VIDEO: How we found and hired 1000 ethnically diverse actors in 17 days

Casting a huge crowd of ethnically diverse people
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One of iStock’s diamond-rate contributors planned to shoot a staged NBA match and wanted us to handle the casting. No biggie. Except – how are we going to hire and manage a crowd of 1000 ethnically diverse actors who were supposed to cheer for the teams?

After the initial briefing meeting with the producer, my partner and I looked at each other and immediately agreed to take on the challenge.

It turned out to be one of the best business decisions in our career and also the main reason for us to eventually develop the best features of Fastcast, our global casting software.

Fastcast has been used by clients worldwide,  including Oscar awarded director Gabriel Salvatores and his team, a service production company that collaborated on the filming of Game of Thrones and hundreds of other content creators like you – or just like our friend in the video below.

Problems with casting for big events

Many stock image contributors previously attempted the kind of projects like our fake NBA match, but most of them failed due to 3 common problems:

  1. Finding, managing and hiring a large number of performers
  2. Finding ethnically diverse actors and extras
  3. Executing the project on a reasonable budget

We knew the challenge we accepted is going to be a tough cookie, but we had one unfair advantage – the casting managing software we created during the years of working as a casting agency.

After only 17 days of talent acquisition and communication with over 3000 ethnically diverse candidates, we ended up hiring approximately 1000 performers of different ethnic backgrounds, ages, and body types.

The result of our hard labor was one extremely happy client who was able to pull off such a large project without spending too much money on casting on such a large scale. The client is now able to sell its content worldwide due to a superb mix of the crowd in the footage.

Check the video to see first-hand how the shooting took place:

Here is how we pulled it off

The first step was to scan our AI-based talent base for all suitable candidates that have already previously signed up into our database.

We sorted them out into different groups based on their age and ethnicity and sent them a bulk request to confirm the terms of the project and their availability on the planned filming days.

Those who were not available were automatically removed from the project by our system.

A document with photos of remaining candidates was sent to the client, who approved the candidates they liked and removed others from the project. This left us with a good half of all needed extras, so we still needed to find the remaining 400 people willing to perform.

We turned to our social network and quickly found more candidates than we needed. All they had to do to have a chance to participate in the project was to register on our casting platform with their email or social media account and upload a recent quality portrait of themselves.

All organizational issues were approached through our software, which enables casting managers to communicate with candidates through bulk messaging, sending candidates email notification as well as phone message to speed up their response rate.

This has made arranging transportation to the filming location, wardrobe requests, and all other organization related communication much, much easier for us.

So yes, this project was a priceless experience for us; it showed the true potential of the tool we created and all the bits that still needed improvement.

We hope we can help you with your next large- or small scale project. To find out how check our blog on how Fastcast works and what it can do for. We would love to explain the product in person as well. You can easily BOOK A CALL.

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