Diary of a Deaf Filmmaker, Month 3: Being able to cast actors online is a lifesaver

Posted on September 30, 2014

Last month, I mentioned that we had begun to look for actors to invite to the casting. I also noted that this can be a bit tricky when looking for specific Deaf/HoH actors, as they are few in numbers.

But we cast our net far and wide via the web…


social media…


and good ol’ fashion word of mouth.


The response was awesome!

Lots of Deaf/HoH actors got in touch and we managed to rustle up quite an extensive casting list.

But then…..disaster struck!


I’d totally forgotten that actors actually have lives and can’t always be at the beck and call of directors. In other words, some actors couldn’t make the casting dates.


But there was a light at the end of the tunnel and that light was apparently coming from a computer screen.


As an actress myself, I have previously been asked to audition via video or Skype. It’s a great, cost effective way for actors to be seen by film makers and can really help when you’re trying to juggle everyone’s availability.


But most importantly, it’s really accessible for Deaf/HoH actors. You can communicate via three options depending on your personal needs; speaking & lip reading, using BSL or typing written English.

I was casting for a number of different characters and they all communicated differently. I could sign (probably terribly) for BSL users, lip read people who spoke and if everything REALLY went to crap, I could always bail out and opt for typing (again, spelling/grammar probably terrible). It was the best way to ensure that I got to see every actor that I wanted to see.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a perfect solution, as technology has the tendency to be somewhat unreliable…


and let’s not forget that it’s great to audition actors in the flesh. But I definitely feel that some windows of opportunity were held open with a little help from a fibre optic cable.


I’ve also read that this is becoming quite a common practice for all productions, at least in the preliminary stages of casting anyway but I wonder if it will ever become THE standard procedure for auditions and if so, will more Deaf/HoH actors be seen?


That sounds too much like the beginnings of a debate for my liking, so I’m getting outta here but remember this; with online casting AND regular casting I was able to “have my cake and eat it”, actor wise!


Now it’s the hard part, choosing the best actor for the role…when exactly do we get to the easy part?

Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.

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