Movie Mom

Movie Mom


“Casting By” — HBO Documentary About Casting Directors

posted by Nell Minow

Anyone who cares about movies should see “Casting By,” a new documentary on HBO about casting directors.  It is a rare opportunity to see early glimpses of some of the greatest actors live in their first roles and even never-seen before audition tapes.  But more important, it is a chance to understand the influence of casting directors like the pioneering Marion Dougherty, who championed actors like Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and John Travolta and literally changed the face of movies.

In the early studio days, actors were primarily chosen for their looks, including the indefinable “screen presence.”  They were under contract, and when it came time to make a movie they would often pick whoever was available from their list of in-house talent.  They would train them in-house as well.  “They used what people looked like physically to define the character…Can we fix the nose, can we fix the teeth?  Last on the list was ‘can they act?’”

The end of the studio era coincided with a change in story-telling on film that opened the door for New York stage-trained actors who looked less like leading men and more like real people, actors who understood a new kind of acting based on “inner being, emotional truth.”  The movies were ready for “great actors as opposed to the Hollywood star-making system.”  That was where Dougherty came in.  She began casting for live television, a trial by fire that was the perfect foundation for getting to know the actors and the business.  It is touching to hear the gratitude of the actors she helped.  “She can see what other people can’t see,” we learn.  “Even before you see it in yourself,” adds Danny Glover.

 



Previous Posts

Great Cinematographers on Instagram
Indiewire has a gorgeous array of Instagram feeds from Hollywood cinematographers. Be sure to talke a look so you can follow them.

posted 8:00:27am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »

De-fictionalizing Products in Movies and Television: Life Imitating Art
Fast Company has an article about Omni Consumer Products, a "de-fictionalizing" company that looks for products in movies and television that do not really exist and makes them available. As the sole proprietor of Omni Consumer Products, [Pete] Hottelet is constantly scanning the pop culture z

posted 8:00:17am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tusk
You can make a good movie about slackers, for example "Slackers," from Richard Linklater and "Clerks" from Kevin Smith. But you can't make a good movie by a slacker, and Smith does not seem wi

posted 5:59:40pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

This is Where I Leave You
A toddler carries his little potty out in front of the house so he can try out his new-found skill in public. Twice. Plus another time when the contents of the potty are first displayed for the

posted 5:59:39pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

The Maze Runner
Yes, it's another dystopic YA trilogy (actually, there's a fourth volume, a prequel), and yes, only a teenager with fabulous cheekbones can save the day. But "The Maze Runner" is not a lesser repeat. It is a worthy addition to the genre, an absorbing drama with surprising turns and even more surpris

posted 5:59:23pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.