When casting for your short, you aren’t simply looking for people who can remember their lines. They also need to know how to act them. Using people you know as PAs and groups is one thing. It’s a different matter entirely to bring them into your cast. Poor acting can kill a short film and audiences know how to spot a poor performance.
Casting, and the lead role, in particular, will mean everything to your short. You can take a set and a great actor and if that actor puts in a great performance, he or she can draw the audience in, regardless of the set. So, pay a visit to your local theatre companies and universities, track down the closest talent agencies that book actors and models for local print and commercial campaigns, and put out both online and offline ads. From that, you will be presented with numerous options. They’ll come from all over if you’ve done the job right. They’ll get in touch for the opportunity to showcase their passions and to have something to add to their showreel.Ensure that you invest enough time into auditioning. If you limit auditions to just a couple of actors, that simply isn’t enough. And you should never settle for second best, particularly when it comes to the leads. The actors have the power to break your film, like It or not. So just make sure to keep auditioning until you find the right ones. You need those who don’t simply read their lines but who also fully embrace the character until you’re convinced that they are that character. You will also need to audition your crew. Spend time on choosing your cinematographer, in particular, but also your editor, composer, and sound designer. Look at any previous work they’ve done, as well as how they present themselves. Ask yourself if you can see yourself working together. When you’re asking about their previous work and how they see your project, you’re essentially auditioning them.
Make it look cinematic
Just because you aren’t making a feature from, it doesn’t mean that you should minimise the importance of camera work, the lenses, and lighting. If what you create looks worthy of a feature, you’ll be rewarded for it when you see the final work. While screenwriters may turn their nose up at this notion, visuals are, at times, more important than the actual story when it comes to a short. There have been numerous short film scripts that haven’t been justified on screen due to low-quality visuals and production value.
So, seek out visually impressive locations. Team up with, or hire, a top-notch cinematographer and lighting technicians, and preferably those with great equipment. If they don’t have equipment, invest a decent amount of money into obtaining some from local universities, companies, or news stations. And if your story requires special effects, make sire that you can visually justify using them.