6.1.1 Free Nonprofessional Actors

In general, I advise against using non-professionals, but seem to do so myself.

They usually repeat endlessly, waste too much time and the production quality.

But if you don't have the budget, then, why not.

It is important to know why these people want to be in.

Are they in for fun? curiousity? fame? outcome? or help?

Nonprofessionals are several types, some of them you can recognise immediately:

1- "I watch too many movies"

These people think it takes 90 minutes to complete a 90 minutes movie. They are passive and rarely analyse what they see in movies. Better still, they think they may fit a leading role. Promise them the lead role and assign them as extras. But don't expect them to show up.

2- "I want to see how it's like to act"

Well acting isn't fun, these will probably leave after the first session.

3- "I know about movies, my brother is a director"

A short talk with these people can reveal if they really know about it. Check if they have really worked with thier brother. In general, they may think themselves as capable as you are, but don't take directions or deliver the outcome promised.

4- "I may specialize as an actress or actor someday"

Some of these people are aware of some acting talent they have. However, test their talent and persistence through workshops. Check their attendence and preparation. I enjoy coaching these young people and they usually turn out fine leading roles.

5- "I like the idea of doing a movie. I want to help you"

When these people mention help or support, it means that they know it's a hard job. They usually don't claim for a big thing. Check out their available time and use a quarter of it. Give them clear and short tasks at first. They may find themselves useful and appreciated and continue doing other tasks.

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