Mumbai, 9th July 2015: Indian cinema has been making news since its inception for various good and bad reasons and one of the most talked about reasons from the B-Town from the very beginning is ‘Casting Process’ since it started. Casting in Indian Film and Television industry has always been a point of controversy among people due to the ambiguity of the process that it actually follows.
Millions of artists from different parts of country aspire to become actor and enter the entertainment industry and long for one big break. Many of them do get their chance while many end as aspirants only and the major reason behind this is nothing but the lack of proper knowledge about the industry and the ability to manipulate things according to their way.
However, we tried to understand the enigma of Casting and Casting process of Film and TV industry when we talked to one of the casting directors of Film and television industry, Manoj Ramola, who felt the need to communicate with the aspiring actors to reduce the communication as well as knowledge gap between the actors and the casting director and is coming with a book based on the same named “Audition Room,” which is expected to release soon.
While talking to this young casting director we came to know about some really interesting things about the casting world and myths and truth associated with the same. Here are some of them:
Q: What made you choose ‘Casting director’ as a profession?
Ans: To be very honest, it was never meant to be a casting director but I was always fascinated by Film Industry since my childhood when I wrote my first play for my school. I am a resident of small village in Uttarakhand and from Army background, where you don’t dream of entering the film or television industry but to find a sustainable job. But when I moved to Mumbai and learned about Casting, it definitely allured me and since then it just went on.
Q: We hear many things about casting and casting process every then and now; but what is your definition of casting and a casting director?
Ans: I agree you might be hearing many speculative things about casting, everyone has so but that is not what casting stands for. You cannot be judgemental about any profession without understanding the facts. Casting is process of selecting the best suited actors for a particular character in movies or Television or other forms of acting to make the character look lively and realistic that is needed for any particular scene or film or series. Moreover, casting director plays a significant role in selecting the suitable talent for any character with his understanding of acting and keeping in mind the demand of the script. In short, we can say that a casting director lays the foundation of any script to make it successful on screen.
Q: Has the casting process changed with time?
Ans: Yes off course it has changed at lot. In fact, Indian Cinema has changed a lot so as the casting process. Earlier, casting was more about references and chance but actors today has the privilege of taking auditions to stake their claim. Today, we get a genuine chance to prove our talent by appearing into an audition. All you need to do is deploy the opportunities. Auditions were not so common few decades ago. So, I think it has changed a lot.
Q) We hear that you are coming out with a book on Auditions and casting. Tell us something about that?
Ans: Yes, it is true. The title of the book is “Audition Room,” which is entirely based on Auditioning and Casting and an initiative to help the aspiring as well as established actors with the process which is still not very much known to them. I think this part of Industry has never been paid so much attention, so it’s just an initiative.
Q) What can we expect from “Audition Room”?
Ans: Audition Room is a book about casting process and auditioning techniques from a point of view of an Indian casting director. For last few years, I am in the occupation of casting and I felt one thing that there is a big communication gap between a casting director and an actor which creates problems for both us as well as actors. Audition Room is a small initiative from my side to reduce that “communication gap” and let everyone know that audition and casting process is not that complex and intrigued as they understand. All you need to know is the proper channel and process. Once you are aware of this, this eventually goes smoother for you.
Q) Can you please explain this “Communication Gap”?
Ans: What I mean to say by communication gap is, artists do not chance to communicate with casting directors about what they need to do and how, which affects their performance during auditions. Moreover, they often go judgemental by listening to some grape vine about the process. Audition Room explains all these things which would certainly help them make an authentic insight about casting instead of believing in gossips.
Q) Tell us something more about your Book?
Ans: Audition Room doesn’t teach you about acting skills, but it certainly help as I think prepare for a good audition that help aspirants get noticed in the Indian Film Industry. It will provide you in-depth perspective about casting in Films, Television Serials and Advertisements in Bollywood. There is huge information asymmetry between professional acting aspirants and reality of entertainment Industry. Such information asymmetry often results in frauds and exploitations. This book tries to provide right information and proper knowledge not only about frauds, but also about casting and auditioning process. Working as casting director in Indian Film industry, I observed that most of the actors are not able to differentiate between acting and auditioning skills. I often seen better actors, giving bad auditions and at the same time average actors with better auditioning skills, usually landing up the role. Mastering audition technique are combinations understanding casting directors point of view and proper understanding of what actual happens in audition room. This book explains how to improve your audition skills, making sure good actors are not deprived of a great role, just because there is a misunderstanding about casting and auditioning process.
Manoj Ramola is a casting director and has worked with some of the biggest brands in the industry which includes names like Star TV, Disney, UTV Bindast, Endemol, Beyond Dreams Entertainment, Dancing Waters Productions, Rowdy Rascals Production, Set Rite Ads, Media World, Sa Re Ga Ma, 24 Frames and Namanraj production. He is currently working on couple of films.
We wish “Manoj Ramola,” the casting director of this age “ALL THE BEST” for his book “Audition Room.”