How COVID-19 is Shaping Casting

Posted by William - 20 May 2020
How extras casting is currently being shaped by the coronavirus pandemic

One of our extras based in the North West recently secured a well-paid casting opportunity for an online marketing campaign… but how was that possible during the COVID-19 pandemic and how did it work?

How COVID-19 is Shaping Casting

As you know, COVID-19 has put a temporary halt on many things, which includes the vast majority of film and TV production. Nevertheless, there has still been some casting in this period, mostly for advertising as brands look to convey their messages in a safe and appropriate way during the pandemic.

A recent online promotional video as part of a marketing campaign for a new App, saw one of our supporting artists based in Merseyside secure a well-paid opportunity… but how was that possible during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Casting and Filming with Social Distancing

Let’s start at the beginning! A casting client contacted us, asking to be sent extras who had both a head-shot and full-length photo uploaded to their profile.

Following the strict social distancing guidelines in place, some of the smaller productions have started to think on their feet, coming up with new ways to achieve their goals whilst continuing to keep people safe. This has included roles where people are casting online and self-taping content from home, or for others, small crews are shooting people at home from a safe distance.

In terms of the opportunity for our Merseyside extra, it was the first scenario. With the production keen to ensure that talent did not have to travel anywhere, they instead asked the extras to photograph themselves at home. A key benefit with this method is that the extras could be based literally anywhere in the UK to secure the role!

After the client had shortlisted the candidates that they were interested in from the initial profile photos we sent them, they then requested those selected take some more specific images, which was also a test of their capability to deliver the photos at the quality desired. From this, the successful extra was selected and they were able to complete the job from home without coming into contact with a single human being throughout the entire process!

What Can We Learn?

This opportunity highlights the importance of keeping your profile up-to-date at all times. This includes having photos that show you as you look now (i.e. in relation to hair length, hair style, facial hair, etc.) and also making sure that the best contact information is always stored on your profile. Log in now to review your profile.

With the speed at which casting takes place, there is nothing more important than being prepared in advance!

The other thing that gave candidates the edge was making sure that they checked the Job Board regularly, or followed us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram) so that they were aware of the opportunity when it became available.

For the latest information about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Uni-versal Extras and the film industry in general, please visit this post.