There’s more original content being made today than ever before, and along with all these new productions come new challenges in casting.
That’s where Los Angeles-based Casting Networks comes in, offering a unique end-to-end solution for the entire casting process, covering commercials, TV, new media, independent films, and blockbuster theatrical projects.
Company co-CEOs Rafi Gordon and Alex Amin spoke with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) about the workflows needed to be a No. 1 talent job hub for the industry, the updated platform changes on the way for the company, and the premium services actors are taking advantage of to get ahead today.
MESA: How did Casting Networks come about, what gaps in the casting and entertainment software space has the company sought to fill?
CN: The company was founded in 2002 by a casting director in San Francisco who saw a need to reduce the inefficiency in casting a project and created an industry defining software solution. In 2017, a new ownership group acquired Casting Networks with a mission to create an updated, end-to-end casting solution that serves the market more effectively than anything else.
This dawning of a new era for Casting Networks has brought with it a refocusing on software, technology solutions and investment. Casting Networks acquired Cast It as a first step of many in becoming a truly comprehensive casting solution. We have committed to a re-platforming, dedicating the necessary resources to bring to market the best casting platform in the industry. With the nature of casting rapidly changing, we’re positioning ourselves to have the most robust, responsive and intuitive technology for all our customers and clients in all stages of the process.
MESA: What are some of the highlights of your services for talent, what does Casting Networks offer that nobody else does?
CN: We are the only end-to-end solution for the entire casting process. We cover all role types from commercials to TV, new media, and independent/student films all the way through to the biggest, blockbuster theatrical projects. Actors have more access to opportunities through our site than anywhere else. Through Casting Networks and Cast It Talent, we provide the most robust free offering on the market.
For actors looking to stand out from the crowd, we have a unique and best-in-market set of premium services. The re-platform will be the first step in building a truly global, talent-facing brand. That concept excites us as it allows Casting Networks to deliver a truly outstanding service to our actors.
MESA: What tech advances have been the most important in recent years when it comes to the tools used by casting directors, and what are the next advances they might need?
CN: The biggest advancements recently have been digital resumes, our online audition scheduler, Fast Capture, the presentation layers to showcase auditions to brands and production companies, and integration with Cast It. Looking forward, there will be substantial video recording and distribution application innovation in how we deliver potential roles to actors, and potential actors to casting directors and filmmakers. No one is putting more time, energy and resources into innovating in the casting software space.
MESA: Seminar postings, job listings, casting calls, production needs … Casting Networks has become a talent hub for Hollywood. How does the company’s classifieds stand out, how do you keep your site up among the choices for listings in Hollywood?
CN: Our secret sauce is the sophisticated workflow tools we provide to casting directors, industry executives and talent representatives. This results in hundreds of exclusive roles posted on our site on a daily basis. We have a thorough screening process for job postings from independent casting directors to ensure only legitimate and quality listings are hosted on the billboard, and that in turn ensures talent keeps coming back. We’ve created a trustworthy brand through our rigorous dedication to quality.
We will not only continue this innovation, but also increase our efforts with a massive technology investment over the coming year.
MESA: What are some of Casting Networks’ favorite use case examples, where clients made especially good use of the company’s services?
CN: More than any single instance, we are proud to facilitate over 1 million commercial and theatrical auditions per year and growing! As a result of our dedication to technological innovation, commercial casting directors can now handle 5x the number of projects that they could handle prior to our service.
We are proud of the open calls we facilitate for our Cast It clients. Our talent searches are available to all actors, so casting gain unfettered access to a global and diverse pool of talent. We have conducted talent searches for clients like Disney, ABC, Paramount, Warner Bros, Universal and many more. Through Cast It, we’ve received global submissions for blockbuster films resulting in diverse castings for films such as “Ready Player One,” “A Quiet Place,” “Aladdin,” “Get Out” and “Star Wars.”
MESA: What’s next for Casting Networks, what advances and innovations are the company looking forward to?
We are making a massive technology investment over the coming year that will benefit all of the casting offices, studios, talent reps and actors that utilize our systems.
Our most significant project at the moment is combining Casting Networks and Cast It Systems into a single, end-to-end platform. We will be consolidating all geographical instances such as LA Casting into a single platform, streamlining the Casting process for all of our users.
Casting Networks is dedicated to simplifying the pricing and product for talent and adding new services to help them find representation and work. Ultimately, we are making it easier and more affordable for talent to find roles and for the industry to find the talent they need through state of the art technology.
Visit home.castingnetworks.com for more information.