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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Online Casting Call Sites (Singapore)

This post compares Singapore-based online casting call sites that help freelance actors look for paid roles (those with dialogues), in stage/film productions. 


Statistics based on: 100 AADB casting calls from 21 January 2016 to 21 March 2016.

Note: FBCCS is a superset. It has more casting calls than AADB. All the 100 casting calls (barring the unpaid ones) in AADB also appears in FBCCS, but not the converse. 

Note: FBCCS forbids unpaid gigs to be posted in the group and bars errant or dubious production companies. It also has a black list of companies who default or delay payments to actors. FBCCS is moderated by a group of volunteer administrators.

Of the 100 AADB casting call posts, only 81 are unique posts for paid work for actors (with dialogues).

In the 30 days from 21 March 2016 to 22 April 2016, there are only 56 unique AADB posts for paid work. This means an estimated:
1.87 posts per day; or 
683 posts per year; 
Given that AADB charges $150 for its basic services, this works out to be 22 cents per post.

In the same comparison, FBCCS has 126 unique posts on paid work for actors with dialogue. This means an estimated:
4.2 posts per day; or 
1,533 posts per year;
and all FOR FREE!

AADB may pride itself as an actor's database that casting agents may go to, but in the last year, I only got 1 paid assignment from this route. 

In comparison, I got about 5 paid assignments  from producers, directors and casting agents having found me on Facebook.  This means that my free Facebook profile page and my blog have worked better than my paid profile page on AADB.

At the time of writing, AADB has about 291 members.

In comparison, FBCCS has 14k members, granted that not all of them are actors, but even if 10 percent of them are, it makes a 1,178 actor pool. So apart from an experienced talent pool, it could well be a goldmine for discovering new talents and new faces.

Clearly, AADB is outflanked and outgunned by Facebook.  If the current trend persists, AADB will be history in 2 years. If it is any consolation, Facebook has been gaining ground in many fronts among a myriad of other online sites.

If you like to learn more about acting and how to improve your chances at auditions, you may like to read this.

2. Facebook Casting Call Groups  [Updated: 27 May 2018]
Moreover, there are several other groups in Facebook, namely:
Casting Call and Auditions Singapore (17k members)
- Casting Call Singapore (14k members)
Singapore Actor Database (6.8k members)
- Garang Talent Group. (5.2k members)
- Casting Call SG (4.3k members)
Casting Call Student (3k members)
- Official Singapore Casting Call and Auditions (it is not 'official') (1.8k members).

3. Other Casting Call Sites:

I used to use mandy.com. They used to have more casting calls, but the number of calls had somehow dwindled. Recently mandy.com have stopped offering their services for free. So I am not using it anymore.

Castingdb.sg came up briefly last year with profile pages, search functions, and a rating system for cast and production houses. Unfortunately, the site was not well tested and was paralysed by software bugs. It would have otherwise made a good alternative.

There is another site, an onlinecasting.sg, which displays casting calls, profile pages and search functions for producers to converge on the talents they are looking for. At the moment, the casting calls seem to have come out straight from the Facebook groups. But still, kudos for their efforts for coming up with a better site, and moreover a free one to boot.

VIDDSEE.COM [UPDATE [9th Feb 2017)]
They are an Asian short film curator site, has a Casting section now. Click here.

It has only a few casting ads there at the moment, but I think it has a potential to grow with the viewership of their films. At the moment, it allows unpaid gigs to be advertised. Perhaps even becoming a casting place for Asian films or Asian actors.

Yaplat Casting (formerly TALENTPAY ) [UPDATED 10 MAY 2018]
I have found one interesting curated site called TalentPay,  click here. At the moment they are focused on East Asian, Indian and Australian markets.

I think there will be more competition coming up in this space for 'curation'. This is similar to the short film space where curators like Viddsee.com has arisen.

Online casting sites are said to be guilty for the rapid fall in actors' compensation, as it has made casting easier. Consequently, this leads to more videos made, particularly with the fall in camera and LED light prices,. So, the number of productions are expected to increase. It is akin to the unleashing of budget airline fares in the travel industry that led to more people travelling.

The downside of thus trend is that we now get a huge number of candidates with mixed abilities applying for every role advertised. So preliminary selections are still needed and the talent agency will still have a place in the ecosystem. Except now, they will have to offer more added value services to both the production company and the talents. The days of merely playing the middleman and commission collector are numbered.

Curiously,the playing field is now more leveled because of the Internet and social networks. There is even a "Little Black List" Facebook Group, (click here) for those who feel that they are unfairly treated to air the views. Thankfully, it hasn't degraded into anarchy as feared. Curiously, the Internet community does find its own consensus for reasonableness and wisdom. The moral of the story here is not to bully or treat anyone unfairly, for karma is always such a bitch. Karmic backlash on the Internet go viral and magnify in intensity real quick.

So despite the absence of unions, some unfair practices do get resolved,  though, I feel that unions will make such resolutions more systematic. 

The film industry is not the only one disrupted by the onslaught of technologies. See "The Future of Cinema and TV", click here. Many industries from banking to taxis are seeing their businesses turned-on-its-head by the Internet, digital interfaces, social network and smart devices. For more details, click here.

There is no turning back. Resistance is futile. Instead we should all leverage on these technologies to get ahead, For instance, it is now possible to learn acting and film making via the Internet, eg. "200 gigs and 200 lessons", for more click here,

Do you know any casting call sites besides those above that are worthy of mention? Or do you have any suggestions of how we can improve online casting call sites? Feel free to comment below.

Other posts that you may be interested in...

  • To learn about acting and improve your chance of being shortlisted, click here,
  • To learn and adapt to the changing trends of Films, Cinema and TV, click here.
  • Film Reviews, click here.

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  3. a website https://artsrepublic.sg/ dance open casting, acting, musicians , writing review workshops... perhaps this is worth mentioning too :)

  4. I can't find casting calls in that link. Care to point me a specific permalink to the page where producers look for artistes/dancers?