Over the last few weeks, things have started to take shape. Lou and I locked in our two main locations (the office where 90% of the action takes place, and the house where the penultimate scene occurs). Our sound recordist has visited the site, and our second camera operator has confirmed her availability. Discussions have taken place with kick-ass design company New Best Friend regarding the logos and signage we need for our fictitious companies.
But the largest task so far has been arranging and coordinating the casting call. I put notices out on OffPrompt, Starnow and various Facebook actor pages. The response was overwhelming – over 70 applicants within 12 days (and I am still receiving the odd application). I sent each actor a copy of the script. Nick, theatre director/confidante Cameron Thomas, and I then went through each CV, and selected 27 to audition. I booked a studio space for the following week.
On the day, 22 people auditioned. It was a nerve-wracking experience (for them and us), and we learnt so much about the process and how to improve it for next time. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with all of the actors that attended – everyone was amazingly talented and prompted me to start thinking on the spot of where or how I could write them into something.
There are six main roles in The Real. The day after the audition, we offered three roles to actors. Of the remaining three, there were 2-3 actors that we thought could do an equally good job – we asked these actors to come back in a week later and we looked at combinations of actors in different groups. I’m happy to say that after that, we found our cast! This morning we had everyone over for a table read over fruit and coffee, and it was awesome.
The admin side has been crazy – keeping track of all the applicants (Lou helpfully did up a spreadsheet for me), arranging auditions, disseminating scripts, fielding queries, and then responding to everyone regarding their applications, has chewed up most of the last couple of weeks. That said, I’ve now met a bunch of cool people and am thrilled about working with the cast we have. Everyone that has come into contact with The Real has been supportive and excited that something like this is being made in Canberra. I hadn’t properly considered that when starting out, but now I see it as one of our strengths.