Casting for independent films is different, in some key ways, than it is for the Hollywood blockbuster film. Casting for an independent film requires a more subtle approach to monitoring an audition. Casting for an independent film also requires that the director, producers, and other reviewers of the talents work with a lot of unknown thespians, as well as those who are willing to work for generally less money, often substantially less money, than the established actors and actresses who would appear or have appeared in the big-budget commercial films.
Casting for an independent film also requires that the screeners recognize thespians’ talents for improvisation. Independent films are by their nature less rigidly structured and more open to on-the-fly changes than the bigger budget films that are going for wider, more commercial audiences. When casting for an independent film is done, it should take into consideration the margins; that is, it should call for actors and actresses who have a flair for improvisation and can be somewhat more like stage performers than the mainstream film actors and actresses are.
One place that casting for an independent film is often targeted at is an improve group. These kinds of groups are rich with undiscovered or little-known talents, and besides thus potentially being hotbeds of the talents that the independent film producer wants for the sake of quality, these can also very often provide the fresh faces or unique characters that can be so vital to the success of an independent film.
One very good resource for doing casting for an independent film is the SAG Indie organization, which has a website that you can Google. This is the Screen Actor’s Guild of Independent Films organization. It provides lots of resources for thespians and producers to be able to precisely pinpoint the needs on both sides of the fence of making an effective casting call for an independent film.
An independent film tends to be more interested in art for art’s sake or in giving the audience a more intellectually oriented message than a mainstream or blockbuster film does. Independent films tend not to be oriented toward action and adventure and often have a lot less “motion” in them and fewer scenes than major film releases do. The cast of an independent film needs to reflect these qualities and be made up of thespians who are very smart and know how to make more out of less. Those who are involved in the casting for an independent film need to keep this at the forefront of their minds at all times.