Monday, 14 November 2011

Where will it all stop - Auditions

This summary post was originally written for a practical exercise undertaken in the Planning and Making a Film module I undertook in the penultimate year of my BA (Hons). The module's practice was undertaken between October 2011 to June 2012 and it provided me with a hugely enriching experience. For a more detailed overview of the module and the projects I undertook as a part of it, see Planning and Making a Film: The student filmmaking experience.


Where will it all stop has seven roles: Chuck, Joe, Ollie, Lolly, Emma, the Bartender and the Barmaid.

Initially, we had received sixteen replies from actors and actresses saying that they would like us to consider them for roles in our film. So we organised a three hour rehearsal session in a room we had booked out on campus. This rehearsal session was overseen by myself and Jenny, from our half of the production, and by Sanne and Tom, from the other half. However, over the three hours only two actresses turned up! A main factor for this was the fact that all the first year students had been banned from appearing in anything outside of their course. But the two actresses, Suzanne and Kirsty, who did turn up we agreed would be perfect for the roles of Lolly (Suzanne) and Lolly (Kirsty).

While nobody else turned up, we did receive an email from a rather enthusiastic actor called Josh. He was so keen, in fact, not only did he express his admiration for the script with some quoted dialogue but also supplied us with an example of his work. He wanted us to consider him for the role of Joe and we weren't exactly in a position to turn him down, so we gave him the part.
We also received an email from an actor called Alex who, like Josh, wanted us to consider him for a part, so we gave him Ollie. 

Sanne had also said that her boyfriend, who had previous acting experience, was interested in filling a role, so that was the Bartender taken care of. 

While we had time on our hands we discussed the rather problematic role of Chuck. As he is a very old man we had e-mailed around for ‘mature’ students with acting experience; as well as emailing a number of Bath’s amateur dramatic societies. But we had received zero replies and It was I who suggested that we should start to consider using a younger actor for Chuck, as we were running out of time.

I had always seen the script as being somewhat supernatural, so I said why can’t Chuck just be a very old spirit who inhabits the bodies of the people who happen to cross his path? This would further explain my groups alternate ending where Joe becomes Chuck at the end of the film. Jenny was still a bit sceptical so I told it to her to look at it this way: “It is Matt Smith playing the Doctor: a twenty-something actor playing an eleven hundred year old alien.” As she is a Doctor Who fan, I think this analogy won her over.

Matt Smith as the Doctor 
What made this idea all the more appealing was that Jenny said she knew someone who would be perfect for playing someone older than himself. This friend was called Jek (pronounced Jake) and he accepted the role of Chuck. This meant that we had all the roles filled, aside from the Barmaid. However, we weren't worrying too much because it is an incredibly small part with no lines and really we don’t need an actress for it. 

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