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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Casting Director?
A Casting Director is hired by a production company, studio, producer or director to locate talent for their projects. We contact talent agents, unrepresented trained actors or discover new faces.
How is a Casting Director paid?
A Casting Director is paid by the production company, studio, producer or director who hires them.
What is a talent agent?
A talent agent represents actors by submitting them to casting calls and negotiating contracts on behalf of the talent.
How is a talent agent paid?
A talent agent is paid a percentage of the fees paid to their talent, usually 10% of the talent rate, no more than 15%.
How can I avoid scams?
Any person or company who charges a fee upfront and promises to train you to become a model or actor IS A SCAM - such as John Casablancas and Barbizon. Legitimate agents will never charge for their classes, they only make money when YOU make money. Some casting directors will offer individual coaching or group acting classes, but this is NOT in exchange for casting you in their projects. If a Casting Director promises to cast you in projects ONLY IF you pay to take their classes, THIS IS ALSO A SCAM.
"Pay to play" is ILLEGAL in the State of California.
I want to act but I don't have experience...
One of the easiest routes to beginning a career as an actor is to work as Background Talent or Stand In. By working in these positions, you will learn set etiquette (or how to behave on set) and how a set functions. A film set is much like the military. There is a chain of command, an order that is always followed, and many specific terms to learn. By working as "BG Talent" you will be on set to learn and study these terms while getting paid to do it!
*Please see the Background Talent page for more information.
Who can work as Background Talent, Stand Ins, or Photo Doubles?
ANYONE can work in these positions. Any race, gender, ethnicity, age, size or shape can begin a career in film or television. Casting will depend on the project. For instance, on a period Western, men and women with natural hair and beards may be needed. On a Native American historical piece, Indigenous people of all ages, shapes and sizes may be needed, men as well as women and children. For a modern commercial, talent with pink or blue hair may be requested. YOU can work on any project, and can make a career out of it.
How are Background Talent paid?
All talent is paid a flat fee which is negotiated at the beginning of their contract. Fees will change depending on the role, budget and size of the project, and whether that project is Union (SAG/AFTRA) or Non-Union. Some projects will pay on a weekly basis, such as episodics (aka TV shows), or Union feature films. Non-union projects and most commercials pay after 30 days, but should ALWAYS pay no later than 45 days. Talent BEWARE an agent who takes longer than 45 days to pay.
What will my work hours be?
In the film industry, there are no set working hours, however YOU are able to accept work on the days that you are available.
A film or episodic will shoot based on the times and locations dictated by the script. This could mean that some travel may be required, or that you may be called into work at 3am one day, and 8pm the next.
Television commercials usually film Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.
A typical day on set should last 10 to 12 hours.
Usually Background Talent, Stand-Ins and Photo Doubles are paid a flat fee per day, regardless of hours on set (no overtime).
Meals, snacks, drinks, restroom facilities and a temperature regulated holding area should always be provided.
Does Scissortail Casting offer classes?
For inexperienced talent that are new to working on set, and for Background Talent, Stand In and Photo Double hires, we will offer FREE training via Zoom before your first day on set, as time allows. This is to ensure that you are aware of set rules and terminology.
*Soon we will offer a free training video which is to be completed before your first day on set. Those who have completed the Background Talent Application will receive a link to the training once it is available, and upon completing the video you will be added to our "Ready-to-Hire" list.
**Sometimes we will have urgent or last-minute casting calls for background talent. Every effort will be made to ensure that you are prepared to arrive on set, but time may not allow the full training course - we will catch up on it at a later date.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING AS BACKGROUND TALENT, STAND-IN, OR PHOTO DOUBLE, BE SURE TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION TO RECEIVE OUR CASTING CALLS.
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