How to Hold a Successful Casting

hold a successful casting|andrew-maciver-talent-reel

Looking to partner with professional talent for your next job? Read on for our step-by-step guide to holding casting auditions for your upcoming TVC or photoshoot.

Finding the right talent is crucial for the success of your TVC or photoshoot. To pick the right person for the job, you’ll need to hold a casting. Your casting is the pre-production process of choosing the right talent and can be done in-person, online, or having talent record a ‘self tape’ video that’s sent to you for review.

To help you find the right talent to tell your story, let’s break down the individual components of a successful casting

What is a casting?

A casting is a visual interview part of the pre-production process and your chance to assess talent. The purpose of a casting is to assess whether talent can meet the requirements of your job.

For example:

  • Do they look like their ‘digis’ (unedited digital photos) in real life?
  • Can they perform your required acting or presenting skills?
  • Are they a suitable match to model your garments?

Casting the right Actor or Model for your shoot is crucial to a successful project. You’ll also save time and find the right talent faster when you’re able to assess their suitability from the start.

Need help finding talent? Click here for tips on casting the perfect Model or Actor

How many people should you move through to the casting phase?

After posting a job on, you’ll start receiving applications almost immediately. We recommend shortlisting your favourite talent (usually the top 3-4 candidates per role), before moving through to the ‘casting’ phase of the process. tip: Castings are generally required for higher paid campaigns. If you’re looking to get a small campaign off the ground, consider whether your time is better spent browsing a talent’s profile to find the right fit for you.

What to include in a casting brief

To ensure your casting is a success, you want to make sure you have the right casting brief. Think of your casting brief as a job description outlining who is suitable for the role.

While each casting brief will differ, you’ll want to include the following key information to help talent assess whether they meet your requirements:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Dress size
  • Specific requirements (e.g. body hair, tattoos, etc.)
  • What the role would involve (e.g. specific skills or accents)

We also recommend including a characterisation or summary of the role to help talent quickly assess whether they fit the bill. For example, “a young, 20-year-old, technology-loving, funky woman who looks like she lives in Newtown”.

Use your casting to check for commercial conflicts

The casting process helps you check sizing, audition a script, and get a sense of the talent’s personality - but don’t forget to use your casting to cover the most important legal considerations too

These administrative checks might include:

  • Legal mandatories (e.g. all talent booked for alcohol brands must be over 25)
  • Whether talent has worked with any competing brands
  • Whether talent has any advertisements (e.g. TVCs) currently airing

When you use the casting process to learn about a talent’s skills and commercial availability, you’ll be finding a creative partner who can make your next project stand out.

Wondering what to pay for talent? Click here to learn how to determine rates for Models and Actors

3 different ways to hold a casting

You’ve got the perfect casting brief; but now comes the challenge of holding a casting. This process can be done using one of three methods:

  • Face-to-face
  • Self casting tape
  • Via Zoom

All of these casting options can be organised directly through’s secure, in-built chat feature. The option you choose will depend on your needs. For example, a time-sensitive job may suit self-casting tapes, while a detailed assessment of skills may require face-to-face casting.

Let’s break down each casting option and what makes them beneficial for your next project.

#1 - Face-to-face casting

Face-to-face castings provide a chance to get to know your talent, assess their looks and skills in person, and test any required chemistry. While this casting method takes the most time, it’s also the most in-depth.

Face-to-face casting tips:

  • Ask talent to try on clothing they’ll be wearing for the shoot. For example, if you’re casting for an eCommerce job, ask your talent to try on sample sizes.
  • Ask talent to film themselves rehearsing the scene they will be acting in the final TVC by providing them with a script beforehand.
  • Ask talent to take photos or videos to see how they’ll move in front of the camera for your upcoming job.
  • Ask talent if they’ll be available for the shoot dates, available within your budget, or whether they’ve worked with any competing brands.

A face-to-face casting is also a great option to check talent’s skin, nails, hair, and teeth if needed (e.g. for close-up beauty shots).

#2 - Self casting tape

A self-tape is an audition that an Actor or Model films remotely and submits for your consideration. Self-casting tapes allow you to outline exactly what you’d like talent to do, with the speed and convenience of receiving videos for your review. Where possible, send a written brief or example video that clearly showcases what you expect of talent.

Example self-casting tape format:

  • Talent introduction (e.g. name, age, measurements, what role they’re casting for, whether they’re available for the shoot, whether they’ve shot for any competitors or have any ads currently airing)
  • Acting out the scene/skills required for the shoot
  • Various angles of the talent (e.g. side, front, back, and walking towards camera)
  • Close-ups of the talent’s hands or a tight shot of the talent smiling (for applicable jobs)

You can send casting videos up to 5MB using’s secure, built-in chat feature. Or, if the file is larger than 5MB, you can ask talent to upload their casting tape to Vimeo or YouTube and share the link with you.

#3 - Zoom casting

Virtual castings, typically via Zoom, have been the casting option of choice during COVID-19. This streamlined casting process offers the interpersonal advantages of face-to-face casting with the speed and convenience of a self-tape (win-win).

You can organise a Zoom meeting and send the meeting ID and Zoom link to your preferred talent using’s secure, built-in chat feature. Your select talent joins the Zoom meeting and the casting is conducted virtually.

Whether you opt for face-to-face casting, self-casting tapes, or a Zoom casting will depend on the needs of your project - with each casting process offering a valuable insight into your talent options.

The only thing that’s left to do is choose the perfect talent!

Congratulations! You’ve got all the info you need to hold a professional, engaging casting that attracts the right talent.

Click here to post a job now

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