csa-logo.gifThe average movie fan will likely be familiar with the names of popular actors, directors and maybe even the odd producer or composer. But there’s certainly a high probability that he or she won’t know the name of the casting director responsible for even his or her favorite film. Which is a shame, really, because could you imagine Sophie’s Choice without Meryl Streep’s mesmerizing performance, or even Napoleon Dynamite with someone else filling Jon Heder’s dancing shoes?

In 1982 a small group of casting professionals formed the Casting Society of America (CSA). “Being a casting director is usually a fairly independent endeavor,” says CSA president Chemin Bernard. “Being a member of CSA affords us the opportunity to become part of a community of people who initially could be considered competition, but instead, through our commitment to the CSA, are the people with whom we have joined forces to further advance the mutual objectives of our profession.” Today the association boasts 350 members, and its influence has led to the development of its own prestigious Artios® Casting Awards.

If you’re only looking for assistance with your next movie, head on over to www.castingsociety.com to check out what assistance the organization offers to moviemakers outside of the casting community: Actors will find useful links, including a way to invite casting directors to screenings; directors and producers can locate the perfect addition to their crews; and the purely inquisitive can find out who, for instance, was responsible for casting Meryl to such perfection.

Sound Off:
The Casting Society of America helps to bring together professionals who, as Bernard explains, might otherwise be each other’s competition. What other competing group of moviemaking professionals could benefit from such a society? Talk back in the forums!