Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ariel: Diary of a Short Film - Episode 3
Victory at the Audition

    This past weekend I held the auditions for Ariel.  I don’t think I could have asked for much better.  We had twenty-four people show up and all the key roles were cast. I was very pleased.
    Before I go too deep into the audition I want to say a quick thank you to Wes Frank, Andrea Christian, Ivan Salazar, David Marshall and Richard Deck.  They helped me run the audition and I am truly grateful for their efforts.  They made my life so much easier.  They were a great crew.  I am also thankful for all the actors who showed up.  They came into the audition with great talents and attitudes. I was very blessed.  Lastly, I want to that the Austin Center for Martial Arts for allowing me to use the dōjō space for the audition.
    The audition was a different format from what people were used to.  I started out with having the people auditioning for the parts of Brown and Perkins first.  This part was pretty straight forward.  The rest was more unconventional. For the dōjō student parts and for any part that had stage combat I had the actors line up in two lines.  Then myself and a former martial arts student of mine each took a line and did some sort of throw with each actor.  Don’t worry.  We didn’t slam anyone.  In fact we were rather slow and gentle.  The point was to see who knew how to take a fall.  Here is the video.

Rolling/being thrown test

After that, I demonstrated one of the techniques that will be used in the fight choreography in the film and had the actors do that. 

Demonstrating fight choreography

Then I had the actors demonstrate what they learned as if they were teaching the class

Fight Demonstration

For the parts of Nancy, Helen, Dylan, Ryan and Lucas I had the actors impov a scene where Nancy is attacked.

Parking Garage Attack

    Once we got done with all of that I had the actors who were auditioning for Helen, Dylan, Ryan and Lucas introduce themselves as their characters and talk about why they enjoyed doing what they do.  Unfortunately, the card on my camera got full.  There was some really good (and really creepy) stuff going on.  All the actors did great work.
    At the end, I had a quick side meeting with the crew to finalize casting decisions.  I then went back to the actors and announced the casting decisions.  As much as possible, I prefer to let actors know on the spot the casting results.  I hate to leave someone wondering.  I know what it is like to audition for something and then have to wait to find out whether or not I got the part.   There is a second reason.  I want to get started immediately.  If I can tell an actor that he or she got a part I can start working with them then and there.  I realize that this is not how most people do it, but, for now it works for me.  I could see how later that might not work for a larger project like a feature film.

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