How the Agency submit you for castings and the process
A job will always begin with the casting director contacting the agent by sending out a ‘brief’. The brief will give information about the project, when and where it is filming and the characters that they are looking to cast. There will be a breakdown of each role with age, physical description eg hair colour, eye colour, height and personality traits. The breakdown will also give a brief idea of how the character features in the story and how big the part is. Briefs come in all shapes and sizes, usually via e-mail or over the phone. We deal with many hundreds of projects over a year making around 10,000 suggestions annually.
Once we have studied the brief we compare the actors on our books and match them to the roles. We always make careful suggestions to the casting director and only suggest clients if we feel they are right for the part. Suggestions will be submitted either via the Spotlight website, e-mail or by post.
Once the casting director has looked through all the responses to their brief, they decide who to call in for a casting. They will contact us with date (often the next day!), venue (usually London) and times for our actors they want to see. We then contact our clients to give them all the details. Thereafter will follow a series of castings, recalls and sometimes screen-tests before an actor is finally booked for the job.
Depending on the project, filming can be anything from a one-day shoot to an overall shoot of six months. It can take place in this country or anywhere in the world. If the client is under school leaving age, we have to organise a licence to work and a chaperone to accompany them (usually a parent). We will liaise with the production company to organise travel arrangements and ensure that our client is well looked after. We will also negotiate the contract and payment for the job.
Once filming is complete (although sometimes during filming over a long shoot) we will invoice the production company for our client’s services. Once payment is received we will process the money in a special bank account for our clients and we pay you by bank transfer. It is only at this stage that we take our agency commission (varying 10%-20% depending on the type of work). An agent only receives payment once the client is paid.