Mumbai: Film fraternity members like Karan Johar, Rishi Kapoor and Hansal Mehta have lauded BombayCasting.com, an online casting portal, for streamlining talent and for giving filmmakers easier access to fresh faces.
Rishi believes a platform such as this "makes things so much easier and accessible for makers and aspiring talent in whichever field". However, he has a word of advice.
"I would advice only those to enrol who are genuinely talented. Give yourself a time limit, if it works good for you otherwise you must have a plan B. Too much relying on any casting agency forever can frustrate you...All kinds of talent skills and craftsmanship available under one roof is admirable," he said in his testimonial to BombayCasting.com.
'PK' filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who has always scored an ace with a carefully chosen cast for his films, said: "Good casting is half the battle won for a director. We spend months searching across the country for the right face and talent. An online casting platform is a great solution. It opens up avenues for actors to reach directors and vice versa."
Filmmaker Karan Johar, who often promotes new talent under his banner Dharma Productions, says that since "new actors and new acting energies are the need of the hour", BombayCasting.com is an "ingenious way forward to source for new talent".
Drector Nikhil Advani stressed that "From the smallest part to the main actor, each performance is helping in contributing to the overall atmosphere and narrative that the storyteller is trying to convey."
The platform allows people to simply log on and have a look at the talent's profiles, availability and other vital details. Production houses and filmmakers can post their requirements and get multiple options for a role, be it for a lead role or cameo.
A soft launch of the website has already generated great interest from production houses, talents and filmmakers alike; and so, a mobile app is also on its way and will be launched next month. The app is said to have more than 200 production houses.
Post the launch of this app, actors will get notified about casting calls and talent. Actors can then upload their audition and fulfil the casting need of a production house, but the videos uploaded on the actor's profile will be filtered for security reasons.
With the e-commerce boom and tidal wave of internet sweeping every industry at its stride, it was time for the Indian film industry to go digital. With Bombcasting.com, the first of its kind online casting portal Bollywood can officially say that it has gone digital.
Rupsa Banerjee, content strategist, BombayCasting.com, said: “ We are in talks with big venture capital funds and angel investors have also shown keen interest in our projects. However, we intend to collaborate with someone whom we can hand hold on to on a long term basis. Once it is confirmed, we will make a formal announcement regarding the same."
Actor R. Madhavan, whose last Bollywood outing 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' turned out to be hit, is convinced that "casting is one of the most essential part of getting the creatives of a film right" and so it's great to have a one-stop casting shop for all characters in a film.
"One jarring mistake and the entire film goes down to that level. From earlier directors who cast people they met by chance to it now it becoming a full-fledged science, casting has come a long way, he added.
'Citylights' maker Hansal Mehta said he was always "dismayed to meet young talent that was languishing at production offices and mindless auditions hoping to land that one big break".
"I always felt that talent needs a structured pipeline to reach the right people at the right time. Bombaycasting.com is that pipeline that aligns talent with opportunity. It is a great initiative that will provide gifted actors a platform to showcase talent and will allow a filmmaker the freedom of choice.
"All of us seek the best talent for the part but we are often limited by choices made available to us. This is going to benefit us immensely as it is going to allow untapped talent to flourish," added Mehta.