There have been a lot of articles and studies recently on the pleasures of watching series and why binge watching is addictive. Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sony etc. are providing a huge amount of content which is being seen globally. In my life, however, of course the greater joy comes from actually working on them and being part of the casting process.
I have been lucky enough to have worked on some great TV shows in the last couple of years and I couldn’t be more delighted. One of the things I am especially happy about is the recognised need for diversity in casting. As series are developed and financed in a different way to feature films, the decision making process is also different.
This is a game changer in so many ways as now talent has access to more job opportunities than ever before. The digital platforms cast a very wide net when looking for cast for their shows.
I have just finished a two year stint on the board of the European Chapter of CSA and headed up the Diversity and Inclusion committee during my time there. It was very rewarding to see real progress being made – we are after all a very diverse world and reflecting this in our media content is essential. The philosophy of the different digital platforms is very healthy and I have felt very privileged to be working on shows which are actively ensuring that casts are diverse in every possible way.
Casting for TV is fun as the writing is great and the sides for our casting sessions are usually good to work with. We are not usually playing the find a star game so that gives us a lot more scope to discover new talent which is one of the great joys of a casting director. And of course, when an actor books a lead in a new show that goes on to be a huge success it is a real career changer and it is amazing to see that happen and to be a part of the process.
TV seems to be becoming a more and more positive force in the world and is helping to unite people as opposed to the other forces who are trying to separate and polarise us. I watch (and cast) with interest to see where the next decade takes us.