Dream job: Assistant and actor
Here are a few tips on how to get to appear in a movie and TV production.
What do you want to do to become an assistant, a small role, or even a lead? "Never give up" is good advice, but there are also plenty of other tips that will help you move forward and can be useful.
Dream job in movies, TV and commercials
If you haven't had time yet, create your own profile and become a member of the website Filmityöt.fi where casting directors can find you. Keep in mind that your RESUME and the photos and videos you upload are your marketing material, and that casting directors often store your information unless otherwise agreed with the company. Apply for a job only if you meet the requirements set by the casting director. Without the criteria (and images) required by the application, it is more difficult to get ahead, even if otherwise your profile is in order.
Suggestions for pictures
What kind of photo should you use when introducing yourself? No little passport photos! And no photographs of the crab party! And no, don't show photos of yourself with a full mask and suit when imitating Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean" or Lady Gaga.
You should always include the following images on your RESUME:
- Face image – a close-up that shows what you look like when you're completely yourself. An image that allows a director or producer to get interested and excited. The image should be attractive and relatively new. Change the image on your RESUME as soon as you change your look and look, bearing in mind that color images get more visibility than black and white – unless the mv image is of particularly high quality.
- Whole body image – as "clean" a picture as possible. Definitely not outdoors in winter, where you are buried in scarves, hats and down jackets.
- A picture that's different from your other pictures. Feel free to wear other types of clothing or a new hairstyle.
Check your photos on the Filmityöt.fi website. If you see or meet someone who you think has good pictures, you can write to them and ask who took the pictures. Also, talk to other people or applicants about selftape (introductory video) if they had tips. There are a lot of very good photographers in different price ranges. Rather use a professional photographer and it is also worth checking out the photographer's portfolio.
Important to add to resume
Casting directors often ensure these three things before inviting
- that you have the desired image and "look"
- you bring out your special skills
- You will share your relevant experience in the field
The fact that you have the desired appearance for the role, as well as attached images, can go a long way, but your CV must also have personal information: age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, sizes of clothes and shoes. You can fill in all the information on your RESUME in Filmwork. Other things such as qualifications, special expertise, piercings and tattoos may also be worth mentioning.
It is also worth mentioning the experience of the field, for example. working with theatre, movies or TV. List what you've been involved in and what you've done. You can also mention the production company, the theatre and the director. What if you haven't been involved very much or not at all? Then don't write anything! Allow yourself a beginner role.
If you've previously landed a role, the material you get from the production can give you a good basis for the future – it'll help you build a good "showreel," a promotional video of yourself.
What's going on in casting?
Going to Casting/screen testing means introducing yourself so that the casting director gets a good idea of you. Often a photo is taken of you and/or you are asked to take a selftape, or video clip of yourself, even if your role is an assistant without lines. If you have a role with lines, you usually need to read text or perform for people who work in production casting.
Practice giving the best impression in the shortest possible time. A good tip is to be yourself and be brave. Jobs usually get those who show strong motivation and are not afraid of failure – they happen to everyone. Fortunately for you, it may also happen that casting directors like you so much that they offer you a bigger role than they originally thought or keep you in mind for the future.
Remember that casting requires time and a lot of patience. Open search can attract a wide range of participants. It's worth coming well in advance, and sometimes you'll have to queue up for a chance to participate. When you're invited to casting, that doesn't mean you've got the part yet. A lot of people are invited to bigger productions, and that's why it's important that they find you.
How do I prepare for casting?
Always prepare carefully. It is good to practice both improvisation and experimental techniques. Don't worry about which clothes fit, it's best if you have your own style, but you can always ask in advance which role or ad you're looking for and dress a little in that style.
How do you know if casting directors are real?
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how serious a casting director is, because there are cheats in this field too. For your safety, you can always check the facts. If in doubt, you should always call and talk to other assistants, actors or filmmakers about whether they know the company or person who has been in contact with you. Request a cv or check IMDb et al.
Don't forget to keep in mind:
- If the screen test takes place in someone's home, make sure you don't go there alone. Screen tests are not usually carried out at the home of private individuals.
- The screen test is always free. You don't have to pay!
Is everyone getting a job?
There is never a guarantee that it is you who will get the role of your dreams, but the opportunity may arise in a few days, a couple of months or perhaps never. You have to be willing to go to more than one test shoot without any certainty about what's to come. It is important to be brave and show your nails, yet professionally, humbly and not pushing yourself.
The largest number of film assistant places are found in the largest cities of Helsinki, Tampere and Turku, but if you are ready to travel, then fortunately there is also a lot of filming in different locations in Finland.
Remember, you can never do more than your best. It's important that you have positive courage to try a new one, and the old saying: "bold rock eats" keeps its itch in casting even. It's incredible what new opportunities can open up just because you've even tried. Sometimes it can happen that you find yourself in a completely different production or project than what you are looking for or dreaming about from the beginning.
Filmityot.fi follows the Finnish film industry and offers job opportunities for different, different ages, special and exceptionally ordinary people – TV, movie and promotional roles. Check out our other articles that can help you move forward with your career.
Good luck and success, welcomes the FilmWorks team!