In the Room: Casting for Film
In this session casting director Matthew Lessall will give an insight into his casting process for film; what happens before you get in the room, when you are in the room and after your leave. Also come prepared with some of your burning questions as Matthew will dedicate some time at the end for Q&A.
Born in London, raised in New York, educated in Indiana and London, and now based in Los Angeles, Matthew’s life and casting experiences are equally diverse. Having cast successful, international, award-winning projects for film, television, and new media, in the form of features, pilots, and series, his primary recognition is on the indie film front. Matthew has also worked at major networks and studios, as Director of Feature Film Casting at 20th Century Fox; in-house casting consultant for the Fox Searchlab Writer/Director Program; and in 2015 as in-house consultant to Paramount Pictures Television Studios where he worked on several 2016 TV projects, including: ‘Urban Cowboy’ (FOX), ‘Shooter’ (USA) and ‘Berlin Station’ (Epix). He cast the Netflix feature film and Sundance 2017 selection, ‘Deidra & Laney Rob a Train’ for award-winning director, Sydney Freeland as well as the 2017 SXSW competition film, ‘Maya Dardel.’
His award history includes being a recipient of multiple Artios Award nominations, a 2015 coveted Cannes Palme d’Or Award, a 2017 Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Picture, ‘Chronic’, directed by acclaimed Mexican director/producer Michel Franco and starring Tim Roth (also nominated for a Spirit Award for Best Actor), 2016 Sundance selection ‘Frank & Lola’, starring Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots, and the 2016 SXSW selection ‘Miss Stevens’, starring Best Actress winner Lily Rabe.
Matthew cast two seasons of Warner Premiere’s record-breaking webseries ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ (Machinima), and season 2 of Warner Digital’s ‘Aim High’ (Crackle), he also produced/cast the festival circuit darling, ‘Reparation’. This year, ‘Fast Color’ starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw premiered at SXSW and will be released in March 2019. His long list of festival films includes Official Entries at the Venice Film Festival, TIFF, Sundance, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, San Sebastián, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. He has cast productions/co-productions for Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, and the UK, where he also enjoys dual citizenship. Matthew is a member of BAFTA and recently concluded eight terms on the National Board of the Casting Society of America where he presided as President.