it does not affect you in the slightest. We hire union actors all the time for non-union jobs... most of the time we don't even know about it (unless an actor tells us) because it is not pertinent info to us.

You'll probably get some direct Actors Access submissions with a $300 dayrate. I think it's unlikely you'll get any/many submissions from talent agencies though... just like when we filter submissions, agencies filter breakdowns, too, and don't fool with any that are lower-dollar than is worth their time. There's no official cutoff, but I've found when dayrates hit in the $500-700 range then that's when you start getting agencies to submit.

Good luck!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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