cast Finding Child Actor

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I’m beginning my search for a child actress next week. Aiming for an 11 year old white girl to play an elf in my Christmas action movie.

Somehow I don’t think the normal actors mailing list and Facebook groups will cut it. I need to branch out to parents and different areas.
i suppose I could try contacting a casting director or talent agency.
Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Maybe a cool idea of where I could find one.

I do know a couple girls but I want to have all my options considered. That’s the job right? Consider all the options.
 
Contact a local Talent Agency and tell them about your project. Chances are that they only have kids who are "models" (used for print ads), but you might get lucky and find a kid who has been through acting classes and has actual film experience, OR has training but has not yet landed a film role. The talent agent will often recommend a kid "off the books" so that he/she can get a resume film credit for future work. I have found that theatre groups are also, helpful. (Live theatre). They often have a separate "children's theatre group" to train child actors.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Contact a local Talent Agency and tell them about your project. Chances are that they only have kids who are "models" (used for print ads), but you might get lucky and find a kid who has been through acting classes and has actual film experience, OR has training but has not yet landed a film role. The talent agent will often recommend a kid "off the books" so that he/she can get a resume film credit for future work. I have found that theatre groups are also, helpful. (Live theatre). They often have a separate "children's theatre group" to train child actors.

this is great advice. looks like all the theatres are closed from covid right now unfortunately.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
This process has flown in the face of all my expectations. :bang:
It's rather uncomfortable talking to these parents.


Sasha tried to warn me "is your baby comfortable with bees wasps and hornets" - "oh hes comfortable with everything"
And here I was worried about curse words in the script before this process began. They’re passing the script to their kids without even reading it themselves and not a single person has asked me my qualifications.
 
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P.S. - My wife and I have produced over 50 films, and I wrote most of them. We purposely DO NOT write or cast children in our films
due to all of the potential obstacles and problems. The film making process is hard enough using adult actors. With every child that you
need for a role, that child comes to you with a set of parents, grandparents, agents and lawyers...
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
P.S. - My wife and I have produced over 50 films, and I wrote most of them. We purposely DO NOT write or cast children in our films
due to all of the potential obstacles and problems. The film making process is hard enough using adult actors. With every child that you
need for a role, that child comes to you with a set of parents, grandparents, agents and lawyers...

it’s all problems so what’s the difference?
I wrote one script with a kid and a dog together lol.
ill let you know if this blows up in my face of course

so far it just gets mildly uncomfortable. One mom rejected the script this morning bc it was too violent for an unpaid project. Lol. If I gave her some money to use her daughter then the violence isn’t a problem. Sad.

I would rather find a child that is doing it for the fun. and then buy her a christmas gift or something.
something that you know actually goes to the kid. plus I want a parent that is going to help me decorate and stuff with production design lol

I want a parent that is going to help me not just take money from me. I will accept a worse actress for a more helpful parent.

looks like i have lots of options though and that this script is going to be a reality.
suddenly im feeling the pressure!!! good.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
During the pandemic I would deal only with adults. Adults can make their own decisions. I wouldn't want to put a child at risk (even if all precautions were taken) because a parent said it's okay.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
During the pandemic I would deal only with adults. Adults can make their own decisions. I wouldn't want to put a child at risk (even if all precautions were taken) because a parent said it's okay.

Well you probably wouldnt cover them in bees, wasps and hornets either.
but the show must go on

for real though the ball is already rolling on this one
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
So she's 14 and ambitious lol.
Or 16 and delusional.

I got a 14 year old that applied that’s really talented. Not quite what I pictured but it could still work. Seems slightly too old to be dressing up like an elf with her mom . And then other kids that have a younger look but not as good of actors
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
If it were me, I'd go for the better actor.

There are these stories like City of God where they worked with kids that weren't actors. lots of different movies and stories like that.
And then they just hire an acting coach for the kid for 6 weeks or something.

I have no experience with kids but i've heard those stories. idk if i trust them or if i trust how good of an acting coach i could get.
It certainly sucks when they speak dialogue and it sounds fake! So your point is well made.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
If you have an adult female available to act out the part make a short video of the sides you want acted and how you want them acted. Send the sides with the video and the kid will have fun watching and following the actor. When they show up you can see if they did their homework and how well they took that as direction. They will also feel more prepared and less nervous. Showing the actual audition space may help too so they know the space when they get there.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
If you have an adult female available to act out the part make a short video of the sides you want acted and how you want them acted. Send the sides with the video and the kid will have fun watching and following the actor. When they show up you can see if they did their homework and how well they took that as direction. They will also feel more prepared and less nervous. Showing the actual audition space may help too so they know the space when they get there.

I'll probably go to them. Part of the deal is the parent has to let me film a scene at their house. lol.
so its a location scout too
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
ON THE OTHER HAND!!! The soul of this movie is not a drama.
nobody ever went to an arnold or keanu movie for the incredible acting lol

It's about the imagery of a tiny lil xmas elf with two handguns shooting bad guys.
some of these girls are ridiculously adorable looking models and would make for the puppy parade of action movies

theres definitely a market for something like that.

Either way I get to practice my cinematography and gun play in an all-out action movie which is the point for me personally
such a tough decision. i said i will decide on the 16th.
 
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