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Online casting service unveiled

Called iActor, the directory will allow the 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild to create their individual profiles with photos, resumes and clips.

February 14, 2007|Richard Verrier | Times Staff Writer

For actors, it's a little like an electronic casting call.

The Screen Actors Guild on Tuesday unveiled an online casting directory called iActor for members to upload their head shots, resumes and video and audio clips to create their individual profiles.

The service will allow casting directors to search the profiles to find the right actors based on various criteria such as gender, skills and physical characteristics.

The union's 120,000 members can immediately begin creating their profiles, although the search capabilities won't be ready until this spring, SAG officials said.

"As Screen Actors Guild members and actors, we need every advantage we can get," said Robert David Hall, star of the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" TV series and chairman of the guild's iActor task force. "I believe iActor can become a real benefit for actors."

Casting directors welcomed the new online directory.

"It's just another tool for us," Beverly Hills-based casting director Sheila Manning said.

The online casting service, which was two years in the making, had been requested by members as the Internet continues to change the way Hollywood does business. Casting directors are increasingly using the Web to find actors who work in commercials, as well as films and television. Currently, a handful of companies provide online casting services for a modest fee.

SAG's service is free to all members current on their dues. The union has spent more than $350,000 on the project, largely financed through employer-funded grants.

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