So as many of you are aware I am trying to get cast for a TV show on the science channel. I can’t tell you much more about the show except the description seems to fit me pretty well.
“Producers for a Science Channel Game show are looking for contestants. Contestants can be a gonzo engineer/scientist or just a high-energy, creative, fun, builder! They are looking for garage warriors (builders, scientists, inventors, engineers, carpenters, welders, mechanics, architects, etc…) who love to invent new gadgets, build robots, racing power tools, weld together bizarre machines that drive, fly, climb, shoot flames or launch projectiles. This Game Show is for thinkers, dreamers and doers, who are eager to let their inner MacGyvers be seen and ready to collaborate with a team of other builders.”
So the mechanism which the producers are using for a casting call is a website called www.gotcast.com The Basic premise of the site is that you post a profile for yourself and add the casting to your profile. Then other users vote for you and they rank you within the people applying for the show. Being in the top spot on the site does not guarantee that you will be on the show, but it supposedly gives your profile to the casting director in the ranking order. All and all it is a fairly simple concept and good in concept but unfortunatly this site is a sham.
I first realized this about 2 days after I joined the site and noticed that some people were getting an extreme amount of votes as compared to me. Now I can accept that people maybe more popular or better qualified but that didn’t seem to be the case, infact it is just the opposite. Many of the people in the top 10 do not even fit the criteria for what the producers are looking for or have nothing indicating they actually want to be on the show. That is one of the two major flaws with the site. The second flaw is that since this is voting based people will do anything to pimp themselves out to get votes, the most common method is voting for others. Similar to the concept on Twitter that the more people you follow the more people follow you, the more you vote the more people vote for you. Having realized this flaw I started doing just that, voting for everyone on the site everyday ( you can vote once a day per person). Quickly I saw myself starting to rise in the standings and at the point of this post I am ranked #2.
So the question I have is why in the world would any casting director use this site? because the “ranked order” of people which is prepared by this website for casting is only going to be a popularity contest. Additionally there is even a “pro” membership you can buy for 30 bucks a month which will automatically put you above everyone who is in the voting cue, so you can essentially buy your way into the sight of the casting director.
In reaction to these revelations I wrote this email to the founder of the site with a few suggestions, but overall I will just play the game as it goes, so please go vote for me.
Email to Will Schroder
I wanted to drop you a message to give you some feedback about your site, while I like the concept I am not sure it will be putting the best people up for consideration. There seems to be a huge skew in the people at the tops of each list for people who vote for everyone else on the site (I have taken to this strategy now also) I think it would be more justified if you were limited to voting for only maybe 10 people per day.
The other thing, is that there are lots of people on the site that are applying for every entry regardless if they fit the description. While I see that you have code in place to fix the problem of location, etc but maybe for each listing you can have more stringent requirements for applying, such as filling out a form specific to what casting you are going for.
While I understand that you want to make it easy for people to apply, and you guys need the volumes of people so that you can sell your service to production companies, it seems to me that if your recommendations are not accurate then it will affect your long term success.
Also have you considered offering “pro member” access on a cast by cast basis. For example I am confidant that I am good choice for the Discovery channel show, but it is not worth 60 (30 per month)to be a pro member just for this one casting. I might be willing to do it if it was a 1 time 10-15 dollar fee. You might even be able to get more revenue this way.
Anyway, I am pretty sure your message was an automated one sent out to all new members, but I figured that if by some chance you actually read this you might get some real feedback for your site.
Feel free to contact me with any questions,