A casting director’s job is to find the best available talent for a particular project. It goes without saying that when a casting director reads a script, they formulate an opinion of who their idyllic person would be to fill each role. They undoubtedly make lists and are open to options, but in most cases, your team of agents and/or managers will spend the bulk of their time trying to change minds.
Per the LA Times, there were 409 original scripted series made available for consumption in 2015. That number is almost double what the number was just six years prior. Original scripted content has exploded with the availability of over-the-top content offerings from Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and more.
Why does this matter?
Historically, casting directors would watch or at least be familiar with a good percentage of the scripted content on television and in theaters. With the availability of great equipment at lower price points and amazing talent at affordable costs, the abundance of engaging content being released via non traditional means is impossible to keep tabs on. This makes the demo reel an essential tool for your team.
A great demo reel allows you to control the conversation. I’ve heard so many times from agents and managers, “If casting director xyz is serious about my client, they’ll sit down and watch her movie… they’ll go out of their way to watch his series.” That is a huge leap of faith and an assumption I wouldn’t want any representation making on my behalf.