Facebook Live: The Secrets Behind Casting Blockbuster Movies

Do you wonder about the secrets behind the casting of blockbuster movies? Perhaps you consider how actors are selected, if education really matters or how much of a say casting directors really have when roles are determined.

We decided to lift the lid on the casting process and what goes on behind the scenes of huge film  productions in our Facebook Live event! On 28th May 2020 we were joined by two renowned casting directors: Manuel Puro and Jeremy Zimmermann. They have cast incredible films over the years and they provided insight into their casting process, as well as discussing how COVID-19 has affected their work and how they believe the industry will adapt and move forward, not to mention offering inspiring tips and advice for actors. You can check just some of Manuel and Jeremy's career highlights, as well as our full conversation with them below.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the creative industry and on actors. Jeremy and Manuel highlighted that while much of the industry is shut down, some projects are still moving forward. They brought attention to how the industry may begin to find its feet again once restrictions are lifted and how this may look for professionals and the film and TV landscape in general.

Our Business Development Executive in Toronto, Daryl Ledwon, posed many questions to them both and some were submitted from our community. Many were curious as to how much creative scope an actor can have when tackling a script. Jeremy emphasised how although actors must be sensitive to a script and brief, it is still important for them to offer their creative input during an audition.

"I want the character that we’re looking for to walk into the room. Most actors will play it safe. What is most interesting is when an actor brings more to the character than what we saw in the script or imagined that this character had."

What goes on behind the scenes of a large film or TV production may still be ominous for a lot of actors, and Manuel helped shed some light on this. Like many industries, collaboration is key and the ways in which departments work seamlessly together was cited as a huge reason as to why productions are successful.

"I like to throw everything up in the air to see what happens when changing elements. I find directors love when you push them a bit and show them actors they didn’t expect."

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who tuned in to our Facebook Live and those who submitted questions! A huge thanks is also in order to Manuel and Jeremy. They offered an incredible insight into their casting process, as well as some of the behind the scenes workings of major productions.

A renowned casting director, Manuel has worked in the industry for over 20 years and has cast incredible features, such as Hellboy, Moon, The Machine, Thick As Thieves and Heartless and much more. His casting company offers international services, working across feature films, television, computer games, music videos, commercials and shorts.

Jeremy has worked in the industry for over 20 years with notable directors, such as Peter Yates, Ron Howard, Guillermo del Toro and Richard Attenborough. He was nominated for an Emmy in 1995 for an ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement Award’ and to date has worked on the features Moon, Hellboy, Willow, Keeping Mum, Africa United and Night Train to Lisbon and more.