Getting Early Interest from Established Actors
As previously established – if you can add a recognizable face to your feature film, your movie is more likely to stand out, get into bigger festivals, and succeed in the long run. The bigger the star, the greater the exposure, and the more likely you are to raise funds and reach an audience. Most filmmakers will seek to attach a well-known actor to their film early on, and there are several reasons for doing so. Of course, you want to manage your expectations here. Chances are you wont and Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone on your first, low-budget indie film (unless you’re working with a significant budget or have a masterpiece for a script), but you could land a great working indie actor.
There are many actors who consistently work on low-budget indie films, many with first-time filmmakers. These include Davie Franco, Emily Browning, Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Kristen Stewart, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Trejo, Michael Madsen, ElijahWood, and more. Recognizable actors will often invest their time in low-budget indie films if the quality of the script is amazing! So, if you have a fantastic screenplay, you can nab a recognizable name.
Getting a commitment from an actor early on will pique the interest of studios and executive producers, it’ll make it easier to get your film funded. In addition – and this may sound like
a joke – but getting a recognizable actor to be in your indie film will actually help you save money in the long run. That’s right, you’ll have some added costs, but you’ll be surprised at how many vendors are willing to work for less if you give them the opportunity to work alongside a recognizable face. Commercial locations (such as bars, stores, etc.) would be willing to offer discounts, and you’ll now have the option of raising funds via product placements.
Additionally - makeup artists, wardrobe fitters, cinematographers, and other professionals could potentially agree to a lower rate for the chance to work alongside a face that they can put on their reel. Overall, your movie will become more appealing, and more people would be willing to get involved. In addition, getting a recognizable actor early on also means that you’ll have an easier time once casting officially begins. Actors want to work with other actors they admire, and if you’ve managed to secure a working indie actor, your casting agent will use that as a sales pitch to other actors.
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
~ Steve Martin