Another tremendously important production service on offer in Africa is casting.

Each year thousands of bright-eyed hopefuls sign up with casting agencies with aim of being cast in a starring role in a major film or television production all around the world, and Africa is no different. But cataloging and hiring the best talent option for a specific production can be a lengthy and involved procedure.

Successful casting is important because as we all know, a Lead Actor’s performance can be the life or death of a commercial, film or show. So much hinges on the talent delivering quality performances that there is an understandably huge emphasis placed on casting in pre-production.

Casting for film and television during pre-production is generally seen to by an appointed Casting Director (CD). The Casting Director is chiefly responsible for identifying the most suitable talent for every role in the script. As previously mentioned, it’s incredibly important that the correct casting choices are made as the talent hired may either improve the production or, alternatively, have an adverse effect on how the project is received by audiences and critics.

Once they’ve read the script, CD will meet the Director to gain an understanding of the various roles in the screenplay. They will then go about performing a breakdown of the screenplay to determine what they’re looking for with regard to talent in respect to each speaking role.

The CD might then either contact various agencies directly with their specific preferences for each role or alternatively set up an open casting call online to attract talent. After the CD has sifted through the talent pool for the perfect talent options, they will begin to host auditions, either in person or self-recorded.

As soon as they’ve assembled an adequate selection of talent for the production at hand, the CD will then present these options to the Director and relevant producers who have the final say on who get cast for each role.

The CD will also negotiate the actor’s remuneration, which will later be finalised with that actor’s agent or otherwise appointed representation.