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Film can be an eye opening business. As directors, producers, actors and crew, our jobs are creative in nature but we must make a film that sells. Indies learn quickly that you can’t do that relying on friends.

Friends over act, they do not take stage direction well, and even the best intentioned can be flakey or moody. Friends don’t make films, so you need to learn how to hire actors who can. Here are tips for the first timer to pursue filmmaking seriously.


Your local playhouse is a better place to start than Craigslist. Craigslist will get you resumes, amateur audition tapes and a ton of time wasted trying to audition people who may or may not act professionally. A playhouse is a much more optimistic approach. Talk to the house manager and ask about posting a job on their bulletin boards. Find out which productions are running, and see if you can contact casting directors for advice or contact information for actors. Once you’ve exhausted your local options, including colleges, go online to find a wider range of actors.

What to Ask For

Recruiting acting talent online comes down to weeding out what you don’t want. Any ad you post on the Web will get many applications, so try to be specific about what you want so you can root out those who do not meet your criteria immediately. One good method to do this is to give a description of a character and then request a headshot. This immediately cues you into who may be a good fit for the part.


Charles Matthau is a director, writer and producer who is slated to produce “Mexican High” in 2015. The Charles Matthau Company produces for both film and television. For more information on upcoming projects, contact the Matthau Company online.