Entertainment Resources

Commercials

How the process works

With the ever-increasing number of products emerging in the market, companies around the world are creating commercials constantly, and most of them require the contribution of many talented actors and models.

After a concept for a commercial is created, company representatives meet with directors to discuss the image they wish to portray and the types of people they wish to cast. This is called a breakdown. It is a list of the different roles that need to be cast with a detailed description of what the actors should look like and often what special skills they need to possess. Breakdowns are constantly sent to agencies to find the talent needed to fill required roles. Agents must then search for compatible actors, referring them to casting directors that can narrow down their searches and find the ideal candidates for their project. At this juncture, extensive screen tests and interviews are scheduled and a final list of the names of actors that make the cut will be sent back to their respective agencies. If you are one of the lucky individuals, you will be notified by your agency regarding the commercial audition.

Your Two Best Friends

Any actor's best friends when auditioning for any project are his or her headshot and resume. These are the only things casting directors have access to when compiling callbacks for auditions. Because of this factor, your headshot and resume need to distance you from everyone else vying for this part, making you stand out of the crowd and get noticed.

Your headshot and resume also need to be accurate representations of who you are and what you can do. If you misrepresent your talents, abilities, or anything else in your photos or resume, it will only waste everyone's time and result in a serious blow to your credibility. Do not seek an image that is totally not you, but try to find parts that cater to your existing image. Be honest about your relative skills and talents and represent your "type" appropriately.

Figuring Out Your "Type"

A "type" is simply how one is perceived by the outside world. It is not something one strives for, but something that one possesses, like a character trait. Figure out who you are and how you fit into the scheme of things before taking your photographs so you can represent yourself accurately. Here are a few different categories of "types":

Leading Man

A very attractive man, usually between the ages of twenty-five and sixty. This is the type of man you see in lead roles in both feature films and television shows.

Leading Lady A very attractive woman, usually between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five. This is the type of woman you see in lead roles in feature films and television shows.

Ingenue

A young leading lady.

Character

The majority of individuals fit into this category. While not necessarily traditionally beautiful, character actors possess certain distinctions that make them intriguing to the audience. This can range from a physical trait, character, look, or even the ability to accurately portray a realistic persona.

The dividing line between leading ladies and men and character actors is continually getting smaller, with more and more overlap between the types. Many prominent actors today are not exclusively one or another, combining traits from the two. Although these representations are geared mainly toward television shows and feature films, they serve as a useful guide to making commercials. You must keep in mind that, currently companies prefer to represent the average individual in commercials, utilizing more and more character actors that can effectively relate to the general public.

Because of this, it is imperative that your headshot is an honest depiction of who you are and your resume represents your abilities truthfully. Keep in mind that character actors are in very high demand and work just as much as, if not more than lead actors.

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