Show us your skills!

We have so many bright stars who work regularly for brands like Target, Kmart, Big W, Myer and many more. Modelling is a big part of what we do here at Bettina Management but even more so, we cast regularly for campaigns that require special skills or talents, these could be for roles in feature films, television commercials and even live stage shows.

But more often than not, we are unaware of our kiddies secret skills! So here’s a little bit of information on how you can show us your child’s skills and talents.

Special skills and/or talents could include: skate boarding, sporting abilities (soccer, basketball etc), dancing, singing, performance arts (juggling, acrobatics etc), accents or acting abilities, languages (other than English), musical abilities (playing an instrument) and many more!

AT2:

The Bettina Casting Department use AT2 every day to find and submit talent for briefs that come through from casting agents. We utilise all sections of the AT2 profiles to find suitable talent, this includes the skills section. This is why it is so important to keep your child’s profile up to date.

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You will find the skills section at the top of your child’s profile, between “Comp Card” and “Audio”. Here you can update your child’s skills in any of the nine available sub-sections. These include Accents, Languages, Instrumental, Dance, Vocal, Circus, Sports, Performance Skills and Suggestions (this is where you can add skills that are not available in the other sections).

For each skill, you are able to select either “Basic”, “Good” or “Professional”. If we take basketball for an example, if your child has played basketball at school and would know the basic ins and outs of playing, this would be a “basic” skill. If your child has played basketball regularly for a number of years this would be a “good” skill. But if your child plays basketball on a team or has played for a majority of their life, this would be a “professional” skill.

Don’t forget to hit “save” at the bottom right hand  corner once you are finished.

Videos:

The perfect way to showcase your child’s talents is by uploading a little video to their AT2 profile. There is a maximum of 5 minutes of video available to all AT2 profiles, so keep this short and sweet!

Introduction:

A short introduction is best, just stating their name, age, their agency (Bettina Management), and a bit more about themselves! (how many people in are in their family, any pets, where they live etc etc)

Skills:

Next, we would love to see a short showcase of their skills, this can be just one or ten!  A little introduction is useful to let the audience know what the skill they will be performing is and perhaps how long they have been learning the skill. For example, if your child plays basketball, they can tell the audience about how long they have played, if they are a part of a team and even any awards they have won for basketball.

Then a 10 – 15 second demonstration of the skill, it is important to shoot a few takes so you get the best one!

Conclusion:

It is important to end your video with a conclusion, make sure to thank the audience for watching!

Here is a fantastic example of a skills video, by young Henry!

If you need any help with AT2, please refer to our Foolproof Guide to AT2 post!

Members are always welcome to contact us on 1300 888 611 or email us at info@bettina.com.au if they require any assistance.

Making the Most of ICast!

What is  ICast?

ICast is a function on AT2 which allows people working on Independent Projects, Short Films and Student Films to cast talent. They often have little or no budget so these briefs are more often than not for unpaid work. They may include a profit share/catering/travel fee for the artists involved. ICast briefs go to all members of AT2 who match the age-range, gender and location for roles being cast within the brief. However, you may, from time to time, receive briefs that are irrelevant to your child’s specifications.

AT2 & the ICast function are an additional component to your membership with Bettina Management.

You may receive messages in your Brief Inbox from non-paying clients, they will always stipulate ‘NON-PAID project’ on the ICast brief. These will be from AT2 (not us) and you need to contact the client directly for further information or apply for roles. For all paid work opportunities you will be contacted directly by the Bettina Office.

Once you receive an email notification from AT2 letting you know that you have received an ICast Brief, you need to either click the button in the email or go directly to http://www.at2casting.com.au  and login to your AT2 account. Once logged in, you’ll need to go to your AT2 inbox where you’ll find the brief and all the details you need. To respond and submit your interest, simply tick on one of the relevant role boxes and click the Submit button. You can submit to more than one role if there are multiple roles applicable to you. If you are not interested in submitting your interest, simply do not respond.

 

What happens after I have responded to an ICast brief?

Once you have submitted your interest by applying for a role within an ICast Brief, an email notification is sent to the ICast member who will login to their AT2 account to review your submission, look at your AT2 profile and decide if they would like to see you for an audition. They will contact you directly via email or phone or contact us (your agent) to organise a time and place. If you do not hear back from the ICast member, please assume you were unsuccessful in progressing further.

If you have any queries regarding the brief details, location or auditions, please contact the ICast member casting for the brief. You’ll find their contact email or phone number located within the brief in your AT2 inbox.

 

Who controls my ICast application?

As your agent, we work hard to get you paid work. Therefore, you have full control of the ICast function on AT2. If you are comfortable with your child doing unpaid work to gain experience then go for it!

Even though there is no payment involved, there are many benefits to participating in unpaid work:

  1. Experience and resume building
  2. Confidence building
  3. Attending auditions helps to practice and hone skills so you can nail it every time!
  4. Keepsakes in the forms of photographs, videos, music clips
  5. Bragging rights!

What happens after my child is cast in a role?

If your child has been booked then the client will communicate with you directly. However, we always welcome feedback and would love to hear if your child was cast for an unpaid job so we can give them a shout out on social media and add their experience to their profile!

 

Good Luck!

 

Here is a great example of some of our talent participating in an unpaid Short Film via ICast:

Preparing for Your First Audition!

You never know when you’re going to get the phone call informing you that your child has an audition but when it does come you want to be prepared. It’s not unusual in the industry to only get one or two days’ notice for an upcoming audition so the time to start practising is now! There are things you can do with your child that might help give them the edge they need to land the job.

Castings – Photo shoots

At a casting for a photo shoot your child will most likely be asked to try on some clothes and pose while having their photo taken. They might be given some direction on how to do this or they may just be asked to stand there while the photo is taken. The more relaxed and natural they look the better! A good way to practice this is by having a pretend casting session at home, have your child try on some different clothes and pose for you while you take the photos.

For inspiration you could also look at some models of a similar age in catalogues and have your child try out the poses they see there, but encourage them to be natural and do what they feel comfortable with. You might also give them directions to see if they can follow your instructions. Afterwards, you can look at the photos together and decide which ones look best and they can continue working on these poses.

You can also talk them through what they can expect on the day, and if you are unsure your agent is always there to have a chat.

Castings – Television Commercials (TVCs)

When it comes to television commercial castings there are a couple of areas you can focus on. Firstly, your child will usually have to introduce them self and say their name, age and agent while looking into the camera. You can practice this at home and watch it back, being comfortable and natural is what you are aiming for here, as well as showing a bit of personality.

Next, your child may be asked to improvise a short scenario based on the kind of thing they would be expected to do in the commercial and possibly say a line if the job requires it. You could watch some commercials on television or YouTube and act out some small scenarios to practice their acting skills. It could be as simple as opening a box and being excited when they see what is in there or telling them to pretend to call their nana and ask for a toy they really want. Another helpful exercise is to give them an emotion and ask them to act it out, for example happy, sad, surprised or angry. You could also give them a line and ask them to repeat it using these different emotions.

You can also work on a ‘chat to camera’. This is a short video in which the child looks into the camera and tells the ‘audience’ a bit about themselves, sometimes telling a story or talking about their past experience.

The final thing you might want to practice is a confident greeting and farewell from your child when meeting new people. Looking people in the eye and saying hello, thank you and goodbye are the kinds of things that will leave a great impression and help them later in life.

 

Hopefully now you’re armed with some tools and tricks to help your child through their first audition and hopefully that phone will be ringing with some amazing opportunities soon!

What Really Happens on Set? Part 2

Part 2: On the Job!
So the day on set has finally arrived, no doubt you are feeling excited, but maybe a little nervous! Here are a few tips to get you through the nerves and into feeling confident and ready to tackle your first job.
 
You should plan to arrive approximately 10-15 minutes before your call time and find the contact person as listed for you on the call sheet or booking confirmation. Occasionally the production can be running behind schedule and you could be asked to wait. This is when the colouring books or iPad’s come in handy! Other times the production crew will be ready and waiting for you and your child.
 
There are usually lots of people on set who keep production going behind the scenes and they are usually set-up in separate trailers a short distance away from the actual set so not to interrupt any filming in progress with noise or movement. 
 
You will be introduced to the location nurse who is there to look after the wellbeing of underage talent by making sure they are safe, taking breaks at allocated times and have something to eat and drink. Your contact person will also make sure that someone from the ‘Wardrobe’ or ‘Costume’ department knows that you have arrived. They will either choose from the outfits you brought by request or have items ready to try on. Parents can help their child get dressed if necessary. On some shoots, children might also be required to go through ‘Hair and Make-up’. In general minimal make-up will be applied and sometimes none at all for children.
 
Soon it will be time to make your way to the actual set for filming. With younger children, parents are always allowed to stay close by or within sight, but it is important to be aware of your surroundings and not get in anyones way. 
 
Here are a few general rules when on set:
 
  • Make sure you turn your phone off
 
  • Do not talk or move around once the director calls ACTION until after they have called CUT.
 
  • Do not try and tell your child what to do from the sidelines. Let the director (or whoever is working with them) direct your child.
 
If you do have any questions or concerns, speak to the person who has been assigned to look after you and your child on set.
 
Your child may film everything that is required for the day in one go or there might be a few breaks when you will be looking after them and need to keep them occupied. Snacks are often supplied and if filming has been scheduled over a meal time then you might both sit down with cast and crew and enjoy the Catering on location.
 
When your child has finished work (often referred to as being ‘wrapped’) the crew person in charge will let you know and you will need to sign out for the day. Take note of the time you have finished so you can let our casting department know. 
 
Once you have been told you can leave, collect all of your belongings and be sure to thank the crew and the people who have looked after you.
 
Here are a few additional tips:
 
Be positive! It’s nice for the crew to have someone around who is happy, easy going and helps make the day run smoothly, and they may be more likely to ask you and your child back for future projects.
 
Try to stay away from gossip about agents/money/other people in the industry. This can reflect badly on yourself, your child or your agency. 
 
Try not to bring any extra siblings or family members on set.
HAVE FUN! Enjoy the experience!

What Really Happens on Set?

Part 1: Preparing for the big day
 
Congratulations! Your child has finally gotten a job and now you need to know everything about your day on set so that it can be a wonderful experience for both of you.
Your agent will have confirmed the job and sent you a CALL SHEET as soon as it is available to them. Some productions are very busy and cannot confirm the details until late on the day before you are required on set, but be assured that your agent will send you the necessary information as soon as they receive it.
The most important details for you to take note of are;
  • your CALL TIME (the time you are required on set)
  • the exact LOCATION that you need to be at (sometimes this is a building address, but it could be a park or other public place)
  • the CONTACT PERSON you are required to meet on the day (eg. in the case of extras for a television show this would be the name and phone number of the 3rd AD). You will also be given details of anything you are required to bring with you and how long you are expected to be needed for.
Research the location you are required to be at before you have to leave home. Sometimes the call sheet will provide you with instructions regarding parking and other times you will need to figure it out yourself.
Productions are busy and very costly, so it is important that you arrive at the time you have been called for so not to delay the shoot time or halt production. Arriving 10-15 minutes early is appreciated, but do not show up any earlier than this. If you arrive too early at location, take the time to relax rather than turning up and risking being in the way before production is ready for you.
Spending time with your child onset can be a great experience, but arriving unprepared can add a lot of the wrong type of drama to the day. Make sure you have any paperwork or items you have been asked to bring, but don’t take it personally if they don’t use it on the day. It happens often that they ask for items or information, just to change what they originally planned on the day and not ask for it or use it at all.
Depending on the job, clothes will be provided while you may be asked to supply your own outfits at other times. If you are required to bring clothes the wardrobe department will inform you of what is needed; often simple things like jeans, t-shirts and runners. In general, choose items that do not have any visible branding and bring a few options of each. Bright colours are often appreciated, unless told otherwise and avoid stripes as these can often bleed together and not look good on camera. Bring as many options as you think will be helpful and remember you can ask our casting department if you are uncertain about anything!
Taking some snacks with you can also save the day. The break times for meals on set can vary a lot from your usual times so have something handy to keep your child (and you!) functioning if that is the case. Catering on sets can be amazing and might be one of the highlights of your day, but it is not guaranteed that your child will like what is provided. Some productions regularly cater for children and may have an array of choices for them while others are used to looking after their adult actors and crew and may not have the things your child prefers to eat.
It is also a good idea to take toys or games to keep your child occupied, as you could be required to wait for extended periods of time before or during filming. The idea is to provide them with enough stimulation to keep them occupied, but ready to work when they are called on set.
Now you’re ready to go!
 
Glossary:
CALL SHEET: a document that your agent will send you from the production company, usually on the day before your job. It specifies what time you are required on set, how long you are expected to be needed for, the location you are to meet at, the name and phone number of the person you need to meet on set (or contact if you have any problems on the day) and other details .
CALL TIME: the time at which you are required to be on set. Always arrive at the location earlier than this and aim to find the person you are required to meet with 10-15 minutes before your call time.
3rd AD: 3rd Assistant Director. This is the person who is usually in charge of the extras on a television set and who you would be required to report to if that was your role for the day. For other jobs you might be asked to report to someone with a different role.
 
What Really Happens On Set? Part 2, will explore what happens once you arrive on the big day

 

Five Fun Facts About the Talent Industry!

It’s Friday, what better day to check out our five fun facts about the talent industry!

1. Talent often work to set hours, ensuring their wellbeing is taken care of at all times. For example, in the state of Victoria children working in TV and Film under the age of 3 can only work a maximum of 4 hours per day. Breaks are also given at regular intervals to ensure stars don’t over do it.

2. If talent are selected to work on a TV series, Film or project for an extended period of times tutors will be hired to teach on set so their learning never stops! So sorry kids, no getting out of school 🙂

3. The principal may have to approve talent’s absence from school so kids can go be stars! This ensures they know what the kids are up to during school hours and can ensures their schooling is always a top priority.

4. If talent live far away or are under a particular age travel time to the location will be taken into consideration. This ensures talent will be booked into hotels so they can wake up fresh and ready to go for the next day!

5. For younger talent, employers will try to schedule shots around their sleep times, and often a nurse will be present on set to assist with younger children. So, as a parent support is always within hands reach for you.

Lights, camera, safety! It’s all about creating a safe, supportive and positive working experience for children in the entertainment industry.

We hope you enjoyed this little insight into the talent industry and if you have any suggestions for future blogs, shoot us an email at emma@bettina.com.au

How to Help Your Agent Help You!

As a parent you play a vital role in your child’s career. It is important that you update all facets of your child’s AT2 profile on a regular basis so your agent can ensure the right information is passed on for all opportunities.
 
Time is of the essence in this industry with jobs turning over quickly, so the more progress updates the better!
We have put together a checklist for you to ensure you are on track and filling in your child’s AT2 profile in the best way possible.
NOTE: Your agent may have pre-filled in some of the below sections. 
1. ‘PROFILE’ section  
  • Select Ethnicity – this field is highly important. Note: you are able to tick more than one ethnicity.
  • Select Complexion.
  • Select Hair colour.
  • Select Hair Length – please update regularly in accordance with hair cuts.
  • Select Eye colour.
  • Away Status – when you are unavailable, such as going on a holiday, we recommend filling in this section so our casting department know when you can’t attend castings.
  • Measurements – Fill in ALL fields. Update measurements & sizes every 6 weeks if your child is under 3 years and as often as possible for all other ages.

For a detailed explanation of taking measurements and sizing we encourage you to read our previous blog ‘A Fool Proof Guide to AT2’ .

2. ‘PHOTOS’ section
  • You have 10 spaces on your profile to upload photos. These can be happy snaps from home, professional shots or skill related shots (eg; playing piano or dancing) and they can be taken on your phone.
  • You MUST be able to see their body and face clearly in the images.
For instructions on how to take great head and body shots check out our previous blog ‘How to take the perfect natural head and full body shot’ and for how to upload check out ‘A Fool Proof Guide to AT2’.
3. ‘RESUME’ section
  • It is a good idea to upload a resume containing name, education, list of jobs, castings and extra curricular activities/classes on your child’s profile.
  • If your child does not have vast experience a letter can also be great option and is a unique way to show off your child’s personality.
Check out the following example written by Luke as a guide. 
  • Ensure resumes and letters are updated regularly according to your child’s developments.
For detailed instructions on what to include and how to upload a resume check out our previous blog ‘A Fool Proof Guide to AT2 – Part 3’.
4. ‘SKILLS’ section
Ensure you have gone through all fields and inputted all of your child’s skills:
                 – Accents
                – Languages
                – Instrumental
                – Dance
                – Vocal
                – Circus
                – Sports
                – Performance Skills
  • It is vital that you fill out this section, clients often look for specific skills for a campaign, so the more they know the better!
5. ‘VIDEO’ section
  • We suggest that you record a chat to camera of your child and upload it to their profile. This will provide clients with an insight into your child’s personality and show off their ability in front of the camera.
If you require any help with any aspect of AT2 please contact Bettina HQ via the email address: info@bettina.com.au or call our office on 1300 888 611.
We are always happy to help 🙂

the What, the How and the Why of AT2

What is AT2 and how does it work?

AT2 is an online casting tool used by Australian casting directors, agents and industry professionals. It serves as a platform for clients to seek talent through their online portfolios.

Talent Use:

AT2 creates a space for talent to manage their online portfolio complete with photographs, measurements, physical details and skills or hobbies. Uploading videos and a digital resume is also encouraged to increase chances of appealing to a client; the more information, the better.

AT2 is user-friendly and we have detailed blog posts to help you navigate your profile to update or change information.

Client Use:

Clients use AT2 as a casting search engine, to view briefs submitted by agents and sometimes to send briefs out themselves. Using a simple or advanced search, clients can enter specific details about the talent they wish to find, such as ‘blonde hair’ and ‘size 2’. The relevant options and agent contact details will appear so they can get in touch with the child.

Why should you use AT2?

AT2 is the best tool to assist your child to get the most out of the industry. AT2 is secure and trusted with a password protected profile and strict processes in place to ensure the utmost safety for your child. As the platform we use to submit talent for work, we can’t overestimate the need for your profile to be consistently up to date and filled in with as much information as possible; profiles are important for being noticed.

You can read our existing blogs on AT2 for more information.
Thanks everyone!

5 Common Industry Myths

Have questions about the child modelling industry? Here are 5 common industry myths exposed!

 

1. Only blonde haired and blue eyed children get work: This is untrue. Most clients value confidence, diversity and an engaging personality above all else. Interaction with the camera and the client is key, after all, they want to see a child who shines on screen and in print!

 

2. Babies don’t get work: At first glance, it’s hard to imagine what babies might actually DO for modelling work, but if you turn on a TV or open a catalogue you will see beautiful bubs scattered everywhere! They are often used on TV series for shows like Offspring and House Husbands and for brands like Huggies, Bonds, Target, Myer, David Jones and lots more. 

 

3. Children must have acting or modelling experience to get work: False, clients rarely expect children under 12 to have experience. Of course, it helps to have a brief introduction to modelling or acting if possible as this may set you apart in the casting or audition. For demanding acting roles, some clients approach acting schools to book talent.

 

4. Clients choose the same children repeatedly: This may be true for a handful of talent but this will only last for a few weeks or months if a child is doing a particularly great job! Remember, children change clothing size, grow or lose teeth so clients are constantly on the hunt for new talent to fill the varied and diverse roles they receive.
5. Children are expected to wear make-up: It’s a common misconception that all jobs will be very glamorous and require lots of hair and make up. This is very far from the truth – clients want children to look like children, natural and fresh faced. It is all about having fun. If the child is having fun in the shoot, this will show in the final product. Older teens can wear a dab of lip gloss and a touch of foundation if the client agrees or has special requirements.
Of course, the best thing to do is contact the agency whenever in doubt about any aspect of the industry or what is expected of you!

The Boring (but important) Stuff

Earlier in the year we did a post defining many industry terms that are frequently used as a resource for parents – you can revisit it here >> Glossary of Terms

Now it’s time for the financial terms – we have a few to keep it short and sweet – that define commonly used terms after your child has a job and is awaiting payment.

Tax-free threshold – The tax-free threshold has recently changed to $18,200. This means that children do not need to pay tax unless they earn over $18,200 per year (wouldn’t that be great!).

Hourly rate –  An hourly rate is an agreed amount where you will be paid per hour for the work that you do.

Fixed rate – A fixed rate is a set amount agreed upon for a booking (unlike the hourly rate).

Loadings – Loadings are paid in addition to the hourly or fixed rate. Loadings are usually unpredictable and we will only hear of these extra payments after the campaign or advertisement has launched, sometimes weeks after, sometimes months. This payment amount varies pending on where the images are displayed or where the ad is circulated. Generally, loadings come into play when the shots are used across different forms of media such as online, billboards or posters which wasn’t the original intention for the campaign.

Commission – Commission is the amount of money deducted from paid jobs. This amount varies according to the type of job you did, how much you got paid, and how long you worked for. For example, jobs on a small scale like extra’s work, will only get 10-15% deducted for commission. However large jobs that earn the big bucks, such as TV commercials may be higher at 20% commission. Whenever you do a job, you will be sent the gross total amount of payment for the job (amount before commission deducted) along with the amount that has been taken out, so you can see the full figure.

We encourage members to ask questions about aspects of the industry they feel unsure about so we are all on the same page, so remember you can give us a call or email on 1300 888 611 or info@bettina.com.au