03 Dec Talent: 3 Important Things that should be on every Casting Call
The voiceover industry is experiencing seismic shifts on a regular basis. There is new language to be on the lookout for on non-union casting calls. We have put together three of the most important things to lookout for on casting calls, how to spot them and what to do.
1. Does the Project contain these? When you receive a casting call from any source, you should be provided the following minimum information; Role, Rate, Usage Terms, Casting Specs and some basic Direction. If any of these elements are missing, it causes time to be wasted for all parties involved. If the talent isn’t told what the client is wanting to hear, guesses are made, and those guesses may not be right. If this information is missing, we recommend you ask the source.
2. Is the Rate clearly defined? Rates should always be included and clearly defined. Sometimes rates are TBD – if it is not addressed before work begins, or simply left off the casting call, it could cause issues down the road and you may not be getting paid what you’re worth. Translation: you may be agreeing to something you shouldn’t when this information is missing. Plus, multiple spots should be priced individually, as should lifts/edits/cut-downs/revisions and tags. When you see the word “Unlimited” around rates, it is a huge red flag and not acceptable.
3. Is Usage stated? How long will your work run and where? The larger the market, the more compensation is due. Use of the term “worldwide” is tricky; make sure you are compensated enough for the whole world to hear it. There is a big difference between local rates and worldwide rates. Be on the lookout for the term “all media” — which translates to literally every use imaginable – TV, radio, internet, social media, trade show, podcast, cinema, virtual reality…you get the idea. Make sure terms “Full Buyout” or “In Perpetuity” are not included on broadcast work.
To sum it up: If you receive a casting call and the rate/usage is not included from the source you are obtaining the call from, ASK. You have the right to know, plus you need to manage possible conflicts as well. The only way you can be protected is to know the facts. If they aren’t given, don’t be afraid to inquire before blindly submitting an audition. To anyone. Including agents.