Casting Director Job Description

The job description of a casting director involves managing the process of casting actors and actresses for commercials, print advertisements, films, television programs and theatrical productions. Most such directors work on a freelance basis for production companies and studios.

Position Description

In order to accomplish assignments, a casting director must work closely with talent agencies, producers, directors and writers to locate and sign talent for various productions.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Casting Director

  • Reads scripts to determine casting requirements.
  • Meets with directors, writers and producers to find out what type of talent they want.
  • Reads breakdown notices which describe the physical attributes and specific skills needed in actors who are cast to play particular roles.
  • Circulates breakdown notices among talent agencies and independent agents as part of a search for the perfect cast.
  • Reviews the resumes and photographs of actors and actresses who wish to be cast in the production.
  • Schedules the most qualified talent for auditions for roles in the production.
  • Witnesses all rounds of the auditions.
  • Calls and schedules the chosen actors for final auditions.
  • Contacts the actors who win roles to arrange for signing a contract.
  • Endeavors to sign big name start for leading role in a production.
  • Assists with open auditions to fill smaller roles.
  • Influences producers and directors on which actors to hire.
  • Engages the help of casting assistants to fill all of the roles in a major production.
  • Stays within the talent budget on every project.
  • Knows where and how to find the best talent for specific projects.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Must have wide knowledge of actors, theater and film.
  • Knowledge of how to operate a video camera and sound equipment.
  • Must have good computer and technology skills.
  • Must have strong persuasion and negotiation skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills are necessary.
  • Must have excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • The ability to recognize true talent is essential.
  • Must have an exceptionally good memory.
  • Must be highly detail oriented.
  • Excellent leadership skills are required.
  • Knowledge of health and safety laws that apply to actors and actresses on the set.
  • Knowledge of writing contracts.
  • Must be able to work with union employees.

Education and Experience

  • Associate’s degree in Theater Arts.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Film Production.
  • Acting classes.
  • Internship or experience working with an established casting director.
  • Experience as an actor or actress.
  • Certification from the Casting Society of America.

Work Environment

  • Must be able to work in a high pressure environment.
  • Must be willing to travel and work long hours including evenings and weekends.
  • Must be able to establish a friendly and professional relationship with the director and producer of a production.
  • Must be comfortable with constantly having to look for the next project on which to work.

Salary

  • Salaries can range from $75,000 to $150,000 depending on track record and connections.
  • Weekly salaries range from $350 to $500 a week.
  • Production companies may pay as much as $100,000 for casting of one major film.
  • Other production companies might pay as much as $5,000 for each major role cast.

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