Get Green with Ad Green!

Have you ever been on set and realised how much waste there is, that perhaps you should be making more of a conscious effort to recycle? Being green when it comes to media production is never straightforward, but there are ways you can help the environment – both obvious and not so obvious. Ad Green is a new initiative set up by Jo Coombes specifically for commercial production. We spoke with Jo to find out more about Ad Green, where it came from, and her hopes for the future.

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Casting Networks: When was the moment you first stepped back and realised how incredibly wasteful and un-green the commercial industry was? 

Jo Coombes: I first came to the realisation that I didn’t like what I was contributing to at the start of 2014. I’d read some scary articles about climate change, and couldn’t help but think I was contributing, simply by doing a job I loved – production managing on advertising shoots. The amount of waste we create in the name of being creative is obscene, but at the time I wasn’t sure what I could do about it. It wasn’t until a few months later when the niggling feeling got too much that I decided I should find out what related industries were up to, and whether we could apply what they’d learned to advertising production. 

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JB Shorts 16: Different Venue, Same Quality

modelAfter another stellar run, JB Shorts 16 came to a close on November 12th, but not before one last performance to leave everyone gasping for air and clawing at their sides to stop them from splitting.

JB 16 was cast by Michelle Smith and played out at a brand new bigger venue at 53 Two, which is fast becoming a mecca for Manchester’s finest fringe theatre. It’s fair to say we at Casting Networks enjoyed the show, as always, and could not be more proud to continue supporting the event!

The night began with Magaluf, written by Sarah McDonald Hughes, in which we were taken on a farcical journey with Chloe (Amy Lythgoe) and Sinead (Hollie-Jay-Bowes) on their stereotypical teen holiday. I was reminded of a two-handed, modern day Bouncers and Shakers, due to the non-stop laughs and fast pace of the piece. A well-directed, wonderful piece of theatre, and a brilliant choice to open the show.

Second on, and the first of two classics of British literature broken down in to fifteen minutes of pure entertainment, was Toil and Trouble, written by Trevor Suthers. A truly original take on the story of a certain Scottish King who, for our own sake, is named ‘MacMeth’ (Peter Ash). Three terrifyingly hilarious “hags” steal the stage for fifteen minutes in the forms of ‘Mammy,’ ‘Granny,’ and ‘Fanny’ (Maria O’Hare, Jenny Gregson, and Jennifer Bray). With constant cleverly written filth throughout, and an energy on the stage that clearly stemmed from the great direction of Sue Jenkins, meant there was no respite for the aching jaws of the audience.

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Casting Networks Manchester December Event

Joe Duttine

Casting Networks will be back at the 3 Minute Theatre in Manchester for our final FREE event of 2016 on 8th December.

Our special guest for this festive night will be actor Joe Duttine who currently plays Tim Metcalfe in Coronation Street. Casting Networks members will receive an email with information about how to submit for a chance to secure a ticket nearer to the time. (The event is strictly invite only)

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Interview with Producer Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto of ‘City of Tiny Lights’


Riz Ahmed in ‘City of Tiny Lights’

This week we were thrilled to catch up with Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto from NDF International, who has just produced the Toronto Film Festival screened City of Tiny Lights, starring rising star Riz Ahmed. Ado is no stranger to the time it takes from getting onboard with a film to actually having its big screen debut, and in this case, film festival screenings at multiple prestigious festivals around the globe. Here, we caught up with the producer to find out all the tips and tricks of surviving in this business for the long haul.

Casting Networks: So Ado, it’s been four years ears since you made LAST PASSENGER with Dougray Scott and Tara Tointon, which BFI, Pinewood, and Pathé came on board to help with. What have you been working on since?

Ado Yoshizaki: A variety of projects, some that were in development both before and during Last Passenger, and some new projects that we either initiated or were brought by directors. In the end, City Of Tiny Lights began to generate buzz and, through 2013 and 2014, became the focus of my efforts. Putting it together was like working on a giant jigsaw puzzle – it wasn’t easy and took years! I worked step by step, very carefully, to make those already involved feel more and more comfortable and, at the same time, bringing on top companies and partners, cast and creative collaborators, to generate and keep momentum going through to the magic moment when you close finance and are in prep.

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Relationship Advice from Nicci Topping


OK, so you’re probably thinking why is this crazy British casting director giving me advice about dealing with my significant other / bff? Well, much as I would love to advise you on your squabbles over who does the washing up or the right answer to “does my bum look big in this,” I must admit I am as confused by the mysteries of love as the next girl, so today I am going to give you some relationship advice that I am qualified to talk about… an actor’s relationship with a Casting Director.

Just like any other relationship there are ground rules. Often such ground rules are so fundamental that they are never spoken, but today I am going to speak of the truths that dare not be spoken.


#1 Connect Meaningfully
By all means let me know of any showcases or productions you are in, but please keep it brief and to the point preferably via ONE succinct email and please don’t spam me.

Like many of my colleagues I also love connecting with people either through twitter @niccitopping or my facebook page, but please don’t stalk us. If we have spoken at a casting then by all means follow me and drop me a line to say hi and tell me about your experience or ask any questions. I often have more time to talk to you and give you feedback through social media than I would at a casting session.

Please make sure that your CV and headshot are tailored for a specific role and genre, and if you are applying for TV job list your TV roles first. We have to read so many CVs, please make it easy for us to make sure you don’t slip through the net.

#2 Let your work speak for itself
Actions speak louder than words as they say, and what better clarion call for me to remember you and get you on my radar then by delivering a truthful and connected performance and behaving in a professional and respectful manner. Often there are a variety of reasons that actors don’t get cast, and even if you are not right for the current project you are auditioning for we will remember exceptional talent and positive attitude.

#3 Remember what your Mum told you…
… always say please and thank you! Manners are really important: I have zero tolerance for prima donnas and a little note or email to say thanks if you get the role goes a long way.


#1 You Don’t Bring Me Flowers!
Much as I love Barbra Streisand, this is not just a random lyric quote. What I mean is… You! Don’t bring me flowers and you don’t sent me confetti and you over there at the back, don’t send me pictures of your cheeky bits. I’m only going to take you seriously if you behave appropriately and professionally – I’m not looking for a date, I just want to hear from committed and passionate actors.

#2 A Clear and Present Danger
Please don’t send me random presents – although if you are really hell-bent on doing so then a Porsche Caymen would be nice. What am I saying?! No I cannot be bought. No chocolates, no wine, no anything. Any such gift/bribe and I will simply never feel comfortable casting you.

#3 Friends – The one where I don’t need any more
I’m sorry to be harsh, but please don’t try and make me your friend or ingratiate yourself with me. I have lots of lovely friends and I already feel guilty enough that I work long hours and don’t have as much time to spend with them as I would like. Please treat me as a professional and communicate with me appropriately.


With over 20 years experience Nicci is one of the UK’s leading casting directors and writes an irreverent but insightful blog on the world of casting at

Film Freeway – Streamlining Festival Submissions

So many actors now are multi-talented actors, writers, and directors producing their own content. But once you’ve made a short film, how do you get it seen? The festival circuit can be a bit of a nightmare with literally hundreds and hundreds of festivals to choose from. We chat to Zachary Jones, founder of the super cool online submission platform about how they help streamline the process.


Casting Networks: Firstly can you tell us a little about FilmFreeway and how this film festival site was started?

Zachary Jones: FilmFreeway is now the world’s #1 submission site across all metrics including: most active users, most international web traffic, most film festivals, most Oscar-accredited film festivals, as well as the easiest, most convenient and reliable way to submit to film festivals and creative contests. We created FilmFreeway so that filmmakers and other creatives would have a free and easy way to discover and submit to thousands of festivals around the world in a single place, as well as provide festivals with advanced software and tools to make their jobs of managing festivals easier and more efficient than ever more