You often hear it, get a good script and get good actors, you will be a good director. Like most of these "cliche" phrases, I don't disagree.
When you are like me and you are crazy enough to try and mostly (or only) direct what you penned down yourself, you think it's only logical that you try and also be as involved as you can in your casting process.
Don't get me wrong, I DO think that casting directors are instrumental in making most feature films. Especially when you have many speaking roles. The CD (casting director) has the know-how and connections to be of an immense help. Considering the fact that this is what their job is and hopefully what they are best at doing, it's always more than helpful to have a good one on your team.
Every director has their own style and belief system, but since this post is called "MY CASTING PROCESS" I'll talk about how I rather get the task done!
The way I see it, I want to have the best editor I can on my films. Maybe even more importantly, I want to have an editor that I trust, respect and enjoy speaking to. I believe same goes with most partners a director will work hands in hands with; the cinematographer, writer, art department, etc. Trust must be there.
That being said, I personally like to be aware and involved in every step of a film I'm directing. Just like I would not let the editor edit my movie without me staying by his side or at least popping up as much as possible, I wouldn't let the casting director pull the entire weight on their shoulders.
Usually, I try to hand pick almost the entire main cast myself or at least have a very short list of who I want for these roles. That being said, advices are always a great thing.
I feel like since I am the one that wrote these characters, I need to be as involved as possible in selecting who I want to bring these guys to life.
Casting is tricky because it sometimes become easy to get caught up in who we think an actor is or what he represents and automatically assume that this "image" is close enough to the character in the script. I think such a believe can prove disastrous.
One need to try and look deeper than someone's image when casting. Especially when casting main characters. In part two of this post, I will try and go more in depth on how exactly I do just that.
I'm trying to not make these posts too long, so I will make multiple posts on this topic and hopefully I can share some interesting insight on my casting process. Please comment and let me know if there is specific aspects you would like me to also cover in part 2 and let me know if you have any questions. I'll try to include answers in upcoming posts.