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Mr. Magic
Join Date: Oct 2008
Gender: homme
Posts: 103,382
After working alongside leading casting director Russell Marsh, Adam Hindle has gone on to cast for some of fashions biggest names. With Autumn Winter 2013 Fashion week upon us, we caught up with himÖ

How did you get into casting?
I started out as a model, and moved into working at a production company. After about a year there I heard Russell Marsh was looking for a full time assistant which I went for-that lasted nine years! It was a really good experience, heíd been casting since the 80ís andwas already very well respected. There werenít many casting directors at the time. He has so much experience so it was a great way to learn about casting.

What do you do when itís not show season?
Itís mainly prepping. There used to be four collections a year with menís and womenís, and now itís double that! A client may want to go and do a variation of the same show in Shanghai and Tokyo, then look books, store openings, perfumes etcÖ thereís always stuff to do. Obviously there are quieter times, the summer is always quiet. Then there is the editorial work.

When did you launch your company?

I went on my own March last year.

Is there anything in particular you look for when booking a model?

Well, I think itís probably fair to say that Iíve got a ďtypeĒ with guys and girls, but I think itís important to remember that itís not only about you. You might pick someone and the client wonít agree. Occasionally, you turn up to a client and they say ďthese are the kind of girls weíre looking forĒ and it would actually just be Models.comís top 20. At the end of the day itís not about type, itís about whatís right for the show or shoot. Iíd say I like I quite like handsome women, healthy looking girls and guys who have character to their appearance, not too generic.

Which designers do you work for during fashion week?

In London: Roksanda Ilincic, Kinder Aggugini, Sass & Bide, Julien Macdonald. In Paris: Damir doma, Barbara Bui and Isabel Marant

We all know how hectic show season can get. Is that the case for you?

Yes. Ideally youíd never do two shows in one day. I once worked on three, one at 9am then 1pm then 7pm. Coordinating the fittings is always quite difficult. Itís at that point when you need someone to help because you canít be in two places at once. Also, show season can work out quite well because you have a core of the same girls you like, and they will maybe do all three shows, so in some ways that makes it easier. But yeah, generally itís really stressful.

Trends come and go season to season. Does this have a big effect on who you cast?

Seasonal lengths and shapes and stuff like that donít really have much effect on the girls we choose. It tends to be a sort of Zeitgeist thing, based on what taste makers are thinking. I find it quite funny how some designers tend to do something quite similar without knowing that they are all doing the same thing. Often art books or great films come around at the same time, so perhapsthe designers draw their inspiration from similar popular new publications etc. But I donít think it has a massive effect on the models, apart from if theyíve all recently been to the same country, then maybe theyíll use lots of amazing Dutch or Brazilian girls.

Are there any other roles within fashion you could see yourself moving into?

Well I think designers are people I really admire, so Iíd love to do that but I do know itís extremely hard! Being a photographer would be a great job, and I think model agencies are great if youíre working on the scouting side and developmentÖ I imagine itís really rewarding.

Tell me the process involved in casting the models for show season.

I spend a fair amount of time on the internet and all those little blogs that people set up, they are always a good source. Thereís always someone more obsessedÖ.Then there are certain agencies I know have a good record of new faces so I take a look at their websites. Often Iíll look at whoís done the pre-collections, going around the agencies, meeting the girls themselves, seeing their material. Itís usually the week before the show when itís the first big casting, most girls donít arrive until later in the week so itís just about making yourself aware of the new arrivals, gradually slotting the girls in and making last minute changes to make sure they are getting on the right flight at the right time. If Iím doing a show on the Friday evening, a lot of the girls arrive Friday morning, so you have to have the facilities to fit people in on the day. Then the questions come into your mind like ďis this the girl, is it worth it, will she work in the outfitĒ so that is quite stressful.

Menís fashion week recently added dates in London, which has now been part of the schedule for two seasons. Do you think this is a good thing?

Yeah itís definitely a good thing. There are loads of great designers here. The last thing I worked on was the Savile Row designers, that just typify whatís great about London fashion, people like Tom Ford do their show here because he loves London. Heís really inspired by people like Savile Row, and so should everyone be inspired by it. I think itís great for London to have a proper Womenís and Menís fashion week.
London can sometimes be the city that misses out because the shows are too tightly packed into each season. Sometime models arenít encouraged to come here, but there are big designers, important stylists and influential people working on the shows in London, so itís smart to come

What advice would you give to a young model starting out in their first season?

Iíd say look after yourself, try to get as much rest as possible. Present yourself as best you can, dress smartly but plainly. Choose clothes that show off your best assets, present yourself in a way that will sell you the bestÖ itís the stuff that development teams tell you. Listen to them! Be friendly and pleasant to everyone, and show a bit of good energy. Thatís what people want to see, and could earn you a place in the show. If you have the wrong attitude it can work against you and stop you getting in the show.

How do you relax between shows?

I spend time with friends and family.

Whatís your favourite designer?

Overall, Prada. I have liked the brand for a long time.

Do you have a favourite model?

I think Steph Hall is a really great success story. Sheís been bubbling under for a bit, and itís nice to see a girl like that get her break because sheís so beautiful and wants it, and has worked for it.

Finally, who would be your ultimate dinner date?

Ryan Frost

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BetteT's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Palm Springs
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Moderator's Note:

Let's stay on topic, please ... which is the job of "Casting Director" is and how you get into it as a career. This forum is not about the people who work in fashion, it's about jobs and careers.

Certainly, you may offer information about individual casting directors, if that information talks about how they got into this business, their educational background and prior experience leading up to the job and what they do on the job. That is on topic and very helpful to an aspiring casting director.

** It's All in the Details! **

Last edited by BetteT; 28-03-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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tfs star
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Does anyonŤ know if there is a course you can take about Casting? I would love to work with Brands and Models. If there's no course, should you take a business course first, and then try to get an internship?

Anna Ewers . Imaan Hammam . Rianne Von Rompaey . Fei Fei Sun . Vittoria Ceretti
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BetteT's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Palm Springs
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Read this thread ... there are several interviews about how casting directors got into this work ... and none of them took courses. All of them worked into it via assisting someone in the biz.

I believe that it's one of those fashion careers where you just sort of learn as you go and use your contacts. I would say that most casting directors probably worked in modeling agencies and/or talent agencies at first to learn the ropes of what clients are looking for then branched out to work for some of the actual clients. Or found work with a fashion show producer or designer who put on their own shows ... and learned that way. One worked for a fashion photographer, scouting locations at first.

I could be wrong but I don't this there are any serious "courses" and I don't think that anyone looks for "education" when they want a casting director. They hire people they know, who they trust can do the job.

** It's All in the Details! **

Last edited by BetteT; 02-01-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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Mr. Magic
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Posts: 103,382
Following the S/S15 menswear shows, AnOther speak to Casting Director extraordinaire Jess Hallett

Jess Hallett is credited as one of the best Casting Directors in the business, and has worked with designers including Alexander McQueen, Acne, Missoni and Rag & Bone. She started her career at Storm Models in the late nineties, quickly becoming Head Booker before co-founding Darling Productions with best friend Sarah Murray, which she ran for 9 years before branching out independently. While at Storm, Hallett helped to create the face of the 90s Supermodel, nurturing Naomi Campbell, Susie Bick and a young Kate Moss. She travelled the world with Moss during her early years and was maid of honour at her wedding.

This season, Hallett worked on Alexander McQueen, Zegna and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Following on from the menswear shows, AnOther caught up with Hallett to discuss her intuitive casting eye.

Did you always know you wanted to work in casting?
I don't think I knew casting existed but my teenage bedroom wall was covered in faces ripped out of magazines. you couldn't see the wall, it was absolutely covered. So maybe subconsciously I was always interested.

Can you talk through the casting process for Alexander McQueen, Ermenegildo Zegna and Marc by Marc Jacobs?

The clothes are very tailored at Alexander McQueen, and so the body shape is vital. The face that we look for is different from season to season, but it is always a strong, interesting face. The casting at Marc by Marc Jacobs was about individuals. We were looking for guys with their own look. We didn't want to use the same guys that everyone else was using. At Ermenegildo Zegna we also needed character. I really enjoyed doing that casting, it was very new compared to last season. I think we only had two faces from the previous show, but somehow it was a continuation.

Let's just say casting is always different. Each designer wants something else and that's what makes it fun, the challenge. Everyone is different, personality is everything.

What trends have you noticed amongst male models this season?
Summer is always a funny season as a lot of the boys are doing exams or looking for scholarships. I'm not sure about trends, I'm not so good at that. I just know what I like and whether they could work in my set up.

What keeps you going during fashion week?
Nervous energy and anxiety.

Where is your favourite place to unwind?

I love London. Home is where the heart is.

Do you have a favourite male model at the moment?

Not really, most of them are great. in fact very sweet, and cultured.

Do you have any pet hates with models?

When they walk in and say they are in a hurry and have to leave. I know that, it's fashion week. We are all busy, don't be rude.

The last thing that made you laugh?

The ridiculousness of it all. It's only fashion.

Text by Mhairi Graham

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Mr. Magic
Join Date: Oct 2008
Gender: homme
Posts: 103,382
Russell Marsh: Model maker

Mild-mannered Russell Marsh is the modelling world's backroom superman - as Prada's casting director he launched some of the biggest names on the catwalk. Now a free agent, he reveals what turns his head.

BY Phong Luu | 16 March 2013

He may have a weakness for The Archers on Radio 4 and a demeanour that's more professor than Pucci, but don't let that cosy exterior fool you. As Prada's casting director, 49-year-old Russell Marsh wielded the ultimate influence in the modelling world - a turn on the Prada catwalk seals a career - and Marsh has launched some of the most successful models in the business, including Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy and Gemma Ward. He has also spearheaded many of the casting trends in the industry (he predicts Dutch girls will be the Next Big Thing). But after a 15-year link-up with Prada, Marsh went freelance last year, working for the likes of Cťline, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Victoria Beckham. You can bet your bottom dollar that he'll be behind some of the most arresting casts during this show season.

"I primarily cast for fashion shows, although I have done campaigns in the past for Prada. I very much liaise with the designers - working out the running order, which outfits suit which girls - though I am rarely given a brief. It's always exciting working with someone like Christopher Kane because he has such unusual ideas for what he wants - his references aren't always obvious. He'll go for girls who remind him of someone he went to school with, or with an attitude that evokes a character he grew up with.

I am always asked about what I look for, but I find it hard to put into words. Casting is such an instinctive thing. I adore Lara Stone. She looks like something out of a Vermeer painting. I saw beauty, but I also saw imperfection, which is what I like about the gap in her teeth. There was a feeling that she was insecure about it; there's something wonderful about seeing the beauty in people that they themselves don't necessarily see. Lindsey Wixson is extraordinary - she looks like a Tiny Tears doll. Daria Werbowy has that aristocratic, androgynous look I love.

I suppose that's why Miuccia Prada hired me - I had a specific taste that connected with hers. That's not to say I didn't go against type at Prada by casting Lara, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr and all those Victoria's Secret girls in the autumn/winter 2010 show. It's about reacting to what feels right at the time. People say I started the trend for eastern European girls, but I'm only responding to what the agencies are sending. There was a craze for Brazilian models in the mid-1990s; at the moment, there's demand for that very healthy, sporty look - which is what the Dutch girls offer. You see a lot of beautiful girls on the streets. That was what was great about the shows in the 1980s; designers would cast from the streets. When I started out in 1985 as an assistant to Mikel Rosen, who was producing fashion shows for who I consider to be the most influential designers at that time, such as Jean Muir and Body Map, it was a lot more diverse. Body Map, for example, didn't use models, but friends. The shows weren't shows in the sense they are now, they were much more performance. Models were encouraged to express their personalities; Pat Cleveland would twirl down the runway at Montana or Mugler. You don't see that any more. I think that robotic, single-file presentation started in the early 1990s grunge period, with designers such as Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Marc Jacobs, perhaps as a reaction to what had gone on before.

Working for a house like Prada does open doors - agents will keep girls they think are special and only show them to specific people. But I can't dismiss the girls until I've seen them, in case I miss the next big thing. When I cast for the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris - I do up to 15 per season - my two assistants and I see 400-450 girls. I then present an edited selection that could be appropriate to each designer - they can use up to 40 girls for their show. Each designer will use a different selection, but there are certain girls who cross over and work on all shows. When I first worked for Prada, the shows were much smaller, but the collections bigger - I would cast 15 girls, and they'd change and they'd change.

London has never been an obvious pit stop for the girls. There is never any money, so they bypass it. Even Alexander McQueen couldn't bring in the big girls. They'd go to Milan, where the money was, and skip London, pretty much the same way they do now. Those who come, such as Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Liu Wen, do so because they like the spirit of the city. For me, London is one of the most exciting places to work because of the range of designers we have here. It doesn't faze me that I can't use 'names', as it spurs me on to look harder - Agne Konciute, for example, was a discovery who went on to do well in Paris last season.

When I was doing Sass & Bide in London for the first time last September, I was casting on the day from girls who had flown in straight from New York. You're up against all sorts of other problems. Some girls get taken out of London to go to castings in Milan for a show they're not necessarily going to get. But you just have to get on with it. Milan has its own issues to deal with, too. When I was doing Prada, top girls were being offered a lot more money to go and do the shows in Spain.

The rates for shows haven't changed much since the 1990s. It starts from about $1,000 per show, depending on the client, but, as far as I'm aware, the money isn't there now to be paying $10,000 that supermodels such as Linda Evangelista were getting. Maybe they were paid more because they were using fewer girls then. In Paris models don't get a lot because they have to pay so much tax - and it is probably the most hardcore of all the weeks because of the sheer number of shows. A lot of the bigger girls, like Natasha Poly and Daria, get to a point where they're moving to the next stage of their careers and don't want to do them any more because they're so intense.

The girls spend a huge period of time on a strict programme getting ready for the shows; they train at the gym and they eat a well-balanced diet. Being a model is like being a ballet dancer: it's a profession where your body has to be fit and toned. There are a few girls who eat as much as they like without putting on weight - but most have to work at it. If I see someone who looks like they're not looking after themselves, I flag that up with the agencies. I wouldn't work with a girl who I feel looks underweight, because I'm responsible for those girls; you can't do this job without caring about the people you work with."

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