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Using the Spotlight Casting website

If you are looking for help using the Mac app, please click here

Signing in

If you are a subscriber to Spotlight's casting services and use the Spotlight Link, you can access Spotlight Casting with exactly the same username and password you use for Spotlight Interactive.

If you have received an invitation to use Spotlight Casting by email, it's best to follow the instructions in the message in order to quickly and easily set up your username and password.

Creating your casting team

Spotlight Casting is a collaborative tool which allows you to set up a team of professionals to work together on casting projects. Typically your team may include a business partner, assistants or freelancers.
Each Spotlight Casting team has an owner and this is usually the person who subscribes to Spotlight.
If you are a subscriber, you'll be asked to give your team a name when you first sign in to Spotlight Casting. This name will be shown to your team members and clients.

Setting up your blank running list/ meeting list

Each casting session you create in Spotlight Casting has a running list and areas where you save and view the associated performers, video clips and files.

To help organise your workspace, castings are grouped into projects.

When you sign in to Spotlight Casting, you see the workspace - it's where all your projects and castings are listed.

To create a new project:

  • Click on the "New project" button on the right of the screen and type in the name of the project you are casting. Eg. 'James Bond', 'The Tempest', etc.
  • Click the + icon alongside a project in order to create a new casting and set up your blank running list for that session.

Once you've clicked the '+' icon, you will see a popup with the header 'Create a New Casting'. Here, the casting can be customised to suit your needs. Don't worry if any of this info changes, it can all be altered later if need be. Within this popup:

  • You can give your casting a name, eg. 'Day one', 'Male leads'; whatever is useful for your reference. Remember the project name is already attached to it, so there's no need to repeat that info if you don't want to.
  • Input the date of the casting and the start time, followed by however many slots you will be filling/ people you will be meeting or considering and the amount of time allocated to each person.
  • If you are holding multiple castings for the same project or roles, if you click 'Add a slot' it allows you to create another session. For example, you could be holding two or three days of castings for the same project, or an afternoon or morning session with a break in between. 'Add a slot' allows you to manage and distinguish these sessions clearly.
  • Input the location of the casting/s if you wish.
  • To add the roles that you are casting in this session/ these sessions, just type in the names of the characters and press Enter to input them. You'll see that they turn blue. Don't worry if you type anything in wrong- they can be deleted by clicking the cross on the right of them, allowing you to input them again correctly.
  • A 'status' is something to inform you about the auditionee themselves perhaps either on the day, or during the booking-in process. For instance, if you decided to have the statuses 'Contacted' and 'Confirmed', when you're booking in the performers for the time slots you will be able to mark any performers on that list as either Contacted or Confirmed, for your own reference. Another way of using statuses is on the casting day itself- For instance, if you had statuses of 'Arrived' and 'Late', if someone were checking in the actors on a tablet in the waiting area and you were checking the system in the casting studio itself, you would see when an actor's status had been updated and if they had been marked as 'Arrived' or 'Late'. Alternatively, you could use all four of the statuses mentioned above (or totally different ones!) if you wish. Statuses are designed for you to use them in your own way- to input any status that could be useful to you, just type them in and press Enter. You will see that they turn blue in the same way as role names, and can also be deleted in the same way.

Once you have inputted all the information relevant to your casting, click 'Save' on the bottom right of the screen. You will then be brought back to your 'All Projects' page, where you will see the name of your casting session/s underneath the project name. To work on this running list, just click on the name of the casting.

'Running list' tab

Once you've set up a casting and have a blank running list, you can begin adding performers.

Working on your running/ meeting list

The date of your session is at the top, as well as the location (if inputted). If you decided to 'Add a slot' or multiple sessions, you will see 'Previous day/ Next day' at the top right of the list, making it easy for you to jump between and manage the sessions.

There are three different ways to input a performer into your running list. If you know the name of the Spotlight performer you wish to input:

  1. Click on 'Add a performer' in the slot you wish to allocate
  2. Start typing in the name of the Spotlight performer you wish to input. As you begin typing the name, Spotlight Casting will suggest matches from Spotlight's database and from the performers you've already added to other castings
  3. Choose their name from the dropdown
  4. Click Enter or the blue 'Save' box
  5. The performer is now in the slot

If you wish to import a shortlist to your 'bag' of performers for this casting (NB: This is particularly useful if you have made a shortlist of your 'Yeses' for this project/ casting):

  1. Click on 'Add a performer' in any slot
  2. Click on 'Input shortlist' to the right of the grey box
  3. This takes you to a popup where you can choose a shortlist to input into your casting (NB: This will add the performers to your 'bag' of people for the casting- it will not autopopulate slots or dictate that they must be in the running list)
  4. You can choose performers individually to add by ticking the box to the left of their photo, or by ticking the box at the top of the list to select them all
  5. Click on 'Import' at the bottom right of the popup
  6. Those performers will now appear in your 'Performers' tab for this casting
  7. If you go back to the 'Running list' and click on 'Add a performer' again in the slot you wish to allocate, you will see the thumbnail pictures of the shortlist you have just imported. This means that you don't have to remember the name or exact spelling of the performer you are seeing- just click on the thumbnail, click 'Save' and they will appear in that slot

It's worth noting that you can also import shortlists in the 'Performers' tab.

If the performer you are inputting isn't a Spotlight member:

  1. Click on 'Add a performer' in the slot you wish to allocate to them
  2. Type in the name of the performer who isn't on Spotlight
  3. Click 'Save'
  4. You have now put the performer into your running list and created a blank profile for them, into which you can input information- If you expand the profile using the arrows on the right of the slot and click on the Spotlight logo where the performer's photo should be, it will take you to their profile page. Here, you can upload a photo for them by clicking 'Manage photo', tag* them with any useful words that will allow you to find them in a search (eg. if they're good at comedy you could tag them, and other performers with 'Comedy' in order to find them all in one place). You can also add notes to them and upload files for them (such as a CV) and put in contact details for them by clicking 'Edit' next to their name. They will then stay in your account so that all the info you input into the profile will come up again if you pull them into another casting.

To see all the information for an individual performer (ie. agent details, thumbnail, notes, etc), use the expansion arrows to the side of their slot. To expand all performers, use the 'Expand all' button at the top of the list. To close that extra info and just see their names, roles and status, use the 'Collapse all' button at the top of the list.

*Tags

Tags can be attached to any performer, file, or clip within your casting. They are designed to enable you to create your own reference code or word/s in order to find people, files or clips easily and quickly within your casting archive. There are no 'set' tags and they can be anything you like: A code, one word or a few words. For example, if you wanted to flag up those performers who were particularly liked by a certain director, you could tag the performers with that director's name. If you had lots of measurement forms to sift through, you could tag your Word documents with 'Measurements', which would make them easily findable in future. To create a tag, all you need to do is edit the performer or file, and type the tag in the 'Tags' box. By pressing Enter, the tag turns blue and is saved. Tags will be mentioned further along these Help pages as we explain how to use them in each tab.

How to allocate role/ status

You will see on your running list that statuses appear to the right of a performer in a slot- Click 'Select Status' and choose from the dropdown.
Roles can be allocated next to the performer's name: Click 'Select Role' and choose from the dropdown. Both of these fields can be changed at any time, any amount of times.

Moving performers into different slot times/ grouping performers into one slot

If a performer needs to be moved into a different time slot, all you need to do is click on the three small lines in the middle of the slot next to their name (this is a 'handle'), drag them into the slot that you'd like to place them in (it will be highlighted in yellow) and let them go- they should now be in the new slot. If there is already a performer in that slot, they will remain next to that performer, ready to be moved elsewhere if need be. Many performers can be dragged into a slot in this way if you are seeing groups or pairs at the same time.

Editing agent details

Agent details for performers can be altered for your reference. For instance, if there is a certain representative or agent for that performer within a larger organisation, you can add those details in. All you need to do is click 'Edit' next to the agent details for a performer on the running list, and you can edit the specific details. These details will be saved for the next time that performer is brought into a casting in your account.

Contacting agents/ performers via the site

Once you have edited the agent details for each performer, you may want to send over an email to one of them, some of them, or all of them. In order to do this, you can either select which individual performers you want to contact or click on 'Select all' at the top of the page. Then click 'Manage' at the top and choose 'Contact selected'. This will open a new email from your personal account with all of the agent details for those performers bcc'd- ensuring they cannot see who else has been emailed. This is a good facility to use for 'group' messages that you wish to send about the casting, such as sending over Sides for a character or informing of a change of venue, etc. Of course, it can also be used to contact individual agents quickly and easily.

Editing individual slot times

You can edit a slot time individually by clicking on the cog symbol at the bottom left of the slot and choosing 'Edit slot'. You can then make that slot longer or shorter than the rest on the list- please be aware that the rest of the list will need updating to compensate!

Adding an extra slot

You can add an extra slot onto the end of the session if you wish- either by clicking the big '+' symbol at the very bottom of the list, or by dragging and dropping a performer into that slot.

How to download your running list as a pdf

To download your running list as a pdf, click on 'Download' at the top of the list. You will then see a pop-up with a box where you can 'Select information' to include on the pdf. If you click into that box, choose the information that you wish to appear from the dropdown and they will appear in blue. This enables you to leave out certain information such as agent details, headshot, etc and tailor the pdf to suit your needs. You can delete any aspects chosen accidentally by clicking the 'x' next to them.

Underneath this, there is also the option to include an area for notes- tick the box next to this if you wish to have a section for notes under each performer on your pdf.

To create the pdf, click 'Download'- the document will now appear in your downloads at the bottom of your browser, ready for you to either print out and work from, or save and email over to clients. You can download as many pdfs as you wish so if there are any subsequent changes or adjustments to make, you can always create a pdf of your running list.

'Attachments' tab / uploading and managing files that are not videos

The 'Attachments' tab acts like a big bag of files for your casting. Almost any commonly used type of image or document can be uploaded here. For example, Sides, scripts, storyboards, scans of documents, signing-in sheets- anything that is useful for you to reference throughout the process. You will see that jpegs of headshots appear there by default.

To upload an attachment, click on 'Upload attachment' on the right. There is the option to 'choose file' at the top of the pop-up- click on this to select the file you wish to upload from either your computer or memory card/ stick. You can then give the file a name, add any notes you wish to make, select which performer and/ or which role it pertains to, and tag the file with any useful reference words. For example, if you're uploading lots of scripts or Sides, using 'Script' or 'Sides' as a tag could make them more easily searchable in future (see 'Tags' earlier on in these Help pages).

Once you have uploaded the file and added any relevant information to it, click 'Save' at the bottom of the popup and it will appear in your Attachments tab.

You will see that as soon as you have assigned a performer to a file, if you go back to the 'Running list' tab and expand that performer to see more details, the file appears in their mini 'Attachments' section next to the 'Notes' on the right hand side. The file will also be viewable if you click on that performer's name or thumbnail to see their mini profile.

Spotlight Casting is designed for use as an archive, so you will see options on the left hand side of the tab to enable you to find whatever file/s you need quickly and easily, no matter how many have been placed in there. Note that you can filter by performer, role, tag or type (ie. Word doc, pdf, jpg). Alternatively there is a Search box on the top left, or you can sort by 'Date added' or alphabetically.

You can share attachments with clients- see 'Sharing your content with clients' later on in the Help pages.

'Clips' tab / uploading and managing video clips

In exactly the same format as the 'Attachments' tab, this is your big bag of video clips for your casting. Almost any commonly used type of video can be uploaded to Spotlight Casting.

To upload a clip, click on 'Upload clip' on the right. There is the option to 'choose file' at the top of the pop-up- click on this to select the clip you wish to upload from either your computer or memory card/ stick. You can then give the clip a name, add any notes you wish to make, select which performer and/ or which role it pertains to, and tag the clip with any useful reference words. For example, 'Scene 1', 'Best take' etc. (see 'Tags' earlier on in these Help pages)

Once you have uploaded the clip and added any relevant information to it, click 'Save' at the bottom of the popup and it will appear in your Clips tab.

You will see that as soon as you have assigned a performer to a clip, if you go back to the 'Running list' tab and expand that performer to see more details, the file appears in their mini 'Clips' section next to the 'Notes' on the right hand side. The clip will also be viewable if you click on that performer's name or thumbnail to see their mini profile.

Spotlight Casting is designed for use as an archive, so you will see options on the left hand side of the tab to enable you to find whatever clips/s you need quickly and easily, no matter how many have been placed in there. Note that you can filter by performer, role, or tag. Alternatively there is a Search box on the top left, or you can sort by 'Date added' or alphabetically.

You can share clips with clients- see 'Sharing your content with clients' later on in the Help pages.

'Performers' tab

We briefly used this tab when we chose 'Import shortlist' when adding a performer to our running list earlier on in the Help pages.

In a very similar format as the 'Attachments' and 'Clips' tabs, this is your bag of performers for this casting/ these specific sessions. Performers can be added here if they are merely in the running for the job or if they are self-taping: they do not automatically have to be put in the running list.

To import a shortlist here, click on 'Import shortlist' on the right. You then get exactly the same popup that we saw before when we imported the shortlist via the 'Add performer' in the running list. Once the shortlist is imported, those performers are all brought into this tab.

You will see options on the left hand side of the tab to enable you to filter performers by roles or tags. Alternatively there is the familiar 'Search' box on the top left, and the ability to sort by 'Date added' or alphabetically.

If you click on a performer's thumbnail or name, it takes you to your mini profile for that performer, where you can upload a different photo for them via 'Manage photo', add notes to them, add tags (for example, if a performer is particularly good at comedy you could tag them with 'Comedy'), and you can also see whatever files or clips you have uploaded for them at the bottom of their profile. There is also the option to see their full Spotlight CV by clicking on 'Spotlight profile' at the top right of their page. To get back to all the performers again, just click on the 'Performers' tab again.

'Users' tab / Sharing content via a username and password

When you share a file, clip or running list with a client using this tab, they are invited to log in to Spotlight Casting in order to view it.

Inviting other casting professionals to work in your team/ on your casting

There are three different levels of access that a colleague can have to your casting. If you click on 'Invite' on the right of this page, there is some more information about these three choices:

Team member
These users can view and work on any project, casting or file in exactly the way that the Administrator/ main account holder can, but they cannot invite other people to become team members and they cannot change the branding to personalise pdfs.

  • A casting assistant in your organisation may be a typical team member. This may not be necessary if you work from the same login to reference Shortlists.

Collaborator

A collaborator can use Spotlight Casting in the same way as a team member but has access only to certain castings/ days, which are determined by a team member or team admin.

  • A freelance assistant or camera operator may be a typical collaborator. For example, a cameraman uploading clips to specific sessions/ running lists.

Client
You can share information about your casting with clients on a file by file basis, meaning that you can select exactly what you want them to see. They will only see the information that you have chosen and will have no access to any other part of your casting.

  • A director or producer may be a typical collaborator.

Once you have selected the level that you are happy to assign, click 'Next' at the bottom of the popup. You will then be asked for the name of the person you are inviting, and their email address. Once you have filled these in and selected 'Invite team member', they will be sent an automated email from Spotlight telling them that they have been invited to be a part of your casting. Via a link they can click through from the email, they can either log into Spotlight Casting (just this Spotlight casting site, not spotlight.com) using their existing login details, or -if they have never used it before- they will be invited to set up a username and password in order to view what you have shared with them.

You can keep track of who has access to your castings by viewing and managing the list of names and levels in the 'Users' tab. You can see who has been invited, who is yet to log in and who has logged in. By clicking the cog wheel to the right of that person's section, you can 'Edit user settings'- this allows you to change the role you have given them, or revoke access completely by clicking 'Remove user' on the right hand side. This ensures that the casting director always has complete control of who is viewing information about their castings.

'Sharing' tab / sharing content via a link

This tab allows you to share any files or video clips within your casting, via a public link. This means that your clients will not have to set up a username or password to view what you want to share.

To share files or clips in this way:

  • Having clicked on the 'Sharing' tab, you will see thumbnails for all the performers associated with this casting. Select the performer/s that you want to share clips or files for- you can select them individually or choose 'Select all' at the top
  • Click on 'Next step' at the bottom or top
  • You will then see all the clips or files associated with your casting, grouped by performer. Select the files or clips you wish to share. You can reorder clips or files by dragging and dropping them into place. You can reorder performers by using the handles in the middle (three horizontal lines) and dragging and dropping them above or below each other in exactly the same way as the running list
  • To go back, click 'Previous step' at the top. If you are happy with the choices so far, click on 'Next step' again at the bottom or top
  • In order to share purely via a link, you do not have to name the project or take notice of the 'Share with' or 'Message' options on this final page (this is for those already with username and password set up). All you need to do is copy the link that is given towards the bottom of the screen
  • Note the option at the bottom of the page where you can choose to allow the people viewing the link to download the clips or files or not- for added security you may choose not to allow a download. For those abroad or travelling, you may choose to allow the download so that they can then view the content on the move or offline
  • Once you are happy with all options (and have copied the link), click on 'Save and share' at the bottom or top. This then activates the link and its content, making it ready to view
  • You can now paste the link into an email to send to whoever you wish to share it with

In order to keep track of what you have shared via links, at the top of the 'Sharing' page there is the option to 'View all previous shares'- here you can see links you have created:

  • By clicking on 'Preview' you can see the exact content of that link and what the client sees
  • If you click on 'Edit', the system takes you through the entire 'link sharing' process mentioned above where you can make any changes you wish to make. By following the process through and clicking 'Save and share' at the end to activate, you will have edited that same link
  • You can also make a copy of a link which gives you the same files and clips on a different url, which you can then either edit or share as you wish
  • Finally, you can delete links and thus render them totally inactive and unviewable

To search your entire archive / information from past castings

When you are logged into Spotlight Casting, to the very top left of the site you will see 'All projects', 'All Attachments', 'All Clips', 'All performers', 'All Users'. Clicking on any one of these will allow you to search through the archive of all the information you have inputted into Spotlight Casting so far and find files, clips or performers using all the filtering facilities previously mentioned in these Help pages.

To view your personal settings and download the Spotlight Casting Mac app

When you are logged into Spotlight Casting, to the very top right of the site you will see 'SIGNED IN AS: *your name* FOR *Team name*'. If you click on your name, it brings you to your settings and info page. To the right of that page is a button that says 'Download the Spotlight Casting Mac App'. This is an extra piece of technology for Mac users that allows direct and batch uploads, amongst other functions. If you are looking for help using the Mac app, please click here

To change the branding on your running list pdfs, amend your Team name and view your storage

When you are logged into Spotlight Casting, to the very top right of the site you will see 'SIGNED IN AS: *your name* FOR *Team name*'. If you click on your Team name, it brings you to your Team settings and branding page. Here you can amend your Team name at the top, view how much storage you have got on the right, and change the branding for your running list pdfs at the bottom.
The running list branding consists of:

  • Choosing a primary colour (This affects the main text such as Project name, performer names)
  • Choosing a secondary colour (This affects the secondary text such as Role names and agency details)
  • Choosing a file to upload- this enables you to include your logo at the top of the page
  • Writing a Team footer to appear at the bottom of the running list

Once you have made any changes, click on 'Save' below the preview, and the preview will update to reflect your choices