Casting By

Casting By (2013)

Opened: 07/26/2013 Limited

Limited07/26/2013
Town Center 507/26/2013 - 08/01/20137 days
Quad Cinema/NYC08/02/2013 - 08/08/20137 days
HBO08/05/2013
Lincoln Ctr/NY11/01/2013 - 11/07/20137 days
Cinema Village...11/01/2013 - 11/14/201314 days
Royal11/08/2013 - 11/14/20137 days
Arena Cinema11/15/2013 - 11/21/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Facebook

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated

Marion Dougherty launched the careers of the biggest movie stars in the world. This is her story.

"Like crack for film lovers" - Tom Donahue combines personal narratives from countless actors and directors (including Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Jeff Bridges, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Diane Lane, Jon Voight, Bette Midler and John Travolta) with extensive archival material to reconstruct the untold tale of Hollywood's most invisible and unheralded profession. Through an investigation of the Hollywood power dynamics that continue to belittle their work, this film seeks to grant casting directors the credit they have long been denied.

Synopsis

Afforded unprecedented freedom and power by television, casting pioneers like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster were iconoclasts whose exquisite taste and gut instincts ultimately helped change the old studio system and usher in New Hollywood through landmark movies like "Midnight Cowboy," "The Graduate," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "Bonnie and Clyde." They broke away from traditional typecasting and brought new kinds of leading men and women to the screen, among them Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, Robert Duvall and Gene Hackman.

A fast-paced journey through the last half-century of Hollywood history from a new perspective, CASTING BY spotlights filmmaking's unsung hero -- the casting director.

The casting director is the only opening single card film credit that does not receive its own Academy Award® nomination. However, as Martin Scorsese emphatically states at the start of the documentary, "More than 90 percent of directing a picture is the right casting." Director Tom Donahue combines extensive archival material and exclusive interviews with A-list actors and directors, including Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Jeff Bridges, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jon Voight, John Lithgow, Bette Midler and John Travolta, as well as Martin Scorsese, to tell the story of Hollywood's most invisible and unheralded profession.

Perhaps the foremost casting director, Marion Dougherty plucked several now-iconic actors out of obscurity, among them James Dean, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, Christopher Walken and Glenn Close, giving them their first break in front of the camera. With strong, original opinions about authenticity and a knack for discovering unique talent, she turned the old Hollywood system on its head by using actors with a nuanced sense of character and individuality, rather than depending on typecasting, and broke racial barriers by pairing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the "Lethal Weapon" series.

CASTING BY examines Dougherty's early career, which began in TV before she segued into feature-film casting. She set up her first casting office -- Marion Dougherty Associates -- in her native New York City in the mid-1960, occupying a brownstone unofficially known as "The Brothel," because all her employees were women servicing men in the film industry. Marion Dougherty Associates soon became the place to be for directors and actors, who came to her unconventional office for auditions or often just to mingle with friends.

Armed with a Rolodex boasting the names of up-and-coming actors she spotted in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, Dougherty headed west to Hollywood in the 1970s after becoming head of casting at Paramount Pictures. Drawing on her experiences in New York, she had a strong hand in reshaping the way Hollywood cast films as it distanced itself from the old studio system. Dougherty was later hired by Warner Brothers, where she spent more than two decades in a professional career of more than 50 years.

Says director Tom Donahue, "It's easy to forget that every character begins life as just words on a page. It takes the collaboration of a great casting director to make that character magnificent and the film unforgettable."

CASTING BY was presented at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2012 New York Film Festival and the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, and won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sebastapol Film Festival.

 

Trailer



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