Session 4-33: Casting

Octoburn

Active Member
Gah. I don't remember who the other options were, but I know I didn't vote for Hayley Atwell for Ragna. Not because she isn't amazing and beautiful, but because I believe that she's too amazing and beautiful for such a limited role.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I know the feeling, the results didn't go the way I would have preferred in every case. But then, that is to be expected... I don't think anyone has been 100% happy with the casting results, any season. I guess we all know this, but even so, the casting results continue to be the cause of some frustration. Personally, I am perplexed that the hosts seem to have made a decision based on the name of a nominee. I'm sure there has to be something more to it, some other reason. I'm looking forward to watching the session on YouTube.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I know the feeling, the results didn't go the way I would have preferred in every case. But then, that is to be expected... I don't think anyone has been 100% happy with the casting results, any season. I guess we all know this, but even so, the casting results continue to be the cause of some frustration. Personally, I am perplexed that the hosts seem to have made a decision based on the name of a nominee. I'm sure there has to be something more to it, some other reason. I'm looking forward to watching the session on YouTube.
They talked some about appearances and what the actresses had been in, but they didn’t have a a strong preference for any of the nominees in the tie, so they let that be the deciding factor.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
I know the feeling, the results didn't go the way I would have preferred in every case. But then, that is to be expected... I don't think anyone has been 100% happy with the casting results, any season. I guess we all know this, but even so, the casting results continue to be the cause of some frustration. Personally, I am perplexed that the hosts seem to have made a decision based on the name of a nominee. I'm sure there has to be something more to it, some other reason. I'm looking forward to watching the session on YouTube.
I agree. This is one of the things I hate most about "fanboying" (and I am by no means saying the hosts are doing this) is when people complain about casting based on ethnicity or hair color.

Sometimes the ethnicity thing is legit, but some things like Idris Elba being cast as a Norse God in Thor (who are technically aliens anyways, so whatever) or Michael B. Jordan in F4 (one of the least of concerns of that movie). And so on and so forth. I'm 100% in favor of casting the best actress/actor in all cases, except when race is actually crucial to the character (Black Panther for example).

As for hair color, I think I did hear that when listening to some of the earlier casting sessions. Baffles me.

Also: height. I remember hearing them casting almost solely on height in some earlier seasons. People complained about Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher (because Cruise is like 5'3" and Reacher is described as like 6'5". But that was fine.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I tend to look for other things than height, although, in some cases it can be worth considering (for example Thingol, Turgon or Galadriel, who people repeatedly refer to as tall), and hair color is rarely a problem without a solution, even though, sometimes the general colors of a person somehow doesn't fit with the character (I'm not really talking about race, just the tone of a characters appearance, maybe energy is a better word, even though appearance matters).

(I think we all do roughly the same, although I have my own process: I tend to look for a) whether the actor/actress matches my mental image, or if he/she could surprise me and change my mental image (which sometimes is preferable) - and if the differences are minor and could be changed easily if that's desirable, b) most important: proven acting skill, and here I include such aspects as credibility and ability to surprise, to keep me curious, and c) specific skill sets, such as singing if the actress/actor has to be a great singer (this is something that doesn't have to be a big problem, one can often record separate singing for example, and have the actor fake it, but let's agree that real skill is preferable).)

They talked some about appearances and what the actresses had been in, but they didn’t have a a strong preference for any of the nominees in the tie, so they let that be the deciding factor.
I understand. I'm a bit confused, or should I say: I'm not happy with the argument, but I guess nobody really is, and it's not a big deal, since the actress was as popular as the others. I guess it's all fine.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I agree. This is one of the things I hate most about "fanboying" (and I am by no means saying the hosts are doing this) is when people complain about casting based on ethnicity or hair color.

Sometimes the ethnicity thing is legit, but some things like Idris Elba being cast as a Norse God in Thor (who are technically aliens anyways, so whatever) or Michael B. Jordan in F4 (one of the least of concerns of that movie). And so on and so forth. I'm 100% in favor of casting the best actress/actor in all cases, except when race is actually crucial to the character (Black Panther for example).

As for hair color, I think I did hear that when listening to some of the earlier casting sessions. Baffles me.

Also: height. I remember hearing them casting almost solely on height in some earlier seasons. People complained about Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher (because Cruise is like 5'3" and Reacher is described as like 6'5". But that was fine.
In the case of height, the Hosts generally go for taller individuals since Elves are supposed to be tall and it would save on camera effects to make someone look tall. Last season (I can’t really say last year since it’s almost two years since that season), Conan Stevens (Boldog) was partially chosen for his height since he’s supposed to be the biggest Orc around.
To give an example, I’m not sure Jon Bernthal is imposing enough to be Rhogrin at 5’10”.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
In the case of height, the Hosts generally go for taller individuals since Elves are supposed to be tall and it would save on camera effects to make someone look tall. Last season (I can’t really say last year since it’s almost two years since that season), Conan Stevens (Boldog) was partially chosen for his height since he’s supposed to be the biggest Orc around.
To give an example, I’m not sure Jon Bernthal is imposing enough to be Rhogrin at 5’10”.
He’ll just have to wear heels on set.
 

Kathrin

Active Member
Maybe the voting could serve to narrow the field, an then if there are undecided cases, the remaining 2-3 actors would get some kind of "audition tape". The people who want them to get the role could advocate for them by maybe referencing clips/screenshots that are relevant to some aspect of the role, and make a short statement of why this actor should win.

Because I kinda see the problem with just looking at the imbd's and headshots of two people, that just doesn't help if the jury (the hosts in this case) haven't seen all the actors' work. You kinda need a "portfolio" just a headshot will understandably lead to sometimes quite shallow choices.

I know this is just creating more work and probably not realistic, but having seen last night's "undecided cases" that's just what i'd imagine could help me personally if I had to decide.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Maybe the voting could serve to narrow the field, an then if there are undecided cases, the remaining 2-3 actors would get some kind of "audition tape". The people who want them to get the role could advocate for them by maybe referencing clips/screenshots that are relevant to some aspect of the role, and make a short statement of why this actor should win.

Because I kinda see the problem with just looking at the imbd's and headshots of two people, that just doesn't help if the jury (the hosts in this case) haven't seen all the actors' work. You kinda need a "portfolio" just a headshot will understandably lead to sometimes quite shallow choices.

I know this is just creating more work and probably not realistic, but having seen last night's "undecided cases" that's just what i'd imagine could help me personally if I had to decide.
I’d like to try something like that. But trying to get a link into the PowerPoint might be a challenge if we don’t know who the top 2-3 nominees are beforehand.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe the voting could serve to narrow the field, an then if there are undecided cases, the remaining 2-3 actors would get some kind of "audition tape". The people who want them to get the role could advocate for them by maybe referencing clips/screenshots that are relevant to some aspect of the role, and make a short statement of why this actor should win.

Because I kinda see the problem with just looking at the imbd's and headshots of two people, that doesn't really help if the jury (the hosts in this case) haven't seen all the actors' work. You kinda need a "portfolio" just a headshot will understandably lead to sometimes quite shallow choices.

I know this is just creating more work and probably not realistic, but having seen last night's "undecided cases" that's just what i'd imagine could help me personally if I had to decide.
I think you're right. You're right that a portfolio would help, and you're right that it would take a lot more work, or at least a different kind of process.
 

Kathrin

Active Member
I mean it could be as basic as:

- "Actorperson's Name, age, height etc,"
- One to a couple of photos showcasing relevant physical features
- links to short relevant clips online, showcasing some specific quality of their acting/personality
- maybe a sentence explaining your choice

I imagine there would have to be rules how to keep those "audition portfolios" quite short, so the casting doesn't take forever. But if someone's nominated an actor, they probably got to their idea of why it's a good fit somewhat like this in the first place.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
The problem is, we who vote aren't experts and haven't seen all movies and all actors, and even if we see a clip of someone we've never seen before, we probably tend to prefer someone we've seen a lot. So, basically, any effort to try to make the process fast and efficient elevates the risk of the "wrong" person being chosen. I bet that at least a third of the people we have chosen for this project wouldn't really do well playing the characters they're chosen to play, for one reason or another. Some are perhaps the wrong age, some have bad chemistry with the actor/actress they're supposed to love, etc. I can come up with a lot of reasons. But in the end, it doesn't matter. The crucial question is: can the image of this person or what I know about him or her support the fantasy that he or she should play this character in an imagined television series? If it's a yes, then it's all good.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The problem is, we who vote aren't experts and haven't seen all movies and all actors, and even if we see a clip of someone we've never seen before, we probably tend to prefer someone we've seen a lot. So, basically, any effort to try to make the process fast and efficient elevates the risk of the "wrong" person being chosen. I bet that at least a third of the people we have chosen for this project wouldn't really do well playing the characters they're chosen to play, for one reason or another. Some are perhaps the wrong age, some have bad chemistry with the actor/actress they're supposed to love, etc. I can come up with a lot of reasons. But in the end, it doesn't matter. The crucial question is: can the image of this person or what I know about him or her support the fantasy that he or she should play this character in an imagined television series? If it's a yes, then it's all good.
This seems to be the case; I remember back in Season 2 when Christian Bale won the vote for Dragluin and the Hosts vetoed that because it was a famous actor in a relatively minor role, which they referred to as an overcast role; they thought it was wasteful. Something similar happened this year with Daisy Ridley as Meril, though the Hosts didn’t veto this time.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
If anyone has ideas on how to improve the casting process, please post them on this thread, or send me a direct message! I'll be grateful for any input!
I assume this ship has already sailed, but the reason I am completely uninterested in casting is the restriction that the actors must be at their current age as of the time of that casting episode. My two-fold beefs are that a) if this was a real project, we wouldn't actually be casting S4 until some time in the future, closer to 2030 than 2020, so it's already not realistic and b) it's not a real project, so if I want to cast 1989 Tim Curry and not 2020 Tim Curry in something, that should be an equal level of fine.

That said, it seems like people enjoy it this way, and it's not the MikeSilmFilm project, and I don't demand to enjoy everything at all times, so I'm fine to let casting happen without my attention.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
it's not a real project, so if I want to cast 1989 Tim Curry and not 2020 Tim Curry in something, that should be an equal level of fine.
I guess I understand that view, and I wouldn’t say I’m against it at all. In a way, we’re already in that territory. We have cast people to play elves who clearly have aged beyond a reasonable age, and the choice was most probably based on the image of the actor a number of years back, maybe a decade.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I guess I understand that view, and I wouldn’t say I’m against it at all. In a way, we’re already in that territory. We have cast people to play elves who clearly have aged beyond a reasonable age, and the choice was most probably based on the image of the actor a number of years back, maybe a decade.
The hosts themselves have acknowledged that many of the people cast would not be the appropriate age if this were a real show. For example, last session they noted that the actress we would cast to play Gilraen would probably be 9 years old in 2020.

While there is certainly value to placing limits on a creative project like this, there can come a point where the limitations get in the way of the fun. This may be the case with SilmFilm casting.

If this were a real show, it is highly unlikely that we would get such a famous cast. We would be working mostly with much less well known actors. Of course, finding these people to fantasy cast for SilmFilm would be much harder than the well known actors we have been casting so far, but, if we were to remove some of the restrictions and allow people like “1989 Tim Curry,” then I think we could better picture what we want the characters to look like, and a real casting call for SilmFilm would be something more like “someone who looks like 1989 Tim Curry and can act like 1989 Tim Curry” than a specific actor.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I should add that I'm not trying to re-litigate decisions that have been made - I only brought it up because it was the answer to a question that was directly asked.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I don’t think we can change our policy radically, but a small tweak shouldn’t be taboo.
 
Top