Hiring actors was defiantly a task for Kelly and I. We only had a couple of weeks to find ourselves a young male and older female actors, who were willing to work for free. We started our search straight away, looking on casting websites and asking around our Uni. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone for about three days, until Kelly and I decided to just take a chance and write a post of the Social Networking site, Facebook. We struck lucky when we have an instant reply from Edward Lilley. Although he said he wasn’t a professional actor and only done it as a hobby with minimal experience, Kelly and I were glad to at least have a reply. We were worried about working with a non-professional, but after a number of conversations and finally meeting the week before the shoot, we realised that Ed was just as passionate as a professional and we thought he could portray the role of Ryan just as well.
It was good experience to work with non-professional actors. The actors we hired act in their spare time and as a hobby, it is not their main profession. They were much more relaxed and understanding on the day then a professional would be. They understood that we weren’t very confident and hadn’t had much time to organise everything. So they were patient with us on the day, which was very helpful. They also had great ideas about different shots we could do and how to better the narrative. They differ from professional actors as they’re not as demanding and I would defiantly like to work with non-professional actors again.
Although our actors weren’t professional or well-experienced actors, we wanted to still give them the best experience and treat them as if they were. This way, I would gain professionalism skills for the future on how to treat actors. It has taught me that you need to keep your actors happy throughout the entre process, from first contact the final edit. Unless they sign a contract, the actors can pull out at anytime, this was a concern of mine, so I always tried my best to keep them happy. I would constantly update them on the current situations, tell them everything they need to know, give them the script and production schedule way before the shoot and give them anything they need on the day. Also you want your actors to add your film to their portfolio after it has finished. Not only is it extra promotion, it is also a way to show that your actors enjoyed working on the film and are proud of it. Which is what every filmmaker wants.
We organised a meeting with the lead actor a number of days before the shoot to go over the script, make sure he understood everything, tell him what we were looking for, the outcome we wanted and the emotions we needed him to show. It was also a good chance for us to have a chat with him, to check he was up for the role and for us to see that we think he will play Ryan how we want him to be portrait. This is a professional thing to do and contributes towards my new professionalism skills.