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Rollbesättaren Jami Rudofsky

Rollbesättaren Jami Rudofsky
På vår andra date med amerikanska filmarbetare träffar vi rollbesättaren Jami Rudofsky. Hon har varit rollbesättare i Los Angeles i över 20 år och avslutade nyligen andra säsongen av Showtimes ”Masters of Sex” tillsammans med Risa Bramon Garcia. Jami har även rollbesatt den klassiska tv-serien “Gilmore Girls” i 7 år. Hur arbetar en rollbesättare i USA?

20 år som rollbesättare
Som med de flesta jobb inom nöjesindustrin behöver du starta från botten, sikta högt, bygga nätverk och ha lite tur på vägen, om du vill vill bli rollbesättare. Du ökar dessutom dina chanser att lyckas om du har en bakgrund inom skådespeleri själv, eftersom du förstår branschen bättre. Jami är inget undantag och är närmast aktuell med TNT-piloten “Cocaine Cowboys”, producerad av Jerry Bruckheimer och Michael Bay.

Hon kommer även till Stockholm den 24-25 april för att dela med sig av sina erfarenheter på seminariet ”A date with Hollywood”, men redan nu har vi på Filmcafe.se fått chansen att ta del av hennes visdom!
How do you usually go about finding actors for roles?
Do you advertise online through a casting service or do you reach out to agents and managers?

- The first step in finding actors for roles is putting out a breakdown (Annons för rollen- Red. anm.) through Breakdown Services (Los Angeles centrala casting system - Reds anmn), Los Angeles centrala casting system for example . We release a breakdown of all the people involved in the production, as well as descriptions of each character, age, type, ethnicity, ect. The breakdown is released to every agent and manager. They then submit their actors for consideration. However, depending on the project and type of role, we get on the phone with some agents and managers to discuss other ideas or people they maybe have not thought of or bigger name actors who they may not submit on-line. Or sometimes, I’ve seen an actor in a play or a workshop and I bring them in to audition based on the work I’ve seen them do.
How many submissions do you usually get?
How many submissions do you usually get when you ask people to send their headshot and resumé, and what is the process of handling all those applications?

- Again this all depends on the project. We can get up to 1000 or more submissions for one role. If we are casting a series regular for a pilot (new potential series), we generally go to the A-List agencies first and then sift through the other agencies submissions. We do ultimately look at all the submissions. We also look first at head shots and then resumes to see if the actors have credits that feel right for the project. If we are casting a comedy, someone with a lot of drama credits would probably not be someone we would audition first.
Have you ever received gifts with a submission?
Have you ever received gifts with a submission from actors that want to stand out from the crowd? Can you name a few examples and does that actually work?

- I have received gifts in the past, such as a gift card for coffee or some kind of candy. Yes, sometimes it works if you catch me on the right day. It does catch my attention. I think where it becomes a problem is when it is done too much. Be thoughtful about to whom and when you send a gift. If someone is casting a project you are passionate about then it makes sense to make an extra effort. But to do it for every casting person could be costly and every casting director is different about how they feel about receiving gifts.
When do you decide to call a person?
What is the process for you from the point of looking at a resumé, or seeing an actor perform on stage, to actually deciding to call the person in to read for a character you’re looking for?

- It varies. Sometimes I just see a face that I love and that speaks to me and I will bring the actor in. Other times, I see credits on the resume that I like or I see the actor has done a lot of great theatre work. I am the kind of casting director that reads a resume from the bottom up because in general people list their theatre credits at the bottom of their resume. I also see a lot of theatre so if someone does really nice work on stage, I love to bring them in to audition for projects I’m working on. The key is to be open and creative. It’s always fun to cast people who are not necessarily the exact type that is written on the page.

How long is the casting process on average?

- Pilots usually are 10 weeks. Television shows depend on how many episodes are shooting in a season. We are starting Season 3 of Masters of Sex next week and will be on the show until the end of August. Film is different. Most big budget features can cast for 3-4 months. Smaller budget indies sometimes are 3-8 weeks.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being a Casting Director?
- I think the hardest part about the job is that we have to answer to so many people above us. Producers, Writers, Directors, Studio executives and network executives. Everyone has a different idea of who they want for the role. Sometimes, we believe we have found the perfect person for the role but there are 20 other people who have opinions and it can get frustrating because we sometimes lose our power to speak up. We have to just send them choices or give them ideas and they ultimately get to decide who gets cast and its out of our hands. But when the right person gets cast and everyone agrees it’s a great feeling.

Förutom allt arbete på Film/TV-sidan, så castar Jami också prisade teaterföreställningar runtomkring i Los Angeles. Hon är ordinarie rollsättare och konstnärlig ledamot i styrelsen hos Celebration Theatre. Celebration Theatre är en fri teater vars syfte är att framföra nytänkande, provokativa och samtida pjäser som utforskar homo-, bisexuell- och trans-kultur (HBTQ) och har så gjort i över 32 år. Jami har en fil kand i teater från UCLA. Hon är starkt engagerad i skådespelarens dagliga tillvaro och har delat sin kunskap som lärare på BCB Studio och Shari Shaw Acting Studio i LA.

Vill du träffa Jami och ha en workshop med henne kommer hon till Stockholm med ”A date with Hollywood” den 24-25 april.

Vallentuna 2015-03-15

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