Christa Schamberger-Young
 
+27 11 440 3477
Emmystatuesmall.jpgEmmystatuesmall.jpgIndependent Casting Director
Emmy Award Nominee 2009
Email as graphic
Cape Town & Johannesburg
(The Casting Connection cc)
South Africa

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STUDIO & TECHNICAL FACILITIES
Casting Connection Studio

151 Ninth Avenue, Highlands North, Johannesburg South Africa
The acting area measures about 5m x 4m (15 x 12 feet) on fitted carpet against a neutral grey cyclorama.
Auditions are shot with a Sony PD150 camera fitted with a Sennheiser MK300 mini shotgun microphone. This delivers good sound quality while allowing the artists freedom of movement for action scenes.  
An unobtrusive number is superimposed throughout every audition, facilitating identification at any point on the final compilation.
On-screen numbers
Studiowide

Lighting is provided by a custom built flourescent Soft Box to the left, filled by a large Polly-bounced fill off-centre right. A central backlight / kicker is also used.

Video is captured direct to hard drive in full DV quality. This reduces costs by eliminating the digitising process. Material is archived until the end of Principal photography in South Africa.
The Director's viewing area / interview area is behind the camera and has a separate door for access to the office, toilets and kitchen.
Studio - Director's Area

March 2017
Cape Town
We Have Moved -  Details to follow
.

On-Line Auditions

In 2007 we distributed "Generation Kill" Auditions (Out Of Africa Films for Company Pictures UK for HBO) and  "Rough" (Sienna Films Toronto & Philo Films SA) by uploading to the CastIt system based in Santa Monica. Not all Producers have the budget or need for the sophisticated CastIt online streaming system however, while the public file transfer sites (YouSendit and TransferBigFiles) are often congested and slow - they also hold the files for only a few days.

We have had our own Upload / Download facility, which has proved both popular and useful since 2008. (Invictus, Africa United, Kidnap & Ransom, Sniper-Reloaded, Strike Back!, Women In Love, Outcasts) Our web site server is located in the United Kingdom, since most of our clients are in Europe or the USA and the "pipe" to South Africa is comparatively congested and slow.
The growth in popularity of "cloud" facilities such as DropBox has provided us with a more efficient alternative, in that we do not have to author web pages, but can upload directly to your DropBox account if you "share" a folder. We can also upload to our DropBox and send you a link, from which you can save the material to your own account.

In the later stages of casting you may need to offer your selections to a Broadcaster. Provided no further edits or trims are required, this can be quickly accomplished by simply moving the files to a separate folder and sending only that link to the Brodcaster.
If takes are to be cut, please email detailed instructions - preferably with "In" and "Out" timings. The auditions will have to be edited off-line and re-uploaded.

Audition Session Dump to portable USB Hard Drive
Most producers now use our DropBox facility because decisions may have to be made by Executives scattered across the world. If distributed decision making is not necessary, raw AVI files can be dumped onto your own portable USB hard drive, saving Encoding and Uploading costs. The capture process delivers files which are already named by Actor & Role with an appended Take number, making searching easy. Please allow 15 to 30 mins at the end of the session for this transfer. USB "Data Sticks" can also be used, but a full day of auditions will produce between 12 and 30 Gigabytes of data, so please supply at least two 16Gb data sticks.
To Actors: Self-Taped Auditions
DO NOT USE FACILITIES SUCH AS YOUSENDIT OR SENDBIGFILES
AND SURPRISE US WITH AN E-MAIL LINK!
The number of South African actors travelling or living abroad has led to the need for a remote audition upload facility. Actors or their local Agents are requested to initiate discussions with Christa first. We will not download huge HD files. Be aware that if you "Share" a DropBox link, the entire contents of your shared folder registers on our DropBox too, and we will not appreciate having our Dropbox account "maxed out" by your self-tape.
Most cameras or mobile phones have some kind of "Save for Web" option. Use the "Iphone" *.mp4 option in the 320 x 240 pixel size and Medium quality.
For the more Technically savvy...
As a general guideline: Tape your audition in a quiet place against a plain, untextured backgound, preferably not a dead white wall though! When choosing a location, record a short clip of "buzz" and LISTEN to it on headphones! You will be surprised at how your brain blocks out distracting sound that the camera microphone picks up. If you have the choice, shoot in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio - it is pointless to transmit acres of unused widescreen space. Choose the best takes, then encode to 320 x 240 pixel frame size in Quicktime or mp4, with Keyframes every 50 frames or 2 seconds. (Or the nearest size in widescreen format) Set Streaming On and activate Fast Start. Set Audio quality to Mono at a 32K sample rate.
If the jargon above is unfamiliar, copy the e-mail you will receive and provide it to the person who will be doing your upload.
In any case, DO NOT EVER send uncompressed raw HD material  from the camera!

Please send Technical queries only to:digbymail as graphic
NOTES:
Studio charges are set at the beginning of each year and are structured so that Producers pay only for services they require, as opposed to the blanket fee approach adopted by some studios. Casting Director's fees are negotiable according to the length of time required for any given project.  Please send an e-mail to Christa or call  with your queries for specific quotes.

The technical operation of the Johannesburg audition studio is managed by Scriptwright cc, which is a VAT-Registered Close Corporation. Studio-related costs such as  studio hire, DVDs, copies, photographs etc. are invoiced separately by Scriptwright cc.
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