Build a Casting Database to Recruit Internal Actors and Talent for Your Video Projects

It’s the day before the shoot and you still need actors.

Today we’re going to show you how to build an automated system to cast or recruit actors and talent for your videos. This tool will help ensure that you have a comprehensive list of willing volunteers from your organization to star and feature in your videos. 

Trust us, your organization is filled with people who want to be featured in your videos, you just need to find them. But waiting to identify actors and talent until you start the video production process is a guarantee that you’ll be searching for actors and talent at the last minute. 

That’s why we suggest that clients build an internal casting database. Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it is. Using simple free tools, like Google Forms, Google Sheets and Google Drive, you can give your team members a way to volunteer to appear in future organizational videos so that you have a list of excited and willing participants to call on the next time you’re planning a shoot. Let’s get started. 

Determine What Information You Want to Collect:

The first step is to decide what information you want in your casting database. We suggest starting with the following: 

    • First name
    • Last Name
    • Organizational department 
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Email contact info
    • Phone contact info
    • Preferred Method of Contact (Email/Text/Phone Call)

A quick side note: You might wonder why we chose to include ethnicity. We think it’s important to ensure that the diversity of your institution is accurately represented in your marketing and communications materials. Having this information readily available helps make that goal easier to achieve. 

The above list is just a start. Your organization might find additional information to be helpful. For example, a hospital or healthcare institution might want to identify if applicants are nurses, techs or physicians. A higher education institution might want to ask for student majors or their projected date of graduation. You can adjust your form in ways that make sense for your individual organization. 

Create Your Recruitment Form using Google Forms :

Once you’ve settled on the information that will be most relevant to you, you can start creating your form. Go to Forms.google.com to get started. You’ll have to sign into your google or gmail account at this point. 

Dialogue box and folder icon seen above.

Start by naming your form using the dialogue box in the top left corner. We’ll name ours “Casting Form”. If you click on the folder icon to the right of the dialogue box, you can choose where you want to store this Form in Google Drive. We recommend creating a dedicated folder for both your Form and the responses, which will be collected in a separate spreadsheet (more on that in a moment). 

Now that we’ve named our Form, let’s start adding questions. You can create your questions in several different formats such as short answer, paragraph, multiple choice, checkboxes and more. For our purposes we’ll mostly be using short answer and multiple choice responses. You also have the option of making certain responses required. We suggest this for mission critical responses such as name and email contact information. Here’s an example of a form we created. 

An example of what your form could look like.

Choose Where to Save Your Casting Responses

The Google Forms responses tab with a link to the spreadsheet (Green Icon).

Once you’ve created your questions the next step will be to determine where the form responses are stored. For that, we’ll click on the responses tab at the top of the Google Forms page. When you click on the tab you’ll see a green Google Sheets icon. If you’re not familiar, Google Sheets is Google’s version of Microsoft Excel. Clicking on this icon will allow you to choose the spreadsheet where your responses will be stored.

You can choose a new spreadsheet or an existing spreadsheet. For this example we’ll choose “Create a New Spreadsheet”. As you can see the sheet is pre-filled with the name of your form and the word (Responses) afterward. 

Once you click “Create” you’ll see a new spreadsheet with all of your questions listed at the top. At this point you can click the folder icon next  to the name of the spreadsheet to  choose where to save your spreadsheet in Google Drive. Again, we recommend saving it in the same place as you saved your Google Form. 

Test out Your New Casting Form

Now that you’ve set up your form and spreadsheet, it’s time to test it out. Go back to Google Forms and click on the eyeball icon in the top right. This is the preview button. Click this and begin to fill out the form, click submit and then check your response spreadsheet. You’ll see that all of your responses have been inserted into the spreadsheet. 

Always test before sending.

Now, just to be safe, you should test the form with some of your other colleagues. To do this go back to the form and click “Send”. You’ll see options to send an email, copy a link to the form or copy HTML embed code. We’ll started by copying a link and sending it to some colleagues and having them insert their information so we that we can be sure the form is working properly and make any necessary adjustments. 

Distribute Your Casting Form Throughout Your Organization

Now that you’ve developed and tested your casting and recruitment form, you’re ready to send it to your organization. First you should embed your form on a website that your employees can access. This might be on an internal communications platform or intranet. Feel free to dress up the page with some fun behind the scenes pictures from previous productions and a short description of what will be expected of people who volunteer to participate. Then you can promote this website with emails, internal communication posts, flyers in break rooms and any other creative ways you can think of to get the word out.

Now Go Make Something with Your Newfound Talent and Actors

Now go have fun and make something great.

Once your volunteers start signing up you’ll have yourself a list of people who are ready and excited to star in your next video project. In fact you’ll probably have more people than you need, which is a great thing. Now put your newfound talent and actors to good use and go make something. 

Remember, it’s important to keep your talent database fresh, so be sure to send out sign up reminders regularly and also show off fun behind the scenes pictures with your volunteers to spark interest among the rest of your staff. 

We’re always here to help with any video production questions so just click the button below to contact us. 

Ready to bring your story to life?

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