Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pipe Dream: Casting for a "Kid Sensation" Movie

*For the record, this post started out as the response to a question posed in the comments section of this blog. After I realized how long and drawn-out my answer was (some might say "bloated"), I decided that it probably made more sense to make it a blog post.

Someone recently asked who my dream cast would be for a Kid Sensation movie.  My initial reaction was "Wow." That's further down the road than I've dared to even dream. Moreover, it's a tricky question, because in my mind - when speaking of movie adaptations in a situation like this - it all comes down to budget.  Basically, I think Hollywood budgets for the type of film this would mostly get spent in three areas: talent, special effects and marketing. (Naturally there are other costs, but these are the big three.) 

Marketing usually comes to about a third of a film's total budget. Special effects, to me, is often a you-get-what-you-pay-for venture, so it makes sense to shell out cash to a place like Industrial Light & Magic in order to get a high-end product. Bearing those things in mind, you begin to get a sense of what you can do with respect to casting.

In term sof talent, you can decide to spend mega-bucks on a big name like Tom Cruise, knowing that he will be a huge draw for audiences (although that will leave less $$$ to spend on other things). Or you can do what they did in the Harry Potter films: cast unknowns in the lead roles (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, etc.) and give them a strong supporting cast with lower salary demands (eg, Alan Rickman).  Of course, with Harry Potter, the story itself was the big draw: the books were so popular that the movies were bound to be blockbusters.

Given my druthers (and assuming my books were popular enough to be considered "guaranteed" blockbusters), I'd probably look for the middle ground here: actors popular enough to be considered famous, but not so in-demand as to command an enormous salary. (Someone like Chris Pratt - at the time he was cast for Guardians of the Galaxy (which had an awesome soundtrack) - comes to mind. He reportedly earned $1.5 for that film, and then blew up enough to get $12M for Jurassic World.)

In essence, I don't know that I have a "dream cast" in mind (although I'm sure there are some Disney Channel stars who would probably be suitable for certain roles).  Of course, all of this assumes that I'd have a say in casting; Hollywood could possibly just buy the movie rights - maybe have me do the screenplay as well - then say, 'Shut up - this is our movie..." At this juncture, however, all of this is just wishful thinking...pipe dreams.  Still, you've got to have dreams in order for them to come true.


  1. Your target audience is Geeks.
    You would definitely want to fit Felicia Day in.

    1. As his target audience is geeks, and I say this with love and understanding, any reasonably attractive woman between the ages of 14 and 60(don't judge me, look at Lucy Lui) would be a draw for them. As a geek myself I look first for a good story, and then "other things" to keep my attention. Even poorly done green screens can be forgiven if your story is good enough. Although at that point, don't count on me forking over too much cash on the DVD, bargain bin, here I come.

  2. I've been avoiding this blog for a while now in an attempt to fight my craving for the next book.

    I appreciate your response. It was quire informative. It also went well above and beyond what I had initially asked...or rather meant to ask.

    Let me rephrase my initial question.

    Do any of your character share any physical likeness or drive any inspiration from real people.

    Nick Fury in the Ultimates for example was based off of Samuel L. Jackson's likeness (They had to get permission)

    Also not to beat a dead horse, but is there any further updates on a release date for the book. It is February now.

  3. I didn't base the characters on any real people (or fictional ones, either). "Any resemblance to incidents, events, actions, locales or persons, living or dead, factual or fictional, is entirely coincidental."

    As to the book, I'm hoping I can wrap it up in the next week.


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