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Twitter, Snapchat and Vine: Meet Hollywood’s New Casting Directors


Feature: [Telegraph, The Wrap, Fortune, NYT]

The path to fame or obscurity can feel arbitrary–a lifelong battle to be at the right place at the right time. The right place for actors used to be endless casting calls and talent agency message boards. Now those seeking stardom look to the internet.

With increasing frequency, casting directors are foregoing traditional methods of finding talent, looking instead to the actor’s social media footprint as a benchmark. Film executives, in particular, are banking on hopes that large follower totals will translate to large turnouts come release day.

“There is no question that today if you have good numbers on social media, you have become a better choice to be cast,” says veteran Hollywood casting director Mike Fenton. “If it came down to two professional actors, one of whom had great visibility in social media and one who was barely recognizable, we’d go with the one who could get the numbers.”

Credit: Source.

This rush to cast social media stars, seen by many as a concession to court the fickle 13-25 year-old demographic, rubs some veteran actors the wrong way.

Academy Award and Tony winner Jeremy Irons said, “You know what they’re doing now? If there are two young men who are up for a role and one has 1,000 Twitter followers and one has 100,000, the one with 100,000 will get the role. I just think it’s madness. Absolute madness.” When asked what would happen if his acting gigs were based on social

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  • Benjamin Kessler is an avid writer living in Portland and currently pursuing a Masters Degree in creative writing from Portland State University. His own geography-themed blog, Unimaginary Places, can be found at https://unimaginaryplaces.wordpress.com. He leaves tweeting to the birds.

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