2019 has been the biggest work rollercoaster I have ever experienced in all the years I have been casting.
I have had less commercials to cast then ever before and so many of them with tighter budgets. I still consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. It’s harder but I have managed to readjust and keep my business going.
I’ve seen the changes coming and kept hoping the commercial advertising business would see where things were going a few years ago and start to rethink things.
I’m not talking union versus nonunion. I’m talking about all the streaming services. They have offered up a different way to watch content and I’m finding that people under the age of 30 are getting rid of cable TV and just streaming. The millennial, Gen X’s and Gen Z’s have not realized what they’re missing by not seeing commercials and don’t seem to even consider watching Broadcast TV. Obviously older people are getting subscriptions to streaming services but I think they are watching all mediums.
I have found the quality of broadcast TV… episodic, sitcoms etc. are getting better and better but I still can’t convince my kids to give it a chance.
They seem to prefer streaming and binge watching. It’s all they know. They see .06 sec ads on platforms like twitter and Instagram and I think they just blow through them. They need to learn the value of commercials.
At this point I hope we are moving in the direction of adding commercials on all the streaming services. It can be done in a way that doesn’t constantly interrupt shows.
I think people need product options so when they go to the supermarket, without even knowing it, they are drawn to products that they have seen ads for. I think it’s subliminal, but hasn’t that always been the idea.
If you see 4 different types of toilet paper at the store maybe something you have seen an ad for (without even realizing it) may help in making a decision.
Isn’t that sort of how it’s always been done?
We used to look to see what ad was better at getting attention. Now we need to figure out a way to get people’s attention at all.
I don’t have the answers. I can only relay what I’m experiencing and how badly it is affecting the business for casting directors, talent agents, managers and actors.
This same thing happened with the music industry. Napster and music streaming services started and artists were not selling music anymore. I have many friends in that business. It was a scary time for them and has taken a long time to right itself.
We have seen this coming for a long time and I hope this is rock bottom or we may not make it.
Products need to advertise, people need to see the commercials and I would think the streaming services could use the revenue from airing commercials.
This is easy for me to say because it would be my greatest wish and I truly hope this is something we are working towards.
There has to be a compromise and I don’t think that people would stop watching ‘The Crown” on Netflix if they had to watch 3 commercials.
Adding some commercials to streaming might even lower the cost of the services and people could get more then 1 or 2 of them.
It’s so expensive to have them all so people are being forced to choose. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could have them all and then it would become more like picking what network you wanted to watch at night?
I just know something drastic has to be done or so many people will be out of business. Then how to you get your product known?
I have employees that only stream and never watch commercials. It drives me crazy, but we let it happen.
I get asked so many times a day “ What do you think it is?” I guess, maybe it’s the economy; maybe its social media or maybe I have no idea.
Slow times usually bounce back but this is different. All my conversations now are leading back to streaming.
I love being a casting director. It’s the only job I’ve had for the last 30 years. I thought that all I would have to worrying about was doing a great job, building a great reputation and if I did that I would be fine. This situation has nothing to do with my reputation. My office puts its heart and soul in every job. We work hard on union, non-union, regular budgets and low budget jobs. Our work ethic hasn’t change and never will but if the phone doesn’t ring then there is nothing I can do.
My greatest pleasure is getting a job, executing it just as I was asked and then booking actors.
I still get excited every time I book an actor. Everyone that works for me feels the same passion.
I help employ so many people and not being able to do that weighs heavily on me.
BMC wants to change with the times. Union, non- union, real people… we do what we have to and we do it really well.
It’s scary times and I hope and pray that 2020 is a better year.
It has to be.
I’m trying to be positive, but it’s not usually my strong point….. 🙂
We all need to stay committed and HOPE .
If there is something I can do to help, I’m all ears.
Happy New Year from Beth Melsky Casting and we hope to see and talk to everyone next year