Added: Ilyssa Dagostino - Date: 12.02.2022 12:11 - Views: 32207 - Clicks: 9337
Since Spotlight has been connecting casting directors with the right actors for their roles. Almost all of the major film, television, theatre, musical and commercial projects are cast through Spotlight but the way the casting platform works from the point of view of you, the actor is often misunderstood. The first hurdle you will face is actually getting accepted onto the platform. According to their ing criteria: You can Spotlight if you have at least four professional, completed credits not in pre or post production. Qualifying credits do not include commercials, idents, short films, music videos, corporate films, student productions and any work as an extra or supporting artist.
When you apply you have to provide proof of either a minimum of a year in full time training at a recognised institution or proof of those four professional credits. Spotlight does this to maintain a high standard of professionalism on the platform but many actors feel these criterion are a little unfair as it specifically excludes commercials and shorts both of which are generally highly regarded professional media within the industry and often come with sizeable compensation as well as making up the vast majority of castings available to most actors on the platform.
Some performers have even been known to outright lie in their applications, making up fake professional credits just to be accepted on the platform. Or my own casting platform The Hustle Castings which is free, for everyone, forever!
Unlike most other casting platforms in the UK, Spotlight charges a standard fee to simply host your online with no additional premium features you can pay for. Mandy and StarNow for example, although widely considered a lower standard, are free to have a basic profile on, but charge you a subscription fee for premium services like submissions or promotion of your profile.
When a casting director wants to cast their nets as wide as possible, and accept submissions from as many people as possible they will put it out on the spotlight link. Worthy of note is that, firstly the vast majority of these opportunities are already closed for submission. Spotlight leaves them up there for around a month or so. I can only imagine this is to make it feel like there are more castings on there then are truly available at any given time.
For Film and TV combined there were just over breakdowns out of over two thousand and not a single one of these was still open for submissions. This means if you are an unrepresented actor, particularly if you are focused on theatre or screen, then worrying about getting yourself on Spotlight might be totally unfounded. You could be better off saving your money and working on gaining credits through the other platforms and raising your profile so that you can get yourself an agent first before applying for Spotlight.
This means that anyone who is represented by any agent that has agent access to Spotlight will see these breakdowns. If you are an emerging actor this is where you want to start because this is where the value of Spotlight really begins to pay off. In the last week I have seen two casting directors, who had put out a general submission, tweet that they had received over submissions in less than a day and had to close the doors.
This presents casting directors with an impossible task, they will probably only be able to see a hundred or so maximum if they are really casting wide so they have to have a way to narrow the playing field. In brief, casting directors have the option to curate which agents they prefer to get submissions from.
They will add certain agents to groups or lists and selectively send breakdowns only to those groups. The last way in which Spotlight is used to facilitate the casting process is simply where a casting director will reach out to an agent directly if they have a specific client in mind they want to audition.
They might then submit their Spotlight profile directly without any breakdown ever going out. There is one other major way that talent is discovered through Spotlight and that is the Spotlight Search. This is the reverse of the breakdown process where instead of our agents submitting our Spotlight profiles in response to a casting, a casting director will search through the directory of performers in order to gather a list of potential candidates with specific attributes or skills.
Reminding us how important it is to keep our spotlight profiles up to date, and not to leave anything on our profiles that might be misleading. However hundreds of thousands of searches does not equal hundreds of thousands of submissions or auditions as a result.
To put it another way; over 70 years you are likely to receive one audition as a result of a Spotlight Search if we assumed that every member will receive at least one, which they wont. Spotlight has come under fire quite a bit recently over two main subjects. The first is membership fees and the second is promoting free work. This is a commendable step forward from Spotlight who no longer believe that genuine opportunities are being offered under the umbrella of no-pay or expenses only and really sets Spotlight apart as the leading platform for professional castings.
However they have been less satisfactory, in their response to criticism about membership fees. The main complaint of average members is that, despite the operating costs of Spotlight dramatically decreasing in the last few years with the elimination of the printed catalogues, a huge cost saving to the company, this cost saving has not been in any way passed on to members and in fact membership fees have actually gone up. In addition to the general complaint about the rising cost of membership, the secondary complaint, as detailed above, is that not everyone has the same access to castings listed on the site, despite everyone paying the same.
Many performers, particularly dancers in theatre, get their Spotlight completely for free but have the same profile privileges as everyone else.
To this day theatre companies will have some cast members paying regular fees and their colleagues, often doing the same job, getting their for free. This places a large unspoken question mark over the argument that everyone pays the same and everyone gets the same profile. A probationary membership could be offered at a reduced cost to actors, particularly those who are unrepresented. The ing criteria for probation could be less strict than full membership making it easier for emerging actors to get on the platform and start gaining the experience and credits necessary to become a full member.
Probationary members could only be granted access to the Spotlight Link, and could be filtered out of access to breakdowns by casting teams. This means there would be no additional burden placed on casting directors who already have far too many submissions to manage. Unrepresented actors, who currently have to pay the same as their colleagues with big agents, would have the option to instead become probationary members reducing their yearly fees but retaining most of the service they get anyway by being unrepresented.
The financial hit that Spotlight might take from actors downgrading to probationary would likely be made up many times over by new actors ing who were ly not eligible for full membership. It would also address the complaint about the quality of castings on the Spotlight Link not qualifying actors to actually get on the platform. Aside from the casting platform Spotlight also champions what they describe as a holistic approach to services for members providing career development services, advice sessions, workshops and events throughout the year, self taping services and room rental, as well as practical day-to-day advice and support for members who might be struggling as well as discounted membership for disabled members.
Refusing to fulfill the "starving actor" stereotype I took an online course in digital marketing while on my first job to help pay the bills when I finished. Several certifications and thousands of pounds in further training later have led me to teaching other actors how to market and sell themselves the right way to get more auditions for more of their ideal jobs. All while maintaining a fulfilling acting career myself.
How Spotlight Really Works. Finally understand how to become a member and how the casting platform really works. Casting Websites. March 17, Jason Broderick Casting Websites. Table of Contents.
Add a header to begin generating the table of contents. Related Posts. How Spotlight Really Works Finally understand how to become a member and how the casting platform really works.Spotlight subscription cost
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What to expect when ing Spotlight as a performer