How far is it worth driving for auditions, when...?

When it comes to auditioning for short films, how far is it worth driving to audition for them? Sometimes I have to drive 3 to six hours for some, and I could further but I am wondering sometimes if I am just wasting my time and money since they are short films only. There are some where the producer says they are going to make a feature out of it and the shorts are just to get funding, which is pretty cool.

But are those even worth it, under a lot of circumstances? What do you think, or how do you weigh the time and money it comes to taking off, in order to do that? But on the other hand, you only live once and don't want to miss a big break potentially. What do you think?
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
For a no budget short film, I would not drive that far unless I was seriously impressed by a prior short of the director or they had a named actor involved ..

Otherwise request to audition via Skype
 
Okay thanks. I considered Skype but some have told me they do not do skype, or online recorded auditions. Asking for previous movies from the director is a good idea, but so far in these experiences (which is only a few so far), I have been in contact with the producers and not the directors. I could ask the producers to show the directors work though, if they would not mind.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Okay thanks. I considered Skype but some have told me they do not do skype, or online recorded auditions. Asking for previous movies from the director is a good idea, but so far in these experiences (which is only a few so far), I have been in contact with the producers and not the directors. I could ask the producers to show the directors work though, if they would not mind.

And if they say no then you move on.
 
While not related to auditioning, I've had an actress who was playing bit part in an unpaid web series happily fly from LA (she was having a few meetings in LA) to Brisbane Australia. It's a fairly long flight. While I thought it was crazy, she turned up. She explained that air hostesses get crazy cheap airline flights.

The question you're asking is primarily a personal opinion question. What's the production worth to you? If it's worth the time investment for the chance to be a part of it, do it. If not... guess what the answer is.

What's worth it to you may not be worth it for me and vice versa.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
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There is nothing wrong with having somebody record an audition from the sides and send it to you.

I act quite regularly and I do this for commercials, industrials, indie features and shorts quite a bit. And when I audition at casting agencies for bigger budget stuff, guess what? 75% of the time, on the first or second round, the actual producers or directors aren't there. The casting agent records my audition and sends it to them.

Our last feature we had lots of people submit a video audition.

Here is how you work to save their time and your time.

Put a casting call out and be as specific as you can about the roles. Also, make sure to make your project sound interesting. Try to be as specific as you can about the shoot dates. You don't want to waste your time or the actor's time if they were never going to be able to do the shoot in the first place.

If you are open to all ethnicities, please specifically state that in notice. If the role is ethnic, but several ethnicities could play it, be specific about that.

Ask for a headshot, (or a photo), and resume along with a link to their reel if they have it.

Sort through the submissions and headshots and find the actors that are interesting to you. Then, if they have a reel or samples of their work, you can look at it and judge as to whether or not they are going to be right for your needs. (Some actors may be new and won't have samples of their work, but they may seem to look right for the part, don't worry, just have them submit.)

Once you have the actors who seem like a good fit, send them the sides and ask them to submit a video of them doing the sides.

From those submissions, whittle it down to the few that you think are in contention. Then, set up in-person auditions. Because of timing and distance, some actors may not be able to make the in-person audition and you will have to skype or facetime.


All of this just to tell you that I know a lot of actors, of all levels and I know of very few who would drive three hours to an open or first round audition, that was offering very little or no pay.

Now, I do know, myself included, many actors who would drive three hours TO BE IN an interesting film or short with a good role that was little or no pay, as long as it wasn't taking up days upon days of shooting.
 
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Okay thanks. Well this next audition says they will accept taped ones. However, are you normally suppose to do these auditions in one take, or could I edit so it intercut's with another actor, telling me her lines, in order to get creative with the best takes?
 
Okay thanks. They said they don't do Skype though. Do you think negotiation costs is a good idea, I don't want to get on their bad side, or make thing think I am unflexible to work with. Plus I have never been to the city before, so the chances of getting lost are fair, even if you plan to arrive early.
 
If you really want to do it, and are able to make the drive, then do it.

You did the right thing and asked if they would accept a video submission or a Skype audition and they said, no.

There is your answer. As others said on this thread, only you can answer whether or not it is worth it to you.

I wouldn't try to negotiate for gas money for an audition. You are correct when you think doing that will raise red flags to them.
 
Okay thanks. Well this next audition says they will accept taped ones. However, are you normally suppose to do these auditions in one take, or could I edit so it intercut's with another actor, telling me her lines, in order to get creative with the best takes?

Just don't do 5 second tests :P

...................Plus I have never been to the city before, so the chances of getting lost are fair, even if you plan to arrive early.

Use a navigator app or a TomTom, whatever. No need to get lost in 2015.
 
Some serious actors will record an audition from their own place and mail or upload an audition to a production. The less serious actors will never show up or try to make their own schedule other than the production's.

You should have a camera from your own productions that you can record an audition and send to a production company. You can either mail them the audition or upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and give them a link to play it back.
 
Did you ever see Laura Vandervoot's interview on how she landed the role as Kara Kent a.k.a. Supergirl on Smallville?

She recorded her audition and mailed it to the production company since she lives in Toronto and the auditions were held in Vancouver BC. Her recorded audition was accepted and she won the role.
 
Okay thanks. I am going to start doing that for productions that will allow it. However, does it look bad if I edit the the auditions to create the best performance between a few takes, as long as I cut back and forth between me and someone else, portraying the other character in the script, that my character would be speaking to?
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Okay thanks. I am going to start doing that for productions that will allow it. However, does it look bad if I edit the the auditions to create the best performance between a few takes, as long as I cut back and forth between me and someone else, portraying the other character in the script, that my character would be speaking to?

yes
 
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