Salt Lake Community College’s film department held auditions for student-made films Sept. 19 and 20 at South City Campus.
The auditions allow local community members to test their acting chops and provide SLCC film students with a pool of actors to work with for their projects.
“This is our fall auditions,” says David Lehleitner, an assistant professor of film at SLCC. “We do them every semester, and this is for every film and video that gets made through the film program here in SLCC. It’s probably 50 to 60 total projects, which means there’s over a hundred individual roles being cast.”
Each of these auditions are filmed, catalogued, and then uploaded onto a server accessible to students in the department. Film students can then go through each of these individual auditions and contact an actor if they think they fit the role they are looking to fill.
The pool of talent ranges from young, aspiring actors to seasoned veterans looking for something fresh to work with.
“We get professional actors who maybe want to play a little bit of [a] different role, or looking to polish up their reel, or trying to find different characters that they haven’t played in the past,” says Lehleitner. “But mainly what we get is new and aspiring actors — people who don’t have agents yet and are trying to get an agent, so they need a reel [to get their] face on camera, pretty much.”
Though he doesn’t mind experienced actors auditioning, Lehleitner likes to emphasize the department as a place where people can begin their careers and make connections within the industry.
“We like to be known as a good place to start acting,” says Lehleitner.
The roles being cast can vary and be very diverse, as film students are given quite a lot of creative control. Film student Kyle Larsin talks about his and other students’ films as he helps conduct the auditions.
“The short that I’m doing, it just has two actors in it and it’s kind of mad scientist-esque,” says Larsin. “[It’s a mad scientist] trying to develop a serum that will bring people back from the dead and a grave robber who is supplying him with cadavers.”
Larsin is looking for someone a bit “squirmish” in particular, to play his mad scientist.
“What we were told to do in [class] is try and find a scene from a movie or a TV show that kind of mirrors at least one of the characters that we’re looking for,” explains Larsin. “So I chose a scene from “Breaking Bad” … a scene where Walter White, the lead protagonist, tries to convince someone not to kill him.”
Larsin says all students write their own scripts.
“It’s gotta be 10 minutes max, so around ten pages, and they go as far from a little kid that likes to collect grasshoppers to an old man that owns an arcade that’s fighting off police to play his arcade game,” says Larsin.
These auditions proved to be a place for people to test prospective acting careers as well as a place for student filmmakers to test the potential for their unique and diverse story ideas. For anyone who missed auditioning and their opportunity to be discovered, they will have their chance again come spring.