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'.

Z Nation - Season 1 pics by Nike

Top pic: CD with NW actor Richard Sloniker, Patient Zero in Episode 13

2nd ic: Nat Zang (10K) taking a moment to breathe outside of the plastic nuclear-protected suit,  Ep 10

3rd pic: Our extraordinary Z Nation  stunt actors, on set for Ep 13

Listen-----Nike Imoru