The Lockdown Sessions: Castaway- the Recipe for Succesful Casting

The Lockdown Sessions: Castaway – the recipe for successful casting

(2 customer reviews)


This course was recorded and is available as VOD, to access it purchase it and check your confirmation email for the link.

This course is also available on demand for free in the member’s area, click HERE



At a glance

  • Welcome to Raindance Lockdown Sessions
  • Enjoy professional film education wherever you are
  • An hour of relevant and practical advice from an industry professional
You cannot fail with casting. The wrong actors in your movie means disaster before you start. In an hour long lock down course, director Simon Hunter takes you through the sure fire way to success. From attracting a casting director to trying to bag a ’name’ actor for your indy movie Simon shares tips and inside inside information that helps you achieve your casting goals. The course also includes tips for successful table reads, how to organise an open casting call and how to street cast for genuine believability and authenticity.

What you’ll learn

  • How to work through the casting process
  • How to aim high when assembling a cast
  • How to work with a casting director and your cast

About the Tutor

Simon Hunter has directed over fifty tv commercials and three feature films. His directing debut was the horror movie LIGHTHOUSE in the year 2000 and he went on to direct the visual effects-laden sci-fi movie THE MUTANT CHRONICLES in 2008. Simon’s first feature, Lighthouse, was released theatrically in 2002. Simon subsequently became a much sort after commercials director before returning to features with Edward R Pressman’s Mutant Chronicles in the Summer of 2006. Simon flew to Qatar in 2014 to direct 20 episodes of a Scifi adventure series set in the desert. The filming takes place in Qatar, Jordan and India. In 2017 Simon directed his passion project, EDIE which tells the tale of an older lady who climbs a mountain in Scotland at the age of eighty-three. The film has had an enthusiastic and successful theatrical release in the UK and has sold to multiple territories. Simon lives in the German capital, Berlin. Since 1999 he has regularly lectured for RAINDANCE and other organisations.

Read Breaking in as a Film Director by Simon

Ask a question about Raindance Film School

2 reviews for The Lockdown Sessions: Castaway – the recipe for successful casting

  1. Ana Ramos (verified owner)

    Excellent masterclass on the impact of a good casting. Simon sounded very approachable and keen to help.

  2. BEATRICE COLBRANT (verified owner)

    Before this interesting session I watched “Lighthouse”, one of the speaker’s feature films and found it extremely original. An atmospheric horror movie set in a lighthouse, not Virginia Woolf’s one, but a horrific place with a murderer cutting off heads all over the place. I loved the light, the location, the ambiance and the cast, mainly character actors, far from the traditional – good- looks of a Jan- Michael Vincent or a Helmut Berger, but not lacking in charisma and intensity. On the contrary, simply wonderful character actors. Simon Hunter, the speaker, is a TV commercials director and he has also made three feature films including this one which I found brilliant. Another film is “Edie”, the story of a 83 year old woman who sets herself a challenge and decides to climb a mountain. Didn’t Maria von Trapp sing “Climb every mountain?”. Of course she was much younger but it is never too late in life. Some films have remained cult films also for their unusual cast like “Night of the Living Dead” for example, so I was very interested to hear Simon Hunter talk about the importance of finding the appropriate cast for a film and make it a success.

    Well, first you can go for open casting calls where you do the casting yourself but it is not always easy to find the right actors despite the number of websites where you can place your ad and explain what sort of actor you are looking for. You can also do a street casting, heading to your location and look for approachable individuals who will be offered a part. Or you can simply hire a casting director who will often find a name actor or a beginner with potential and talent.

    This was a very informative and pragmatic session with a series of tips and advice, from how to do table reads, write a casting brief, do a self tape or fire your cast when the chemistry is not working, not easy but often the right decision. The French actor Maurice Ronet was fired from the set of “Lawrence of Arabia” for not wanting to wear dark contact lenses as David Lean decided that Omar Sharif was better for the part and what a good decision it was too. And your project may even attract a star if you can offer something they have not done before. Catherine Deneuve in particular has made many first timer films because she found the project interesting.

    Despite the difficult context at the moment, I feel immensely optimistic and am sure that we will recover our lives soon, with the delight of watching films in cinemas and meeting up with friends. No, life will not change and it will go on with simple pleasures like making projects, having a long awaited hair cut or preparing the usual summer holiday to France. Someone said : “Americans are into doing and having, the French are into being”. Although I am not sure this is really a quality, I guess it is true. Fundamentally I guess that we, the frogs, don’t really care about money, what is important for us is someone who does not mistake Prosecco for Champagne, who does not drink from the bottle and who
    appreciates a camembert which is not as hard as plaster. And by the way, who loves us -intensely- otherwise, please leave us, we don’t care.

    Furthermore, in these difficult times, friends and family remain essential, bringing so much joy, and can you imagine that we have just had some good news from Basile, our 4 year-old friend, who visited us recently, Marcel-the-cat and me, and was very naughty -and noisy-, but wants to keep in touch and seems to have forgotten his “comportement extraordinaire” as he misses us badly, Marcel more than me. He is on the phone and says that he heard Boris on television talking about bubbles, so he would like to do bubbles with Marcel-the-cat, also suggesting a ZOOM meeting to discuss this matter further. The problem is that Marcel is very shy and does not want to form a bubble with anyone or anything. Furthermore Marcel does not like to appear on camera and he also feels more than depressed about his very unexciting life here, having nothing to look forward to and nothing to do, except watching old movies with Vincent Price’s and listening to Richard Wagner or Brazilian bossa nova whilst he only likes pop music, which I hate. I think he has decided to leave me but, as he has good manners, he is trying not to pack up too quickly and not to look too enthusiastic about the whole thing although, obviously, he cannot wait to go back to Armin and Richard, my two gay friends who have legal custody and bring him here for a bit of “presence feminine” from time to time which frankly Marcel does not seem to need. So I am unable to answer Basile’s request favourably and the boy tells me that I am a sad disappointment, which was inevitable. Basile’s day is not a happy one since the kindergarden is still closed and he sadly regrets not having a baby brother at his side and a strawberry ice cream in his hand as all this would help him go through life, even more so that he just spent his last 20 pence foolishly and is now considering fund raising. I am not sure that 20 pence still get you a baby brother, not even an ice cream these days, but I have decided to respond to the appeal favourably as I find the situation very hard too with Marcel constant overeating making me doubt that he will find any sort of companionship to finish his life with as he now barely moves and looks even more lethargic than me. Coming from the French culture where we kiss people all day long , even colleagues at work, with our traditional “bise” – a platonic kiss on the cheeks – I also find it very hard not to be able to hug anyone at the moment, as these days I could kiss the dustbin man or the postman even if they were not gay. As for Scandinavians, they are now hugging trees.

    I really look forward to another of these lockdown sessions, the best initiative since the invention of the baguette.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.