What’s your budget? The trouble casting for Micro budget Indie Projects

Recently someone complained that they weren’t getting any auditions for their casting.

The minimum rate was $5 for up to 4 lines, or $2 per line.
The total line count was included (bless!!), but some characters had more lines required to submit the audition than it was listed they had in the final product! (What??)

If you’re newer to casting, or need to cast your own smaller-budget projects, basic maths will help! 👀

Think about it from the actor’s point of view:
“Why would I bother submitting for a minor character if I wouldn’t even get paid the full rate?”

There will always be voice actors new to the industry who haven’t trained, or doesn’t have great equipment or an apporpriate space set up yet, who would be willing to assist for $5 and the experience or a credit. That’s a fact. It’s how we grow.

For most actors intermediate and beyond, that fee is not worth the time it takes to submit the audition. They could be building value in their business elsewhere; training, practicing, cold-emailing, updating their profiles for more visibility, creating their OWN content or bolstering their social media presence.

In this situation, I generally see more people willing to collaborate for free (if the product doesn’t generate revenue or ads), than to work for such a low rate.

Or, you can bundle the roles together, and make better use of one’s persons’ time instead of using 6 different actors inefficiently!

You can create a free demo, or verticle slice, version of your product to use for marketing and sourcing sufficient funding to scale your creation.

Some actors will even accept deferred payment. Though it’s super rare that this kind of arrangement ever pays off, so you’re still likely to compromise quality here in the same way you would opting for a beginner voice actor.

There are several solutions to this problem, and it’s usually not the fault of the project owner for not knowing these things. It doens’t mean your work is crap, or no one wants to collaborate with you. You’re likely an incredible artist, or a phenomenal writer, but need a little guidance with the business side and pulling collaborators together. If it wasn’t a common occurance, I wouldn’t be posting this 😊

Beggars can’t be choosers, as they say! You only have as much flexibility as your budget allows, and you get what you pay for (or don’t)!

If you need help working out creative ways to cast your project, don’t hesitate to reach out. I don’t bite! There are so many resources out there for indie creatives and new voice actors alike. And if there’s a more complex issue at play I personally can’t answer, I can probably find out or point you in the right direction.

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