Casting Director Ivy Isenberg

Filmnut 236

Guest: Ivy Isenberg

Crew Position: Casting Director


Ivy Isenberg was the guest last night and we talked about casting for film and television. Isenberg is passionate, insightful, and was a lot of fun to interview. She will make you smile or laugh at least a few times.

From the job requirements, to how to break into casting to become a CD, to pay or play offers, and professionalism that is expected of the actor and more, we covered a lot.

When making a low budget or indie film, it is easy to fall into to the trap of casting your friends and or working without a casting director. There are advantages too, and casting your friends is great when their talent warrants it. My suggestion is to avoid taking the easy way out. Hire a casting director. Even if you think you can’t afford one, look into it. You might find one passionate about your project who will work for low and or deferred pay, producing credit, etc. Another suggestion is, you can call a casting director’s office and see if they have an assistant or even an intern they recommend to help you get the job the done.

Names. A good casting director who believes in your project can potentially be your liaison to a name but as Isenberg says, that is an uphill battle. There are exceptions, watch the show for more info.

I saw a post on a message board asking if it was okay to charge actors for auditions. My thought here is: sure it is okay, if you don’t mind spending your afterlife in hell!

Casting is such a fine balance, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of chemistry amongst the cast the crew, and casting actors to their strengths. A good actor in the wrong part can sink your film. I use a couple of sports metaphors during the interview, here is another one, an all-star second baseman might make a below average outfielder; or, ask Koby Bryant to play center and he goes from arguably the greatest basketball player in the NBA to a liability. Respect the art, and don’t underestimate any position cast or crew. Unless you’re just messing around and then have all the fun you want.

If you missed this or any episode of Filmnut you can watch it here: The episode with Ivy Isenberg is number 236.

Comments or questions on this show? Let me know here:


Jeff Schubert

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