There are few tasks related to this business that I dread more than casting talent for projects. The casting process ranks up there with paying bills and taxes in my hierarchy of loathsome activities.
For the past three days I have been up to my armpits in trying to find talent for a resort lifestyle project booked for mid next month. Calling agencies.... leaving messages (does anyone maintain regular office hours in that side of the industry?) ... waiting for call-backs... waiting for email headshots and zed cards... negotiating rates... waiting to hear if the talent is even available... trying the convince the client that they are worth the fees they demand... hoping, praying that they are good, experienced and professional, show up on time looking fresh and excited about the shoot... all in all an unpleasant experience, not to mention the introduction of an unknown (in most cases) variable that is often beyond my control.
Talent is quite often an essential part of the shoot and REAL talent can enhance the resulting images. Good attitudes on set and willingness to work as part of the project's team help in making the flow of each shoot day go smoothly, aids in raising my excitement and enthusiasm throughout the scope of the project. Unfortunately, as often as not, talent sometimes arrives with the attitude that they are the "hired gun", have little interest in the overall project and simply want to step in when needed.
All this is further complicated by the fact that the local talent pool here on island is very limited and the bulk of the available models are very inexperienced, or... if experienced and talented, are often overexposed because they are in demand for so many projects. With air travel between islands being what it is these days, many clients are reluctant to fly in more experienced models due to the added costs of travel, lodging, ground transportation all added on top of the talent & agency 20% fee.
Then there are the agents (with all apologies to Doug at Premier Talent, and Angela at Hawaii Sports Models). 'Nuff said here I think...
So, here I am... waiting and waiting for all the pieces to come together, for all the agents to respond with the necessary info so that all can be forwarded to the client for final approval. What to do when waiting? Why, try to firm up other aspects of the assignment and make blog entries of course.