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  • First time hiring an actor in the UK

    Posted by Tom Morton on March 7, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    Hey all,

    I’m a bit stuck with a video problem, and after wasting some time on google I thought I’d get on better here as I imagine a lot of you have done it all before. I’m a full time video editor producing product videos for a manufacturing company, and generally I’ve leaned on in-company talent to get some faces in my videos. However, I’ve now been handed a brief for a series of product videos aimed at the American market and one of the recommendations is to hire an American actor to fulfill the role.

    I haven’t hired a professional actor myself before and the more time I spend on google, the more I’ve realised it’s not something you pick up from a blog post or two. I’d seriously value any general advice on this direction, or if there are any really useful stuff online, feel free to point me to it.

    To kick off, I do have a few questions:

    – Is there a preferred website(s) to post a job onto find talent for UK productions? I looked at but this caters for America only.

    – I also found but I can’t find what I’m looking for here and I don’t know if this is a recommended site?

    – I also don’t know if these websites are the right fit for me? I’d like to find a relatively local actor, and I don’t need the experience (or cost) of a seasoned actor, I’d prefer to work with someone junior initially.

    – I’ve also searched through freelancer websites such as Upwork, Twine, and PeoplePerHour. I know I won’t find professional hollywood actors here, but I’m not looking for that. The actors on these sites are a junior level and closer to what I’m looking for, but there is still very few options and none that suit my criteria.

    – And does anyone have any idea what kind of cost I’m going to be hit with? I need to build a rough budget at least, and so far my research says a qualified actor with experience is upwards of £400/day, a decent actor that’s new to the game could easily by £200-300 a day, and a cheap / junior actor is closer to £100/200 a day. Are those ballparks realistic?

    – I notice a lot of American professional (hollywood) actor websites talk a lot about Union and non-Union jobs. Does that apply to the UK too, or how do things work over here?

    – Also I have no idea about any paperwork / contractual / admin requirements, and not sure where to find out from!

    I’ve posted a job on a couple of freelancer sites but I haven’t had any response, so I’d really value any and all advice on this – it’s a brand new challenge for me but I’m not sure where to start! 😁

    Mads Nybo jørgensen replied 6 months, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    March 7, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    Hey Tom,

    How exciting!
    Sounds like a fun job.

    It really depends on your product and the market.
    But the reason for why soo many British actors are doing well in the US, is because the US audiences love their accents.
    Having said that, there are always US actors flying in and out of UK, as many US productions are happening here. But those actors, could cost you a lot of money.

    It might be worth visiting following UK websites:
    Just remember to specify that you want an US accent – and don’t get upset when they ask you whether you want East-, West-Coast or just Redneck speak… 😀

    Don’t forget that you’ll get what you pay for.
    If you want better, you can go through an agent, but it will cost.
    Savings on expensive actors are on the back-end of production when you are spending less time with fluffed lines, and the performer not being able to retrace their steps accurately for the different framing of shot.

    You could also consider using a TV presenter, of which there are many, some who would really love the footage for their show-reel.



  • Tom Morton

    March 7, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks Mads, that’s helpful and appreciate your advice. I’ve come across a couple of people on some different websites who have mentioned using TV presenters, but I’m also not sure how to get started with this – I had wondered if it’s as easy as contacting some local news stations near me and asking the question?

  • Joby Anthony jr

    March 7, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Another thought might be to look at any theater and/or broadcast-styled higher-ed schools/degree programs in your area. Could be student about to graduate who’d love a chance to hone their craft and possibly add to a demo-reel.


  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    March 7, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Hey Tom,

    You are very welcome.

    I suggest that you reverse engineer the problem.

    Start by sorting out the contract that you want the performer to sign.

    Then find out how much money that the client is willing to pay for the performer?
    Whilst having the money discussion, also knock up a “persona” profile for the person that you are looking for (young, old and so forth) – grab a stock picture to put a face on it.

    If below line, you are likely to be able to do a buy-out, if for use as broadcast advertorial or similar, you might have to dig deeper, much deeper.

    Once you have that in place, you can put an advert out – make sure that client can afford to pay you to watch through a 1000+ head-shots / showreels. Many from people who “can’t read” the description of the actor/presenter that you are seeking, but are just trying it on in the hope that you’ll change your mind.

    Instead of advert, if looking for a presenter, LinkedIn is not a bad place either. Or asking your professional peer network to cast the net out for you across their social media channels.


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