A hard working and industrious professional who seemingly makes extras appear out of thin air, Annie’s company AND Casting is the go to for background casting for feature films and commercials in the Upstate New York region. I first met her when I was producing regional fashion shows in Saratoga with one of my side projects Electric City Couture. Her ability to materialize the correct number of models on site was borderline magical…all while keeping a smile on her face and a laser focus on maintaining order. (120 runway slots for our last large show) Recently, Annie got me up to speed on her latest projects and the continued growth and opportunity she is seeing for a broad variety of folks in the regional television and film industry.
Please state your name, title, company name and what you do. What’s a typical day look like for you.
My name is Annie Delano, Owner of AND Casting. I am a Casting Director for background extras and smaller (single line) parts for feature films and lots of commercials! There is no typical day, but most days consist of answering hundreds of emails, talking to and connecting with people from all walks of life, and managing many moving parts, often times on multiple projects. There are some days on sets, but usually I’m at my desk answering emails.
How long have you been doing this and how did you get into this profession?
AND Casting has been existence since 2018, but I have been a freelancer in the production world for over 10 years, casting and producing commercials. I have always been a freelancer and did not set out to work on films. My motto, “Never say no to an opportunity (with-in reason!)”, combine with the all important need for work, lead to background casting for a film. As it turns out, I was pretty good at the tremendously tedious job of background casting. The first film lead to 20 more films and the creation of AND Casting.
Can you talk a little bit about the business? What types of projects are you casting? Is there a lot of work? What type of companies or productions do you work with?
There are really two worlds when you work as a Casting Director. The feature film world and commercial world, while both types of production, are entirely different animals. I learned this very quickly on my first film. I don’t know many people working in both areas and it’s challenging at times. You really have to be a super connector who stays engaged with people both on the production side and talent side. I’m constantly thinking about who I know for specific roles as they come up. This job requires extreme organization and attention to every small detail.
As a freelancer, the workload ebbs and flows. Sometimes a week or two goes by and the phone doesn’t ring, but then in one week you get 4 major jobs. I am grateful to cast talent for both the commercial and the film world, because together they create plenty of work to keep the company going. Projects come from production companies, ad agencies and film producers/film production companies. They are very diverse, which is great – I could be casting high school students for classroom scenes one day, and casino commercials the next. Anything that needs casting, I’ve got it covered. I’d get bored if I always cast the same type of jobs!
Tell us about the folks your casting. I have seen some of your ‘CALL’ posts…they can be all over the board and very specific.
This is my favorite part of the job, the people! I think a lot of people have “be in a movie” on their bucket list or vision board and with background casting, I’m able to make a lot of dreams come true. When I get an email from someone about their positive experience being on set as an extra, it makes the long hours and hard work worth it. Every single person qualifies to be a background extra. The whole point is to make things as realistic as possible and that takes all kinds of real, regular people. No special training is required, you just need to be able to follow directions and have a solid 12 hours free to be on set. You may not get a role right away, there are different looks/parameters for specific scenes, but in general, no one should be discouraged from wanting to be an extra. On the flip side, commercials are more competitive and depending on the role, require acting ability, which comes through practice, training and experience. Reading directions is key. When you see a post, read the description carefully and follow all the directions if you want to submit for a role!
Anything coming up we should know about or that your especially excited about?
Life in general is exciting, there’s never a dull moment. I’m working on some very fun projects that can’t be discussed. This is hard for me because I like to talk, so I have to stop talking (or writing) while I’m ahead 🙂