Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Body Check

The Body Check

* The Body Check

* I hate, hate, hate the body check. But it is, I'm afraid, necessary. Too many actors (male and female) will SAY they have no problem with nudity but then balk on the day. Just as they will tell you they are experienced tennis players when they've really only had two lessons back in high school. They are so hungry for a job, they will say anything to get it. Chances are, if an actor is willing to strip down in a room full of people for an audition, they're cool with it. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to stand naked in front of 5 strangers? To stand there naked and be judged? Could you do it?

* Don't do the body check on the first round of auditions. Get yourself a good selection of actors for the second read, and then do the body check. NOTIFY your auditioning actors that there will be a body check - hopefully, they will be smart enough to wear things that come off quickly and don't leave unattractive markings on the body. Don't put the body check on tape.Turn the camera OFF. I know you want to have it on tape to review later. As an actor, I do not want my naked body just standing there in bad flourescent lighting to end up YouTube somehow. Would you?? Trust me when I say that putting your actors at ease right from the beginning will make life easier for everyone. It's probably worth asking them if they are comfortable with nudity while the camera is running though. Also, it's a really good idea to have both sexes represented there in the room. Once again, makes the actors feel safe and respected and encourages them to trust you. And I sure hope you know better than to ask anyone under the age of 18 to strip down - check ID first if you aren't sure.

* The purpose of the body check is not to find the most perfect body in the world and cast your actors based on that. Unless you are doing a classic T & A Bikini type movie, perfection isn't required. You're just making sure they will do what they say they will do, and avoiding any unpleasant surprises later - like massive tattoos (if they aren't appropriate for the character and will require makeup) or tan lines, or whatever.

* The Modified Body Check

* It's not always necessary to see your actors fully nude. If you really only plan on shooting them from the waist up, stripping down to underwear is fine. If you are making a movie with a strong T & A factor and hot bods are the priority, having them strip down to a bikini or bra and panties on the first audition is reasonable, I believe. Once again, let the actors or their agents know what will be required of them. Scheduling note: remember that allowing time while they take their clothes off and put them back on will eat up a huge amount of your day. Time is money, baby...

Please check out my website There's no nudity currently, but I'm working on it.

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