Thursday, 31 December 2009

Call for hobbits - Update 31/12/2009

Note that my earlier post on sending in your photos to the studio is NOT an official Casting Call - it is merely a replacement address for the obviously wrong information posted previously on some other blog that had been widely distributed online.

As far as I can tell, Altan Baltes (the author of that blog) is in the business of collecting $50 of anyone who wants their name and photos sent to publicly available studio addresses. It seems odd to me that you'd want to spend $50 for something you can do for free, but hey, if that's what you want to do, go for it. I suspect he got the addresses from (a) the phone book, (b) the yellow pages, or (c) a hat.

NB - If you want to send me $50, i'll happily drink it away in the nearest pub make sure your photo gets to the studio. Trust me.

There was a recent TORn message that suggested the address I posted may be wrong, but I assure you, your photos will reach the right people. TORn does not in fact, contradict my message - essentially what Xoanon is saying is that the actual OFFICIAL casting call will come approximately February of 2010. Xoanon has sent me a message about who his source is, and both our sources are very high up, and talking to each other.

The official casting call will come from the official sources, of which I am NOT one. I don't think TORn is an official channel either, but they have far better contacts than I have, so perhaps it will be through them. I promise I will post any information I have for all to see when it happens.

So, to recap:
  1. The addresses posted on the Acting Auditions blog are wrong.
  2.  The address I posted on my blog is correct - for now. There isn't an official call for extras yet though, but your photos will be kept until they need them.
  3. Around February, there will be a "proper" call for extras, through the official channels. I'll post anything I hear.
  4. As always, keep an eye on both my blog AS WELL as
  5. Send your photos with your contact details and any other information (age, location, availability, etc) to the studio, and wait. If they need more information, they will let you know in good time.
  6. DO NOT HASSLE THE STUDIO PEOPLE - they will make up their mind about hiring you much sooner (ie, "no thanks, we don't need psychos or stalkers on this movie").

I know everyone is very excited by this movie but we must let them move at their own time. Peter Jackson keeps assuring us that everything is still very much on schedule, and he knows  what he's talking about.

Something else too - I can not help you with visa applications, casting applications, or your shoelaces. Please don't ask. I can only offer my personal, non-professional advice (or indeed, downright UNprofessional advice), but I'm probably not the right person to ask. Please do your own homework first.

And one other thing - I've been asked a few times if there's an age limit for applications. I haven't heard about one, and I'm assuming there isn't one. There are often child roles in big movies, and I don't see why The Hobbit would be any different. I'm sending in photos for my youngest son who is 15 years old. Think about it - did you see any kids or teenagers in LOTR? Right, so apply already!

Good luck, and may the most interesting looking people get in!

  - Jack

PS - have a very exciting New Year everybody!!!


  1. G'day Jack,

    Hey, just a note about that other blog post you link to, i went and checked it out, hes not charging for sending resume's or cv's he has the same address details for extras as well as for principle actors, the $50 he charges is for consulting fees on any resume for any application to be an actor, something totally seperate. i was disgusted at the picture you painted saying he was charging to on-send headshots but thats not what i saw when i followed your link. hopefully its just a misunderstanding on your part. cheers mate (fellow kiwi)

  2. ..... or maybe he just changed his posting to equal yours? i dont know if hes changed it but i hope theres a cache copy of the original if thats the case.

  3. I've just checked the link again, and yes, you're quite right, he's changed the address to my one. Unfortunately, the Actors address is still completely wrong, and it's that one that irks me the most.

    I think I know exactly where he got the address from, so I stand by my words. Think about it - how many high-budget movie's casting calls would invite people to some random private address? Get real! It would be a studio, or a pobox address.

    But yeah, hopefully it's just a misunderstanding on my part, in which case I'll happily apologise. :)

    - Jack M

    PS - happy new year! :)

  4. Hi Jack,

    Thank you so much for all this useful information and for keeping us so well updated :-)

    Have a great new year :-)

  5. Heike:

    No worries! I had to do something with all that info!


    Also, if he got it from official channels, why would he change it after seeing my updated address? I have his old address here, it's not even similar.

    - Jack

  6. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for all the great info. Just wondering... for an extras application, do you need a casting video or just the photographs? Another source said casting video, but you seem to be more reliable and you're just saying photographs.

    Also what sort of covering letter or info do you include when you send the photos? I've never applied to be an extra before, but I am a big fan of Tolkien and am luckily currently living in NZ. =)



  7. Erin,

    Definitely a casting photo, not a video. They'll receive dozens, possibly hundreds (thousands?) of extras applications, and they'll be trying to sort through them as effectively as possible.

    Extras are not actors - the biggest skill you will need to be an extra is to follow orders like "stand here", "run there", "do it again", etc.

    It's not exactly a career starter or a direct route to fame and fortune but it's a great way to help out on the coolest movie project this coming decade. It's also a really exciting way to spend a few days/weeks/months.

  8. Hi Jack, I was very excited when I first read that there was an "official address" to send photos and CVs to but after reading on that your address isn't official either I was crushed. You say that it is but how do we know? There has obviously already been fake addresses so why should we trust yours? If yours is all correct and standing why didn't the film producers give us that address themselves? How is sending anything now making any huge difference if the producers are sending out casting calls in February? They may send specific casting calls (for people of short stocky nature, tall people, men with beards etc.) like they did for LOTR in which case would it not be better to wait and be an extra for the creature you want rather than sending something and hoping they like you with nothing specific to work on? Just some thoughts, Lillyput90

  9. I am shocked--SHOCKED (and not a little disappointed)--that I have to manage my shoelaces all by myself! I mean, really, Jack!


  10. Lillyput90:

    Actually, my address is official, but it's not an official casting call. Read through TORn's message again, and you'll see that they spoke to the same office as I did. The point is this - the official casting call will come through in about Feb'10.

    The reason they gave me this address to publish is to field the influx of mail that was going to the wrong address published on the other (non-nz) blog. I assure you that your application will end up in the right hands if you use the address I gave.

    Alternatively, you can wait for the February call, and that will get there as well (assuming things haven't changed by then, and they have enough people already).


    If you knew how much trouble I have with my own, you wouldn't even be asking me... :)

    - Jack

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  12. I understand about the address, but do you think that there will be newspaper casting calls in the areas they are working in (Matamata, Wellington etc.) and specific wanted ads like I suggested, or do you think that all extras will have to send their info and photos to that address. It's hard to know, I personally would like to hear what they want us to send rather than just a vague idea. I don't think they would have said to TORn that they were going to send out casting calls in February if they weren't planning to do it. I don't like how you are trying to make us anxious by saying that they might change their plans if they have enough people already:(. Thanks for answering questions, Lillyput90

  13. Hi Jack,

    sorry for bothering you again - by the way, I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into replying to all those posts :-) - but I have one more question:
    you said earlier that when we send in our application and they are interested they would get back to us with a form to fill out to give them more detailed information. Does that mean that we have to enclose merely a letter with our application or would it make sense to send them a short CV as well?

    Thanks a lot :-)


  14. Lilliyput90:

    I'm not trying to make you anxious. Why would you think that?? I'm trying to get accurate information out there. I don't know what the studio is planning to do - I haven't been a party to that. If TORn says that there will be an official casting call in February, then I'm sure there will be.

    My feeling on sending in your photos now or later is "why wait?". Send it now, and perhaps send it in again later if you've not heard anything by the time you get the official call.

    It's not worth getting stressed about, surely. At the end of the day, it's only a movie!

    - Jack

  15. Heike:

    I'm just sending in a few photos, and a cover sheet detailing who I am, my basic measurements, previous experience. I don't know what they're looking for at this stage, so if they need more info, I'm sure they'll let me know.

    Keeping in mind they'll probably have quite a few people applying, you want to make things as easy on them as possible. Make it easy for them to contact you again later - give them as many contact details as you have, for instance.

    I'm really not the expert here, sorry - why not write them a letter and ask them? You never know, you might get an answer back! :)

    Let me know how you get on!

    - Jack

  16. Hi Jack,

    I find this very helpful, thanks a lot :-). I will try to come up with a letter this week and have it double-checked by a native speaker.



  17. hi jack

    a few questions

    is it true that the casting calls r in feb???

    i hav already sent in my extras application? will this matter?

    will the just throw away all the ones that have come to early?

    what do you think?


  18. Heike:

    Was great meeting you over a coffee last week, btw... :) Look forward to meeting again soon!

    sean19 :

    At this stage there's no "truth" out there. Rumour has it that there will be a casting call in Feb, and it looks like it might be a good rumour too.

    If there is, and you haven't yet heard back from the studio about your previous application, I'd definitely resend it if you're worried about it.

    Don't hassle them though - that's a sure way to get rejected!

    - Jack

  19. Hey Jack

    My name is Grace, I'm an Aucklander and umm i'm having a blonde moment here, but what's a profile pic, you said we should send profile pics of head and body, but what is that?

  20. Grace:

    Ah, good question! :) Basically, it's a side-on picture. Either side!

    - Jack

  21. Jack

    Thank you, and it's so nice to know that there are other LotR Kiwi fans out there, I've been the only one that any of my friends or family know, so I'm happy I'm not the only one

  22. @Grace :

    If you're ever over this way, drop me a line - I'm always interesting in meeting up with fellow kiwi LOTR fans, say over a coffee or something!

    - Jack M.

  23. Jack

    Sure, but I don't know when that will be, haven't been to Wellington in years, but if I'm ever there again I'll be sure to let you know


  24. Hi Jack

    If you don't mind me asking, what sort of pay rate did you receive to be an extra in King Kong? (If memory serves me right and you were in KK)I'm trying to work out what I can hope for and whether it will be feasible for me to continue my quest to Middle Earth.

    I also realise that the pay is different for the different things you're required to perform.

    Do you think it's worth signing up with an extras agency to negotiate the pay or would I be ok on my own?



  25. @Maioha

    I'm going to claim total ignorance on this one, sorry. I remember we got paid for King Kong but I gather that's not necessarily the norm for the industry (for extras), especially for smaller budget movies.

    Having said that, I've heard that Peter Jackson tends to look after his people, and I would expect that Extras would get paid in The Hobbit. I have absolutely no idea what Extras would get paid, and I would suggest that if you're going to come here for the money, you're probably going to be disappointed. Personally, I'd work for free, just to get in!

    My time on the King Kong set lasted for a mere five days, so it's not really a good career move. I mean, you could get lucky, and land a five month contract, but who knows, you might get turned down just as easily.

    From what I can gather/predict (as a pure outsider), they'll be looking for people who are available at short notice, for an undetermined length of time. It's a big ask, but that's how the cookie crumbles. If you can't commit to that, they'll probably have plenty of other options.

    I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but they're looking to make a commercial movie. It's their game and their rules, and we're just (extremely) interested bystanders.

    - Jack

    PS Disclaimer - all of this is conjecture, and my personal opinion only. As I've stated before (countless times!), I'm not an expert on any of this. If you want the real story, you'll have to somehow talk to the studio directly and ask them. At the end of the day, I'm just one of you, only with a blog.