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  • The perfect hero is someone who genuinely like doesn't really see it coming.

  • You want somebody who is open to change. Maybe a little uncomfortable with it.

  • That is a key is finding someone who is at that point in their life where they're ready.

  • You're kind of like The Wizard of Oz behind the curtains, you're making everything happen.

  • My name is Danielle Gervais and I'm the EVP of casting and talent at ITV America.

  • I've come up in unscripted television and moved over into, um, into casting, through

  • a series on ABC called Wife Swap. “Real wives, real drama

  • On this season of Fix My Family.” “An all new Forged in Fire.”

  • Was Pawn Stars one? I saw that on your IMDB. We're casting the items. And then certainly

  • doubling back and make sure we've got good sellers

  • Good luck too with the Emmy's coming up as well.

  • How does it start from the second that you find out that there's going to be a new season?

  • What is the first step that happens? The first thing we need to do is determine,

  • you know, where are we going? Once we identify the city, we have, obviously,

  • this is a team of people. So we'll sit down. It's the initial war room

  • and we'll say, what stories have we already told on the show?

  • What stories do we want to tell on this show? We were trying to tell that story of Reverend

  • Noah, two seasons prior, we just never found the Reverend Noah. We never found it.

  • So that just happened. “Our mission this week is to help noah take

  • the past out of pastor and find faith in himself!” Are we looking at like a day where you're

  • like having lunch brought in and you're just hashing out, literally every emotion and story

  • that you could access? I don't know if we brought lunch in, but we

  • had candy and snacks. I know, I remember that. Um, there's always snacks.

  • We will also in that initial meeting, pull in our partners at Scout who are the creators

  • of the show And that's where we really hash it out. And

  • we talk about like, things like how political do we want to get, because you also don't

  • want to hammer people. We never want to forget what was special about

  • that initial iteration, like, a slob who's ready for a make better, right?

  • So you've had your big war room meeting, um, you've decided on your location and some of

  • the key themes that you're going to be exploring in that season, what happens next?

  • The next thing is I have to figure out, you know, who's going to go to the city. What

  • are we going to do when we get there? Because we're not out there for very long, we have

  • budgets.

  • We will, you know, immediately contact, um, the, the film commission in that city.

  • They'll help us sort of steer to some degree, You'll have two people hit the ground in the

  • city with a plan of attack. And you'll have usually a two people team

  • back in the office with me doing the, um, doing all of the outreach remotely, which

  • is also huge. So they'll meet people, love them and go,

  • you got to interview this guy. So then the team back in the office will typically take

  • that interview on so that the team on the ground can continue with their work.

  • We make little cute flyers and we walk around, you gotta be pretty friendly to be in casting.

  • You really are going to be able to talk to anybody. Um, and certainly there's people

  • that are completely weirded out by it. We'll see businesses that we want to hit a

  • dog groomer. And lo and behold, Rahana comes out and she's six foot three with this incredible

  • story. I was asking one of my producers, what's

  • your favorite story of finding someone? We had a gentleman Marcos, um, owned a fish

  • shop. They went to that fish market every single day. They just felt like there was

  • such a, such a vibrant, like life to that place that it just was prime.

  • So they went every single day for two weeks and suddenly they peeked back at behind like

  • a stand and they saw this fedora. “What's the obsession with hats? Where

  • did it come from Marcos?” “In Mexico, all the time it's 'hey,

  • compadre.” “Aw that's cute, it's your thing.”

  • We're a little stalker-ish at, I'm not gonna lie.

  • I'd be remiss. If I didn't ask if you were like secretly looking for people who clearly

  • have incredible hidden bone structure. It is always fun to see, like, especially

  • if you've got like this big bearded guy who hasn't cut his hair and it's like, what

  • will he look like at the end of all of this? From what you're saying, it sounds like the

  • casting will really flow from the story themes you want to emphasize, rather than you find

  • some person who just pops for some reason. It is absolutely both. It's rare that you're

  • like, here's the exact story want to tell, and it's perfect and comes together.

  • Kenny in Kansas City, you know, one of my favorite, I love all of the episodes of course,

  • but he's one of my favorite heroes and it a producer was in a bar watching a Croatian

  • soccer game and there he was. His dog had passed away and he was in, you know, an older

  • gentleman living alone. On paper. Meh? You know...there.

  • And then once it came to life, he himself was such a lovable, um, rootable hero. He's

  • one of my favorites. And so you've developed this list of good

  • candidates with a combination of remote interviews and on the groundreporting is really

  • what you have to call it. What happens next in the process?

  • We pitch quite a few Netflix. They have such vision and they support us. And, you know,

  • these interviews aren't always pretty. Right. We're doing them via Skype.

  • These aren't professional professional people in terms of being interviewed and they're

  • nervous. Netflix is able to see through a lot, um, in that regard.

  • To land on, let's say eight heroes, we'll probably pitch. I mean, internally we will

  • look at it. frankly like hundreds. But in terms of the network, you know, we'll

  • usually triple that number to show to Netflix. There are some where it's just like, we all

  • just go, “Oh my God. Yes.” And then there are others where we can be split because it's

  • all very subjective, right? What sort of diligence do you have to do when

  • you're casting these people to make sure that they don't blow up in your face in a few months

  • when the show comes out and somebody killed somebody or has done something terrible?

  • We won't even pitch anyone to Netflix until we at least have done as much preliminary

  • diligence as possible. So we'll search Lexis Nexis and those types

  • of things. We'll do a pretty deep sweep on social media, back about 10 years with some

  • people. You know, that can be a deal breaker. They are the secret sauce, they are incredible.

  • I can't say enough about how special bringing the five of them together has been, it's been

  • incredible, but the heroes...each one of those heroes serves as the foil to that episode.

  • Right. So they help Antoni shine.

  • They help Karamo shine. We have a list where when we, when we look

  • at somebody as a potential hero, we always want to keep those guys in mind, you know,

  • what will they help bring out in our fab five and vice versa?

  • And so it sounds like when you're casting for this show in particular, it's really about

  • how well that these people will amplify the story themes that you're looking to drive

  • home rather than: are they good at sound bites? My team is incredible, they have a gift for

  • really identifying like who who's going to take the journey in a really authentic way.

  • And who's in it for the free couch, right. Because that's a thing.

  • Are they authentic? I mean, at the end of the day, we can teach

  • people how to put the question back into the answer but you can't fake emotion and you

  • can't fake somebody's journey.

The perfect hero is someone who genuinely like doesn't really see it coming.

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How reality TV shows cast the right people

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/09/11
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