Meet Nick Hamon from Nick Hamon Casting
When people enter the talent and entertainment industry, the vast array of terms and concepts can be very confusing. One of the most basic yet crucial concepts is the difference between talent agents and casting directors.
With over 20 years of experience, Nick Hamon Casting is one of the industry’s leading casting companies.
The director of the business is its namesake, the one and only Nick Hamon. Nick has been in the industry since 1989 and has continued to have a positive impact since the establishment of his own business in 1998. Nick also pioneered the formation of the Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) and held the position of CGA Vice President from 2013 to 2016.
Nick Hamon Casting has worked with clients such as Mercedes Benz, Worksafe, Qantas and Australia Post. The business has also cast for movies such as I Love You Too (starring Peter Dinklage and Yvonne Strahovki) and Red Hill (starring Ryan Kwanten and Steve Bisley), as well as Channel Ten’s hit TV show How to Stay Married (starring Peter Helliar and Lisa McCune).
With such a broad range of impressive clientele, Nick’s expertise and understanding of the entertainment world is exceptional and expansive. He encourages new and existing players in the industry to brush up on their knowledge of common terms and concepts.
“Often, what a casting director does is misunderstood or confused with being an actors’ agent. The job of a casting director is to consult and advise with the producers, directors and creative team on who we believe should be considered for a role,” Nick explains.
“Our job is to know actors – not just the actors that are already established, but also up and coming performers.”
Though both vital to the industry and with common similarities, the roles that casting directors and talent agents play differ greatly. Where talent agents take commission for the roles their models or actors are booked for, casting directors make money a different way.
“The main difference is that we do not manage, represent or take a commission from actors. We work for and are paid by the producers,” says Nick.
Where talent agents have a range of people represented on their books, casting directors are the bridge between the talent or representative and the client (usually a business or production company). Nick and his team receive job details from clients, including shoot dates, requirements for roles and any related fees.
“We then consider all the agents’ suggestions along with using our own database and book the auditions, send scripts or scenes, run auditions days (of sometimes up to 60 actors a day), negotiate actors’ fees, prepare deal memos, book wardrobe calls, send call sheets and manage all types of egos (or lack thereof),” he says.
The matchmaker between talent and jobs, casting directors have a huge range of responsibilities within the industry.
“If we have jobs on we can be viewing hundreds of submissions for a role which includes viewing photos, resumes and video reels, booking auditions, speaking with agents about their actors, speaking with producers about an upcoming project and providing quotes that will include suggested fees for the actors required. On quieter days, we will watch auditions from previous jobs so we can add any new actors to our database,” Nick says.
At the heart of the talent industry, casting directors are responsible for bringing a role to life with the right talent. Working with clients, agents and talent, casting directors play a crucial role in the promotion and development of Australia’s entertainment industry.