Talking about the evolution of the role of a casting director and the whole process of casting in the Indian film industry, casting director Mukesh Chhabra said that though it is an old practise, however, casting direction, as a separate department, is a new thing because the casting director acts as a link between an actor and a director.
Earlier, the directors and producers used to cast whoever was available, but now the process has become more professional, he said.
Chhabra, a driving force behind streamlining of casting field in the Indian film industry, and Kshitij Mehta, another well-known name in the field of casting in India, participated Friday in an ‘In-Conversation’ session organised on the sidelines of the ongoing 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), according to a press release put out by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
They shared their views on the evolution of casting process, impact of OTT platforms on the casting industry and also the influence of social media in casting of actors for a particular role.
Speaking about the impact of OTT platforms and digital world on casting in the film industry in India, Chhabra said that the rise of OTT and digital platforms has led to an upsurge in opportunities in the field of acting.
Digital gave the space to experimentation, he added.
Adding to what Chhabra opined, Mehta said that OTT platforms have made the process of casting more exciting.
The actors who used to play very small parts in films are now seen playing major roles in web series and shows on OTT platforms, Mehta explained, adding the pressure, however, on OTT platforms is lesser (as compared to films), which has led to easier casting making the process more open.
Elaborating on the need and importance of conducting workshops for actors, Chhabra highlighted that these workshops are conducted keeping in mind the space of the film and are important to make comfortable the newer crop of actors and readying them for the roles.
Responding to a query on whether popularity on social media has any impact on the casting process, Chhabra said that there is no relation between being popular on social media and being casted as an actor. All have to audition for the role, he added.