"GREAT ACTORS OF THE NORTHWEST, USA, 2006-2016”
When I met Z Nation producers for Season 2, they had some criticisms about the casting process for Z Nation, Season 1. It was to be expected and, in truth, it was to be welcomed and dreaded at one and the same time.
They said: "we want to click on a link, ONE TIME, and see ALL there is to see of ALL the auditions that you send to us. We don’t want to click and open, click and open, click and open, numerous youtube or vimeo links. NO! We want EVERYTHING - resumes, headshots, tapes, comments - in ONE location. NOW! Oh and AUDIO!", my fave exec said. (He is my 'fave' because audio is to him what sensitive ears are to me.) And on they went, my beloved Producers. I recalled the spaghetti junction links for hundreds of self-tapes and playlists embedded in emails that I gave them in Season 1. I shudder still at the memory.
Not. This. Year.
Rather than geek out about the delight I had in creating and facilitating every Producer’s whim (at least in terms of casting and auditioning), allow me to share with you how I began to pacify our Producers, thereby making them more amenable to NW talent auditions. We can also see how NW actors are benefitting from having a presence in the Nike Imoru 'casting warehouse'.
Nike Imoru's Casting warehouse is available exclusively to Sy Fy and Asylum Studio Executives, Producers, Writers and Directors for Z Nation Season 2. Every Z-audition and callback is stored in the ‘casting warehouse’. None are deleted. Each audition is cross-referenced at least twice in different episodes (folders). An actor may be ideal for different roles, in different episodes, and their ‘tapes’ will copied into each episode (folder) for Producers and Directors to review. In this way, actors are being viewed repeatedly, without having to re-audition repeatedly.
Because North by Northwest Digital Productions is supporting us (CD has been casting NxNW movies since 2006), the NIC quality is both consistent and consistently high. On the rare occasions that we accept a self-tape, the NIC 'warehouse manager', uploads it to the database, troubleshooting as she goes and declining the self-tape if it does not meet NIC standards. (On rare occassions we have to submit a self-tape that falls below the NIC standard and we will make this clear to our Producers.We will also list the pros and cons of the tape.) Our goal is to ensure that Execs and Producers focus on the actor, rather than the production values of the self-submitted tape. A number of actors in the NIC database are being considered for future episodes, but have only auditioned once. At some point they will receive a Producer callback.
After 6 weeks of the database being up and running, the NiC challenge is to name at least 5 NW actors to fit any breakdown. Any age. Any ethnicity (ooh ... almost!) It is the best Trivia night ever: “GREAT ACTORS OF THE NORTHWEST 2006-2016”
Great and Gracious thanks to Rich Morris of Casting Networks; Danny Heigh of North by Northwest Digital Productions; Monica Holm, NIC casting assistant, aka 'Mo'; for bearing with me as I went through one "brilliant idea" after an other about the database 'must haves'.