Actors are the faces of your film. They are the first thing viewers will notice about it, and have the potential to either make or break the video no matter how you handle other elements. There is thus no way to make an effective film without carefully selecting your freelance acting talent.
Know what you need
Performers must be able to memorize not only lines, but also physical positions. The better they are at remembering this, the quicker and more efficient film production will be.
Actors must communicate clearly with the director, crew, and other actors. This ensures that no instruction will be misunderstood or misapplied.
Actors must be willing to maintain the same haircut, facial hair, and other aesthetic choices throughout production. Otherwise, the inconsistency will compromise your film.
What to look for
No matter the film, an actor must be able to:
From the moment they open their scripts, performers must immediately plan what they will do on stage. They will thus be able to act out the script as soon as production begins; the director can then make adjustments as needed.
Directors may give instructions, but actors have to apply them. They must thus be able to interpret all possible applications of instructions and obey them accordingly.
Besides brainstorming and following instructions individually, actors must regularly communicate with each other and develop plans for what to do on stage.
Questions to ask a potential candidate
How do you prepare yourself for a role?
The key to effective acting is to consider the circumstances that a character is in at every moment of the film, as well as things that happen off screen but will affect the character on screen. Look for actors who consider the given circumstances as soon as they receive a role.
What other performance skills do you have?
Look for actors who can also sing, dance, juggle, or otherwise entertain audiences. Even if you do not intend to include these feats in your film, performers who can do them show that they value new skills.
Do you have experience with films involving large numbers of visual effects?
If actors do not respond appropriately to visual effects, they show the audience that the effects are fake. Look for actors who know how to anticipate and interact with the effects your compositor will later add.
How do you respond when a director asks you to do something you consider inappropriate for your character?
Look for actors who will respectfully challenge what they consider to be directorial mistakes. Blind obedience indicates that they are not fully invested in the reality of their characters. At the same time, if a director insists on a choice, performers must comply with it.
What do you eat and how do you exercise?
The healthier an actor is, the less likely it is that they will overexert themselves or become injured on set. You should thus opt for performers who eat well and exercise regularly.