Monday, 28 December 2009

Call for Hobbit Extras - for real this time!

After all that excitement a few weeks ago about the "official" Hobbit casting call that turned out to be mostly  bogus, I've done a little hunting around talking to people here in Wellington, New Zealand.

Here are the issues:

  • The personal blog (ie, not official studio site) where the bogus casting call was posted on mentions that "principal photography is tentatively scheduled to begin in New Zealand around May or June, 2011". As we've already found out from fairly official channels (eg, Peter Jackson himself), principal photography is scheduled to begin as early as March or April 2010. Why would they be asking for extras 18 months before they need them?
  • The  address given for the Principle Acting Casting Director, Liz Mullane, is not the correct address to send CV's to. It appears to be some sort of street address in an Wellington suburb, where as far as I can tell, the only businesses are the local fish'n'chips shop and the pub. I would not recommend sending any CV's to this address if you want to hear back from Liz Mullane Casting. Generally, actors are expected to go through their agents anyway, so principle actors wouldn't personally apply for roles in any case.
  •  The address given for the Extras Casting Director, Miranda Rivers, may well be right but it's also not official. I've not chased this one up at all, because I have the correct address (see later on this page).

So, the lesson, as Peter Jackson reminded us in the latest video clip, is "never believe anything you read on the internet (apart from this site, which is 100% accurate, all the time)". Ok, he wasn't talking about my site but it still applies, I think.


Now for the good news - I've been talking to my contact at Three Foot Seven Limited, the company here in Wellington who is actually making The Hobbit, and I have received permission to publish the ACTUAL address to send your Hobbit Extras application to.

First though, some helpful advice for applying:

  1. They will only consider you for a role if you can actually work in New Zealand. That is, you MUST have NZ Tax number. If you do not have one, do not bother to apply, you'll only be wasting their time (and yours). So, you must be either a NZ Citizen or Permanent Resident or have a temporary working visa that would see you through the entire filming schedule. NZ law says we must hire locals before we can even consider bringing in overseas people, unless they perform a task that can not be performed by locals (eg, principle actors). Extras are totally replacable. Think of extras as glorified props.
  2. It appears they will only accept physical mail, not email or fax.
  3. They will be looking for clear photographs of your head, straight on and profile, and also a full bodyshot (clothed, please!) face on as well as profile. It helps if they can see how many limbs you still have, for instance.
  4. Once you have sent them the photos and a return address, they will in all likelihood send you a proper application form with a bunch of relevant questions - other skills, measurements for clothing sizes, shoe sizes, that sort of thing. So, make sure you send them your return address.
  5. Do not bother to tell them what you think you'd be most suitable at (hobbit, elf, human, orc, whatever). They will decide that on viewing the photos. Generally, most people will want to be a hobbit or an elf anyway, but will end up being an orc or a dead dwarf, and in the background. Still sound like fun? Read on! :)

The address to send your photos to :

Hobbit Extras Application
3 Foot 7 Limited
PO Box 15104
Miramar
Wellington 6243


After that, just wait. If they like your face, I'm sure they'll be in touch. If you don't hear from them, obviously you're just too ugly. Or, not ugly enough. I'm not quite sure how that works. :)


  - Jack M.

63 comments:

  1. Oh to live in New Zealand. Such a beautiful country to boot!

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  2. Consider this : If you are under 30 (?) years old, you can often get a one or two year Working Holiday visa for NZ, that will allow you to visit, live here, and earn money as you go. If you get it around now, you should be here perfectly for the filming of The Hobbit.

    Enquire at your local NZ Embassy, or check out their website!

    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/


    Just saying.... ;)

    - Jack M.

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  3. Great post!! Thanks very, VERY much for all the information.

    I've been two years in New Zealand, just waiting for this moment, so although I don't hold a working holiday visa, I'm trying to get in.
    Would you know if for "working visa" they mean only working holiday? The reason is I have a working permit which entitles me to work in New Zealand, but just for the company that I'm working on right now, as it says the name in the visa on my passport. Spain hasn't approved yet the working visa schedule although both countries signed it last june... grrrrh...

    And also: would you be able to find out the procedures to apply for a job in the movie team? I've studied in a cinema school and I'd like to try that way as well..

    Once again, thank you very much for this post!!

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  4. Hi there,

    I have been living in NZ for three years and my daughter and I would love to be extras in The Hobbit. However, we would like to know what exactly needs to be put in the application? Obviously, you want to keep it as short as possible but what are the producers looking for apart from good photo shots?

    Thanks

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  5. Nicolás,

    I can't really help you there, sorry. I would suggest you check with the NZ immigration department about whether you can use your working visa to work part time as an extra while you retain your permanent job.

    I suspect Extra work wouldn't be fulltime, or even very long term. My time on the King Kong set lasted for about five days, but it was a very exciting five days.


    As for applying for a permanent job in the film industry - you should definitely follow that up! However, if I knew how to get there I probably wouldn't be blogging right now!

    I do know this though - the NZ film industry looks for enthusiastic self-starters. If you look for a film industry as a 9-to-5 job, you're probably not going to succeed. Film making should be your life, your passion, and should occupy 95% of your thoughts.

    Get online, start making films, videos, or whatever your medium is, and advertise yourself to people in the NZ film industry (I'm in the tourism industry!). If you're good enough, you'll make it in, but you have to make sure your skills are noticed.

    Being in NZ already certainly helps, though!

    Let me know how you get on! If you're in Wellington, I'd love to meet up one day if you have time!

    - Jack

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  6. Heike:

    At this stage, just send in your photos with a short description of your availability etc. They will probably be sending out blank forms for more details.

    I remember having to fill in all sorts of details for King Kong - hatsizes, chest measurements, lists of other skills, allergies, etc etc. Leave that to them, they'll be in touch, I'm sure.

    - Jack M.

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  7. Cool Jack! Thanks again for all your help.

    I'll definitely follow up on my "future film career", I just finished the film school before I came to NZ, so I didn't have much time to gain some experience -though I have some.

    I'm going to add your blog to my bookmarks. And by the way, I'm planning a trip to Wellington (I love that city) at the end of January, just for two or three days, but with the only purpose of find my way in the movie somehow. I'm actually living and working in Milford Sound, so it's kind of difficult for me to get there...

    Good luck!!

    Nicolás

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  8. Do you know when 3 foot 7 might be hiring for crew and production assistants? And if so, who might the CV's be forwarded to?

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  9. Nicolás:

    Let me know when you're likely to be here at the end of Jan, if you have time I'd love to meet up!

    - Jack

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  10. Timothy:

    Sorry, I have no idea whatsoever. I'd keep an eye on the newspaper if I were you, or TradeMe.co.nz or seek.co.nz - they'll probably advertise in all the normal places for jobs.

    Good luck though!

    - Jack

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  11. hi my name is Michael im a from christchurch id love be in the hobbit i turn 18 on 11 JAN 10 i love LOTR and weta fan i just watched AVATAR was absolutely awesome but a part in the hobbit would be cool :)

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  12. Hey Jack!

    Thanks so much for all of the information. I'm 22 years old, live in the United States, and would love to be an extra for The Hobbit. I'm taking your advice and applying for a Working Holiday Visa. I was wondering what date I should put down for the tentative NZ arrival?

    Thanks so much!
    Sincerely,
    Matthew

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  13. Ringer963:

    You should definitely apply. Can I offer some advice though - and please don't take this the wrong way. When you apply, make sure you use punctuation marks, capital letters etc. It will definitely make you seem more serious about getting the job (actually, any job).

    The studio means business, and they like to deal with likeminded people. They'll have plenty of choice. I'm just saying.



    Matthew:

    I think USA has approved the new two year working holidays, right? I'd say come sooner rather than later. Figure out how long it takes for the visa to be approved, add a week to pack, and get over here!

    Two years should cover it - the the release dates currently stand at end of 2011 and 2012, so you should be able to be here for the filming of at least the first movie if you come right now, and probably the second one as well, given how long they'll be in post-production after filming has finished.

    But I'm just guessing here. There are no guarantees in life, and certainly none in the Extras business. Good luck!

    - Jack

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  14. Matthew (#2):

    PS - Unless you want to be here for the Premiere in Wellington... :) In which case, delay a bit...

    - Jack

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  15. Hello Jack M.

    After reading your reply and seeing all the following comments I am seriously considering applying for a Visa to work in NZ!
    I have a question I am hoping you can answer.
    What is the difference between a Working Holiday Visa and Working Temporarily in NZ? I see both listed on http://www.immigration.govt.nz/nzopportunities/williqualify/commonentryoptions/ but they sound like the same thing to me ;)

    Thanks for the original blog post, very fun to hear about this stuff!

    -Aaron O.

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  16. I can reply you Aaron O, as I hold a working permit.
    The Working Holidays Visa allows you to work for one year anywhere in New Zealand, it means you could have lots of different jobs. In the other hand, a working permit (or working visa) it's issued once you get an sponsor, which is a company willing to hire you. So you can work ONLY for that company.

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  17. I am definitely considering applying, but when I was reading the article on this site:

    http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2009/12/12/34633-new-zeeland-casting-for-the-hobbit-to-begin-on-monday/

    It mentions that you should send a resume as well as photos. I was just wodnering what this kind of resmue entails, and what you suggest I put in it? =) Thanks so much, this is so exciting!

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  18. Hi Jack,
    I am 13 years old, would there be any point in sending thruogh my CV or do you think they would be looking for older people for these roles? 18+
    Thank you
    Anthony

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  19. I was also wondering like Neil, are there any age restrictions? I'll be 17 in Feb and would love to be in The Hobbit.

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  20. Hi there,

    Today I found the following post on theonering.net:
    Wanna Audition for The Hobbit? UPDATE

    December 29th, 2009 by xoanon

    We’ve heard news from up on high that even the NEW address to send your Hobbity likeness for possible contention for The Hobbit is not accurate. In fact casting calls will not be announced until February 2010. That being said, get your CV (resume) and headshots ready..we will announce as soon as we have confirmation!

    What do we make of it now?

    Cheers

    Heike

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  21. Hi there,
    I was wondering if you know the filming location of The Hobbit, as I am looking at applying as an extra, but I am unsure if it will suit me location wise.
    Thanks

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  22. Wow, lots of comments and questions! Exciting stuff, isn't it? I've been linked by tons of other blogs in half a dozen languages, so thanks everyone for the 15 minutes of fame! Hehe...

    I've written another blog entry with a lot of answers to your questions.

    http://nznoldor.blogspot.com/2009/12/call-for-hobbits-update-31122009.html

    Check there first, and talk to each other as well. I'm getting ready to celebrate the end of the year here in NZ, and gearing up to have a few drinks in a few hours, so I won't be answering anything else for a day or two... :)

    If you have more queries, leave a comment to the other blog entry, I'll do my best to provide an answer, in the next decade!

    - Jack M

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  23. Oh, delorean94:

    I suspect they'll be filming all over NZ again, so just tell them where you are, and they'll get in touch with you if it's suitable to both you and them.

    Good luck!

    - Jack M.

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  24. Jack,

    Do you know the rough dates for filming? You said it starts in about March/April, but do you know how long it goes for?

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  25. DubDub:

    It's hard to tell - Guillermo del Toro said the whole filmshoot should last a record 383 filming days, but that is only the active days, not the inactive ones in between. Also, that may actually be done over multiple film units, it may may last less time than 383 just as easily.

    Then again, the release date is still set at end-of-2011, end-of-2012 (second movie), so maybe that's a better indicator.

    - Jack

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  26. Hi jack

    a friend give me this blog page, is very interesting. I got a working visa for 2010, I will flying to aukland in march, I will love work/visit the set of the movie, because that is what I trying to do for living here. How time do I have to sent an application? there is a limit date?

    ok, jack, thank for your time. Claudia.

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  27. BAU :

    I don't think there's a limit at this stage, since the official call hasn't actually gone out yet. I wouldn't wait too long though! Do you have an address in NZ that you could use for mail before you get here?

    - Jack M

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  28. HI JACK:
    I don´t have a NZ address. Do you think that could be a problem? because a won´t have to I get there at march 20. Maybe that is late, I was thinking on try to apply from here (I´m in Argentina) just for don´t loose time.
    I have to ask you, what did you think? I should do it now or I should wait to a get into Aukland?
    Thank, cheers
    Claudia

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  29. BAU:

    In honesty, I am not sure what to advice you. On the one hand, you want to get in as fast as possible, but there's no way for them to send you a reply yet. I'd probably advice you to wait until you get here, and then send your photos.

    The advantage that way is that your photos probably won't be flooded under a wave of other photos.


    Once again though, I want to stress that I'm not an expert here. Why not write to the studio and ask them? Make sure you tell them of your situation, of course!

    Best of luck!

    - Jack

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  30. Hey Jack
    Just wanna ask incase I missed out anything u've posted ofter this entry, is that address for the extra's casting official? And the casting call that is getting made in feb, is that only for the official casts or for extras as well?

    And also would u have to have had acting experience to be an extra?

    Thanks heaps

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  31. Fantasy:

    The address is official, but there hasn't been an official casting call as such. However they are accepting casting applications for extras at that address.

    I'm not sure what will happen in February, there may yet be an "official" casting call then, or they may decide they have enough people already by then. Your call.

    I'm pretty sure they won't require extras to have acting experience - I certainly didn't when I was hired for King Kong. But again, I don't work for them, and I don't have the inside knowledge on that.

    Best bet, as always, is to write to them, and ask them. Probably enclose your photos when you do so!

    Good luck!

    - Jack

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  32. Hey Jack

    Thanks for the info. I feel in good hand with you! Two quick questions: Is that the same address for an applicant wishing to be more than an extra? And, do you know if the casting requires any children - who will require the same work visa?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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  33. Paul or Chris :

    If you want an actual role, you'd be better off talking to your agent to try and put you forwards - at some stage there will be a world wide casting call, I'm guessing. If in doubt, send your CV to the POBox address and ask them for their advice - they certainly will have more answers than I do.

    As for children's roles - they didn't specifically mention them, but there were children in LOTR (and in King Kong), so I'm assuming the best you can do is apply, and let them make the decisison.

    Again (and I will keep saying this, probably), I am not an expert at this, I know about as much as the rest of you all at this stage. I'm very flattered that everyone looks to me for the answers, but I just don't have any.

    My photos have been sent in - make sure you do the same if you want to be considered at all.

    On the plus side, if I'd wanted to have a better chance at getting in, I wouldn't have published the address!

    - Jack

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  34. jack
    thanks for your time and info. I can´t wait to get NZ. I gonna to be there all year, I hope we can meet sometime.
    Cheers
    claudia

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  35. BAU / claudia :

    Drop me a line when you get here! I always enjoy meeting fellow fans!

    - Jack

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  36. Hi,
    I was wondering if there was an age limit for applying to be an extra?
    I am 14 is that too young?

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  37. Emma:

    I'm not an expert on that, but I do know that both in LOTR as well as King Kong, there were extras a lot younger than 14. I would say, get permission (on paper!) from your parents when you send your application in, and just go for it!

    - Jack

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  38. Hi,im from Bosnia,Europe.Do you think that maybe they will hire people from here?Here,it is harder to get visa.Maybe they will shoot somewere in Europe?

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  39. @Pavle :

    They won't hire you if you can't work here - you need to get a working visa first. Being an extra isn't a career move, sometimes the work only lasts a couple of days.

    I honestly don't expect they will film the Hobbit in Europe - if I recall correctly, Guillermo del Toro has already indicated that he will film the whole project right here in New Zealand, just like the Lord Of The rings movie.

    But there must be plenty of other movies being filmed in Bosnia? Perhaps you can volunteer your services for a local film maker if you want to get started on your film career?

    Get involved!

    - Jack

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  40. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://toddlergirls.net

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  41. @Pavle :

    You're welcome :)


    @Yasmin :

    Good to see you here! Welcome, and enjoy... :)

    - Jack

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  42. Anyone know if this is still true at this point? (that they're still needing people) I would DIE to be able to even spend my summer doing a few weeks of shooting, just to say that I did.

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  43. Casket Studios :

    As far as I know, nothing has changed sine I wrote that entry. I've not heard back from the studios, so they haven't started the process yet. And I know they haven't started filming yet either.

    If you can work in NZ, now is the time to apply.

    - Jack

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  44. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  45. @The Dreamstress :

    Always available for coffee! Check your email...

    - Jack M.

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  46. Is there any point in me applying if i'm under 18 (i'm 16) and i live in Australia? Half of my family actually live in Wellington, so i'm sure it would be easy to get a visa or whatever?

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  47. @Jess

    This question was asked a few times already (and has been answered, either on this page or on the next blog entry), but as far as I know (and I don't speak for the studio, obviously), I don't think there would be an age limit.

    Also, since you're in Australia (and I'm assuming you're Australian citizen?), you won't need a visa to live and work in NZ.

    Hope it helps!

    - Jack

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  48. Thank you so much for all of this information.

    I was wondering if it would be a good idea if I got my visa IF and when they send my an application, that way I don't "waste" my money if they do not.

    I was also wondering if you know if the head/full body shots are supposed to be professionally done.

    Thank you again! You are a life saver.

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  49. @scoutsmith :

    I don't think you're going to get an application if you don't have a visa, so I guess that would answer your question? But coming to NZ is never a waste of money!

    As to the photos, I just did mine myself, that seemed to be good enough to get me into King Kong. I sent similar shots to the studio this time, but I've not heard anything back yet other than "they've been filed until we need them". I'm guessing the photos were good enough then.

    All they need to do is show the studio what you look like, so they can make a choice whether to use you as an extra in the film. Chances are, you'll be heavily disguised by the time you end up being in front of a camera (did I mention dead orcs?).

    If you want to have a "proper" acting part, you reallly need to get an agent to represent you. They'll no doubt arrange professional photos for you as well.

    - Jack

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  50. Turns out you had the right address all along! I just thought if you hadn't seen this post yet, I would pass it along, http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2010/05/18/36680-hobbit-extras-casting-news-the-final-answer/

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  51. Hehe, yeah, I saw that Aaron. But of course I was accurate! I did get the info from the horse's mouth, so to speak...!

    - Jack

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  52. I'm a film student and fan so this is exciting, thanks for the info. With all the uncertainty over the film's future, is it still ok to send in photos now? And do I need to include anything other than the photos (1 or 2 printed per page or old fashioned photo paper?) with my name and contact details on the back?

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  53. @Zachary:

    This blog entry is now over 6 months old, that's pretty much antique in blogging terms... you'd be better reading some of the newer items - last week I restated the studios position, and it's also been on theonering.net lately. In essence, the studio has indicated they don't need any more cv's, but on the other hand they will in all probability be using agencies, who may in turn still be taking names and photos off people.

    I'd say that might be your best bet, at this stage.

    I don't want to stand on anybody's dream, but you're leaving things very late! Follow a few more blogs, and stay up to date!

    - Jack

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  54. Wow...wonderful blog... :) Cannot believe I found it only today! I know it is very late and I am not having any unrealistic dreams... just being curious... there are so many blogs and websites where pepole chat about castings for extras but I cannot find any information about castings for lead roles. I mean, I could not apply for extras, because it would not be possible for me to travel on the other half of the world just for the extras...so, would that be possible to audition for a lead role? And without an agent? There is none in my country... which is pretty funny actually... lol Oh, and what about auditions in overseas... some of them could be held in Europe :) would be nice Well, if you have any information or know about something, let me know, please. Thanks :)

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  55. Wow... cool blog... cannot wait I have found it only today!
    I am not having any unrealistic dreams or something just being curious... people chat about castings for extras and I cannot find any information about castings for leads... I mean, I could not travel thorugh half of the world to NZ just for extras. Would that be possible to audition for a lead role and without an agent? There is non in my country, which is pretty funny actually... lol... Did not the casting directors think of helding some auditions in Europe? I am just asking because you (Jack M) seems well informed and maybe you might know something. Well, thanks for any info :)

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  56. Wow... cool blog... cannot wait I have found it only today!
    I am not having any unrealistic dreams or something just being curious... people chat about castings for extras and I cannot find any information about castings for leads... I mean, I could not travel thorugh half of the world to NZ just for extras. Would that be possible to audition for a lead role and without an agent? There is non in my country, which is pretty funny actually... lol... Did not the casting directors think of helding some auditions in Europe? I am just asking because you (Jack M) seems well informed and maybe you might know something. Well, thanks for any info :)

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  57. Veronika,

    I don't know which country you're in, but I find it hard to believe you don't have any agencies there. Have you checked the phonebook or google? Basically you won't get a major role in a production if you don't make yourself available - either by getting an agent to represent you, or by living in New Zealand. I know that casting has been underway for a long time now (at least three months), and has been taking place all over the world, including in Europe. If you're serious about getting a role, you need to make that clear to the production. If you're in a country where they can't see you, you need to work on that. Either move, or get noticed.

    Sorry to be harsh, but if you've only just found this blog, you don't sound that serious to me - and I doubt that the production will think differently.

    This is the age of communications - start communicating. Have you sent a letter to the address yet?

    - Jack

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  58. Hi Jack,

    Do you think it's too late to apply for a role as an extra?

    Thanks!

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  59. Julia:

    I've not heard it's too late, so assume that it's not... get those photos in quick smart!

    To anyone else commenting on this blog entry - It's almost one year old. Please stay up to date.

    If there are any updates, you'll read it in more recent entries.

    Also, read the other comments here by other people, they will more than likely answer your questions.


    - Jack

    Btw, this is comment #500. A milestone for the blog! :)

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  60. Hi,

    Take some French ? :p

    ReplyDelete