In the weeks leading up to the 50th New York Film Festival, Film Society has been holding a series of screenings for members of the press. Recently, a screening of Tom Donahue’s documentary Casting By was held followed by a Q&A with the director.
Even if you’ve watched your fair share of Academy Awards ceremonies and have seen the hundreds of thank you’s given to the cast and crew of any film, it’s hard to imagine just how much work, both on screen and off, goes into making a film. What about the people behind the camera who help find the right people to put in front of it? The Casting Directors that bear this responsibility are rarely recognized. Tom Donahue’s documentary, screening in our Cinema Reflected section, seeks to change that.
The film focuses on one of the central figures of the profession: Marion Dougherty (pictured above), who was behind the casting of such films as Midnight Cowboy and Lethal Weapon. Speaking about her multi-decade career, Donahue noted Dougherty’s ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of mass media and entertainment: “She started in 1949, about the time that television became a mass medium, and she went all the way through to about 1999, 2000, when Internet started becoming dominant as a way of consuming media.”
Watch the full Q&A, moderated by Film Society Associate Program Director Scott Foundas, below: