Masterclass: Hannah Williams

18 February, 2020

The Importance of Casting: Hannah Williams

On Wednesday 12th February, we welcomed casting director Hannah Williams to our Central site to speak to students of Screen and Film School and our sister college, Institute for Contemporary Theatre

Hannah is a casting director for Backstage, an online casting platform for filmmakers and actors. At Backstage, she has cast background actors for Being Human, Broadchurch, Toast of London, Man Down, Pride, The Legend of Tarzan, and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. She’s also started her own casting company, where she has works on BBC and BFI film projects as well as for commercial and creative agencies.

Hannah gave the students an exclusive insight into the importance of casting, noting that a great cast can elevate even the simplest of ideas, whereas bad casting can ruin an otherwise fantastic project.

Hannah Williams

Hannah discussed the main attributes you need to succeed in the casting industry, including:

  • Good memory/recall
  • Exceptional organisational skills
  • People skills
  • High level of communication
  • Ability to work quickly and under pressure
  • A wide reach of contacts

Hannah’s aim was to demystify the casting process and give the low-down on all aspects of casting, from choosing the right person for your film, to tips on auditioning, to starting a career as a casting assistant. She detailed the responsibilities of the casting team, and discussed possible routes into the industry with students, as well as providing a comprehensive walk through of creating a character breakdown.

Her presentation created an atmosphere of collaboration, and it even connected students of both colleges, who are now working together for their graduation pieces. Many thanks to Hannah for imparting her wisdom to our students, and for hosting such an exciting and engaging masterclass!

Hannah Williams giving a masterclass on casting


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