Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ghosts Don't Exist Casting Call Yields Over 200

More than 200 talented SAG and Non-union actors crammed into the Topaz Hotel (link) in Washington, DC Saturday and Sunday, eager for a chance to land a role in 19th + Wilson's first feature film, Ghosts Don't Exist. The film, executive produced by Redskins favorite Chris Cooley, continues to garner the positive attention of prospective cast, crew, and distributors alike. The steady stream of actors this weekend was testament to the interest in this unique psychological thriller.Producers Eric Espejo, Richard Friend, and Aaron Goodmiller—along with casting director Demetrius Parker—carefully observed and filmed auditions virtually nonstop from 10AM to 5PM both days. With their extended team on hand to sign the actors in and keep the auditions on schedule, the group still found themselves faced with a waiting room nearly thirty persons deep throughout the day—a good problem to have when casting. "We had 96 auditions on Saturday alone—which was more than all of our previous (short film) casting calls combined" mused Goodmiller, who started the company in 2001. On Sunday, that number ballooned to 122. "We had a great turnout and are going to have some tough decisions to make," Parker added.

Ironically—and certainly regrettably—the team actually had to turn a few actors away. With the waiting room and lobby still filled to capacity after 3PM, the group realized that they'd have to cut off any additional sign-ins in order to wrap up by 5PM. "The hotel was extremely gracious to allow us to use the space," said Goodmiller, "but we did have to keep our end of the bargain and be out by 5PM." He added, "Some of the auditions were a bit loud; we didn't want to scare the hotel guests. Literally."19W marketing specialist Nancy Yee elaborated. "Unfortunately, one of the inherent risks with the open casting call format is the steady stream of arrivals throughout the day," she explained "We obviously hoped to see every single person who came out. The guys were averaging about 14 auditions per hour, which was about as fast as we could hope for." Nonetheless, those who couldn't make it to the audition in time are encouraged to email headshots and resumes, and to submit their auditions online via YouTube—where the team had already received submissions from as far away as Spain and Sweden, even before the casting call doors were opened.

The producers and everyone at 19th + Wilson sincerely thank everyone who came to the audition, the Topaz Hotel for providing the venue, and the extended team who tirelessly dedicated their entire weekend to this successful event.

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