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Create more impact with your casting calls

By Russ Freeman, written 1361399177.

Here's our quick guide to making sure your casting calls have impact and reach the right people.
To create a casting call simply click Castings above and then click the Create new casting button near the top right.

Summary

  • Make sure your portfolio looks fabulous.
  • Ensure you know what you want.
  • Title is key. Content is important too.
  • Use the facilities available, such as images and formatting.
  • Set the location and dates for your casting call.
  • Use PurplePort Shoot Plans and image collections to convey your shoot goals. 

Ensure your portfolio is looking its best

Firstly, make sure your portfolio is looking its best. When logged in click on the purple cog near top right and then click Your portfolio.

Check your profile notes for spelling/grammar errors. Make sure you have used the formatting options in the editor (e.g. to set bullet points, use bold and italic for emphasis, etc). Have you used txt spk? Well, you shouldn’t if you want to attract work or collaborators.

Take a look at your images. Your avatar/profile image is what will be displayed on all casting calls that you make, along with the first 10 images from your portfolio. Are these your best images? If not, it's worth re-arranging your images so the first 10 images are your best. To do this view your portfolio and drag/drop your images so the first 10 are the best ones.

If you’re a model then double check the information shown under Stats and sizes which is displayed on the right-hand side of your profile page (remember, accuracy is vital here). You can make any changes to this via your Stats and sizes page.

Payment options

Choosing the correct payment options is vital. If you choose the wrong one then your target audience will not receive an email notification for your casting call and it will then obviously not be seen by, or responded to, as many people as it could.

  • Collaborate - this is where everyone will essentially work and receive images as payment. Generally, to avoid disagreement later, you will agree what you will get before the shoot. See our article about shooting TFP/CD.
  • Get Paid - this is where you are seeking to be paid for your services. Again, agree what you will do and for how much before the shoot.
  • Pay for a shoot - this is where you are willing to pay for someone to shoot with you. This time you should agree what you will pay and what you expect in return before you actually shoot. 

Location

This information is important to get right. Incorrect locations added mean that people in the area you actually want to shoot won’t be notified of your casting call, and you may miss out on work or collaborations.

By default the location used for your casting call will be the same location set for your account which is shown on your profile. Make sure this is correct for your casting call. Generic locations added to casting calls, such as United Kingdom, are not useful. Set the location on your casting call by either adding your town/city name or the first part of your post/zip code.

If you are travelling or wishing to shoot somewhere else then you can easily change the location for the casting call.

Title and description: Know what you want

A casting call simply titled shoot is next to useless. A snappy and informative title can mean the difference between finding work or collaborators and getting absolutely nothing at all. Be sure your title is both explanatory and interesting.

A great subject or title can mean the difference between someone looking at your casting call or missing it completely. Make the subject of your casting call awesome!

Examples:

  • Bad: Shoot tomorrow.
  • Good: Fashion shoot tomorrow in the grounds of a manor house.
  • Bad: Nude shoot.
  • Good: Fine art nude shoot using natural light during September.

Be as specific as you can in your description. There’s no realistic limit on description lengths, but short sentences and brevity win the day. Remember that someone may see dozens of casting calls every day and won’t have time to read the 20 paragraphs of description for your shoot idea - instead they will browse on to the next casting call. A way around that is to put a brief summary at the top of your casting call and then go into more detail below.

Spell check. Read it twice, and then again a couple of times. Bad use of English puts a lot of people off so take time to read your casting call a few times and double check that it makes sense.

After you create your casting call you have 10 minutes to view and edit it before email and onsite notifications go out to potentially thousands of people, so it's really worth double checking everything.

Dates

The dates used when creating your casting call help to do two things;

  • An expiry (or end date) will mean your casting call will expire at the end date which will remove it from the casting calls system
  • Tells anyone viewing your casting call when you wish to shoot

An open ended casting call will live forever in the system, but it won’t do much good. It will end up falling off the main list of casting calls quite quickly. Setting a date range, or at least adding an end date, will make sure your casting call expires naturally.

Add images

Images can add some much needed impact to your casting call. Be sure you view your casting call after editing it to make sure that your images look good. Adding too many images, or having images which are too large, will not help the effectiveness of your casting call.

Collect inspiring images: add a link into your casting call

By all means collect images from around PurplePort into a collection for your shoot idea and share that collection in your casting call. Adding links to casting calls is done in the exact same way as for profile notes, messages, group posts, etc.

Remember that a private image collection cannot be shared so you will need to make your collection public before linking to it.

Use a shoot plan

Shoot Plans are a fabulous way of sharing your vision of what the shoot will be about without cluttering up your casting call or sharing your shoot ideas with the world. To use this feature go to your homepage and from the grey cog (top right) click Shoot plans under the heading My stuff

If you get someone interested in your shoot idea you can share the shoot plan with them easily by viewing the shoot plans, as described above, and then clicking the Share button.

In your shoot plans describe your shoot, and the requirements for any collaborators, in as much detail as you like. By all means add images and links to any resources you feel fit the needs of your shoot.

Example

Here's a great example of a casting call by Artemis Fauna that is well formatted, informative and fun - I'm finally returning to Scotland! August tour 

See also...