Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Star Is Found: Our Adventures Casting Some of Hollywood's Biggest Movies

From Publishers Weekly
Hirshenson and Jenkins got their start casting for Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios. When the studio went bust, they opened their own office, the Casting Company, and their book reminisces about the many films they've cast, including Harry Potter and A Beautiful Mind; the actors they've discovered, such as Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson; and some of the A-list directors, like Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, who hired them. Given the authors' credentials (they have been casting partners since 1981), consider the advice they offer blue-chip. They cover everything from how to handle a call-back to telling actors to send head shots "that actually look like you." Most important, never take anything personally. A great audition doesn't always translate into a role: there are many factors that determine the final decision, such as chemistry, preference and competition. These veteran insiders have a passion for casting major motion pictures, and they use meetings with famous people to illustrate how Hollywood works. Tales of actors' career trajectories are informative without being malicious. For actors, this informative, breezy narrative is like having a frank but loving aunt tell you the facts of life. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Booklist
Hirshenson and Jenkins, founders of the Casting Company, one of Los Angeles' premier casting agencies, share stories from their 30-year careers in the industry. Both women got their start with a well-known casting director before joining her at Francis Ford Coppola's visionary studio, Zoetrope. After Zoetrope went belly up, Hirshenson and Jenkins struck out on their own, working with such Hollywood luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Wolfgang Petersen, and Ron Howard. Although the big roles are crucial to a movie's success, Hirshenson and Jenkins also illustrate how much thought goes into even the smallest role, using the example of a brief but pivotal part in the Ron Howard movie A Beautiful Mind to show how even a character who is on screen for only a single scene can affect the movie's believability. Hirshenson and Jenkins have done much to demystify the process of matching actors with movie roles in this must-read for anyone interested in acting or casting. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.