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Friday, March 29, 2013

Casting Brief Q5: Budget?

For the entire List of questions go back to
Casting Brief

Question 5: Is there a budget individually or totally? 

There cant be casting without the question on the budget, this is mostly asked by the casting director to the producer being, is there a individual budget to each character or is there a overall budget to all characters. In case there is an individual budget given to each character, it is easier on the casting director since he already knows the figure at the time of audition and can discuss it with the actor. In case of overall budget given for all characters, it is upto the casting director to manage the break up (this does not happen too often though) This usually happens when all the actors to be featured are of the same level and have a equal importance in the film, like a group of friends or in a commercial which is a montage and all the actors have a tiny but important role. Overall budgets are also given sometimes to the casting director minus the primary cast.

So once the amount is disclosed, the actor can choose to agree with the amount or disagree, if the figure is too far below what the actor expects they can choose not to waste time on the audition saving everyones time and effort. However there are actors do give the audition and leave behind a quote of what they would expect if they do get shortlisted. In these cases it is important for the casting director to inform the director and the producer at the time of shortlisting so a call can be taken in accordance. The actor in these cases would have to be really good and suited for the role for the producers to even think of starting a conversation with them, also it would depend on how much over the existing budget is the actor asking for. Knowing a budget also helps the casting director when making calls for actors to come for the audition as an experienced casting person would know that some of the actors would not come in that price range. Also a deal can be cracked at this stage with the actor to may be do the role for lesser figure than what they would normally charge.

There is also the case where there is no budget mentioned and each actor is required to give a quote to what they are expecting either at the audition or later if they are part of the shortlisted cast for that role. A case where no budget is mentioned happens both in features and advertising, in most of these cases it is because the director insists on having really good cast and would not want to be restricted in terms of options. This does not mean that they would pay any figure for the right character but to find the right person and then strike up a good deal so both parties are happy.

Budget is crucial specially in the case where a lot of people fit the brief for the role, since it opens up competition, here the producer and director can choose the cheapest and the best actor that suits the film. In such cases actors who keep their quotes open for bargaining do end up with the role especially if there are 2 or more people who are of the same standard.

A thing for actors and producers to remember like in all agreements that once the amount is agreed upon it would be bad to ask for a change in the figure later for whatever reason. So everyone should know well what they are getting into before anyone should agree to anything.

For answer to the previous question see
Q4:- Dates for shoot and shortlist

Read on for the next question
Question 6: Who will take care of the requirements of the audition? 

or go back to Casting Brief page to read the other questions.

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