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Film Casting During COVID-19

It’s been six months since Covid-19 has forever changed the world, and we are still feeling the effects across every industry, including the film industry. When the casting for Pride Jewel began in January 2020, life was pre-covid, and the living was easy. While the production team began auditions in person, Coronavirus quickly changed the name of the game. Our team put our heads together (remotely) to decide how to move forward virtually.

After successfully overcoming all obstacles this pandemic presented us with, we would like to share some steps we took to shift casting to a virtual world.

Step 1: Posted notice on casting platform

We used Casting Networks to find local talent, but there are plenty of websites to help find a qualified audience of actors/actresses. Our notice included film dates, open roles, and requested headshots and resumes from interested actors.

Step 2: Shared roles and script with prospective cast

After reviewing headshots and resumes, we shared the roles and script with the individuals that we thought were most promising. The Pride Jewel team then asked for self tapes of characters reading their lines (which were beyond impressive) to get a better sense of their voices and how each person would portray that character.

Step 3: Hosted a Zoom meeting with a live reading of script

The Pride Jewel team made some tough decisions and invited our top choices to join us on a Zoom call to read through the script live. Things were looking bright after jumping over the first hurdle of producing a film during the pandemic.

Although the process differed from traditional in-person auditions, virtual casting has proven efficient, and there is a good chance it is here to stay.

In addition to virtual auditions, the Pride Jewel team worked creatively by using our internal network to help round out our cast. Earlier this year, Miss Boston 2020 Kristina Ayanian joined us for 4D Legacy’s “The Armenians Podcast”. As we were searching high and low for someone to play the role of the glowing bride in Pride Jewel, we had a revelation - Kristina would be the perfect fit!

After one of our characters for a dramatic action scene cancelled at the last minute, we had to get really crafty. Luckily our friendly, guitar-playing RV manager agreed to step in for the intense scene. Although he had no previous acting experience, Meylis Ovezov absolutely blew it out of the water with his natural abilities.

By using team members who were already scheduled to be onsite, we were able to limit the amount of people on set to keep our bubble smaller and safer. Keep a fine eye out for our internal team stars/special connections when Pride Jewel premieres in November 2020!

Our team is confident that with a little creativity and strategic thinking the film industry can safely continue to produce content for our audiences who are #safeathome. We are excited to use our blog to continue to showcase ways on how we safely operated and produced a feature film during a worldwide pandemic.

Watch for our next blog which will be posted next Tuesday (8/25) and subsequent postings! The Pride Jewel team is producing exciting new podcast and webcast episodes with our amazing cast. Sign up to our email list to stay updated on our blog, podcast, giveaways and our upcoming film Pride Jewel itself!

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