In a city that’s so entertainment-centric, it’s almost impossible to find a company that is willing to offer free services to students who are hopeful actors, directors, and filmmakers.
However, Hollywood Casting and Film, a professional casting studios, has decided to offer free casting space, state-of-the-art studio rooms, an actor database and camera equipment for students to launch their filmmaking pursuits.
Vinay Bhagat and his fellow co-founders opened the doors of HCandF in 2012 to “provide a space that’s like an incubator for independent films and independent projects”, according to Bhagat. HCandF works consistently with their members to get them more exposed. After all, in a city where people come to make it big, exposure is essential, and Bhagat believes a partnership with film students will help HCandF to continue to realize this goal.
“Students are a very good partner for us, mostly because independent filmmakers sometimes tend to work on their projects on and off,” explained Bhagat. “Students, however, are on a specific schedule, which works out for us to have a consistent cycle. Students also have many resources, such as film education, instructors, and guidelines, which usually make their final product very good and professional, which again, is very helpful to us as well.”
HCandF has also made it possible for students to take full advantage of their services efficiently and in optimal speed with their impressive online presence.
“Students can book their room on our site, and they can also post up the breakdown of their film to provide information on what they’re casting,” said Bhagat. “Within minutes, everyone from our studio is submitting to be seen. Another great thing is that after their use of our free facilities, all of their videos are uploaded on to our website… This allows them to go back online to review their session. It’s a huge archive for them.”
Students who have taken advantage of HCandF’s services have found that their work and their work ethics improved immensely. Megan Herring, a student majoring in both creative writing and critical studies at the University of Southern California, has found her experience with HCandF extremely helpful in advancing in her academics and career.
“I worked on different sets and tried on various hats [while working with HCandF],” said Herring. “Hollywood Casting and Film has also led to other opportunities at larger studios and production companies… Having the ability to work with professional actors as a film student is monumental and thus Hollywood Casting and Film is a valuable resource. The studio makes it possible to see your vision, even with a low budget.”
There are no requirements for students who wish to become a member of HCandF to further expand their film experience. Bhagat does, however, stress the importance of community within HCandF, and the relationship between actor members and filmmaker members.
“The only thing we ask of these students who decide to use our free services, is to cast some of our HCandF actors,” said Bhagat. “It’s so essential for all members to be involved, and we think it’s a true win-win type of deal.”
To get involved with Hollywood Casting and Film, click here.