Cold Readings and Test Recordings

Cold readings and test recordings test an actor's skill and their charisma on camera.

If the director attaches great importance to working with potential cast members in person (rather than over video), cold readings are particularly important for actors with little informative demo material and for the occupation of smaller roles. The candidates, often a large number, are invited to a casting without getting pre-set scenes they could prepare with. Instead, they only receive the texts on the spot and have to read for various roles unprepared. With this method, the director can quickly get an idea of ​​whether an actor can inhabit a role and how flexible and creative he or she is.

When it comes to casting main roles, test shootings are performed, in the framework of which the director (or a casting director) compiles scenes with the candidates. In doing so, the actors are tested directly for a role in question or for a special combination with another actor. Relationships that are elemental to a story are checked by means of test recordings. With this approach, the director has the opportunity, in direct cooperation with the candidate, to check all the important criteria, in particular their suitability for the role, adaptability and talent.

For cold readings as well as test recordings, the evaluation and decision is based upon a review of the resulting tapes. How things appear on camera corresponds to the cinematic perception, the immediate in-person impression can be very deceiving.