Need actors for your next project?
Look no further than Dodge College’s new Casting Department.
Russell Boast, Casting Director and the former President of the Casting Society of America, has joined the Dodge College Careers Center to oversee the casting of student thesis projects. Boast brings more than two decades worth of casting experience to Dodge, and has worked with almost every studio and network in Hollywood, casting household names like Angelina Jolie, Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Rickman and more.
Through consultation with the Casting Department, students will have the opportunity to get connected with up-and-coming casting professionals to elevate their projects and help find their perfect cast.
Boast is also teaching the course FTV-329/FTV-529: Casting, which will be offered each semester for both undergraduate and graduate students as 1.5 credits, along with teaching several free casting workshops throughout the year.
For Boast, teaching the casting process to young filmmakers is something he has always been motivated to do.
“It’s not being taught. There is no real formalized training for casting directors within the university structure,” said Boast.
“I believe that casting is such a crucial part of the filmmaking process, and I wanted to be able to teach that process, so that in the future casting will be perceived differently.”
A crucial part of Boast’s casting process that students will be able to learn first hand, is the emphasis that he puts on diversity within his casting. Growing up in South Africa, tackling diversity has always been an issue present in his life, and his commitment to diversity is evident in each of his projects through his casting.
“I think when you become a filmmaker, you have an obligation to the world to accurately represent the world as it is,” said Boast.
Boast and the Casting Department are currently putting together a database of available actors, which will allow Dodge Students to access a diverse range of actors looking to be cast in student films.
In addition to Chapman’s Screen Acting and Theatre students, Boast recognizes the amount of working actors in the industry who are interested in acting in student films.
“I promised myself when I came to this country that I would do one student film a year no matter how my career took off, so that I could stay current with what was trending and what was happening within the world of young filmmakers,” said Boast.
“There’s a lot of actors who have big credits who also want to do that.”
At the end of the day, Boast is here to help every Dodge student elevate the quality of their projects through casting.
“There is some incredible work coming out of Chapman, and now if we can put some amazing actors into those pieces, the work will speak for itself,” said Boast.
Boast’s office hours are 1:30pm – 5:30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, located in FTV MKS 303 (Rotunda Executive Board Room).
Students looking to consult with Boast about casting their thesis films can make appointments at: https://calendly.com/boast-chapman