What is Castupload?
Castupload is project of the University of Kaiserslautern promoted by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, and the European Union, the European Social Fund. Andreas Venturini, David Zitzlsperger and Fabian Schwahn were funded to conceptualize, program and launch a Software as a Service (SaaS) that would support the entire casting process. The established software is a modular framework that is implemented in multiple forms. In form of Castupload as a free to use open platform for professional actors, agents and casting directors only. Besides Castupload the modular SaaS framework is licensed as a “white label product” to production companies, agencies and associations/federations to support their in house casting activity as their own casting service.
Why is Castupload for free?
Castupload is a free of cost service to any professional actor, agent or casting director that is verified as such and has a profile on Castupload. The modular Software as a Service (SaaS) framework is licensed as a “white label product” to production companies, agencies and associations/federations. The licensing fees are used to cross-finance Castupload and allow the service to be and stay free of charge.
The idea for Castupload originated from friends that are actors. In Germany there are approximately 20.000 professional Actors, but only a little fraction of those is able to actually live from acting. Nevertheless the efforts and expenses professional actors have to undergo without any guarantee of payment are extremely high. One main part of the everyday routine of actors is trying to get a chance to audition (hence getting a chance to have a chance), practicing for auditions and - if lucky and diligent - actually auditioning. As we understood, that casting is a professional and creative process that requires great experience from the side of the Casting Directors, we also understood that it is one of the main tasks of any actor to audition. Casting is a necessity to any project, now matter if Theater, TV or Film. It is the part when the characters on paper are matched with actors and in this sense the first step of a script becoming a play.
Through the discussion, it became obvious that a centralized project management for efficient collaboration among all parties involved in the casting process could make it easier to conduct, manage and evaluate castings. After learning about the needs of casting directors, producers, agents and actors the concept of a cloud-based web application was formulated, programmed and implemented. Through the input of the first production companies that used the software in-house the system was improved, features like eCasting, showreel maker and many more have been introduced and finally end of 2013 the first version of Castupload was launched in an open beta version.
Since then Castupload has been growing constantly. Today Castupload leverages the possibilities offered by cloud computing to combine project management tools, social networking and the concept of case-based reasoning into an extensive package tailored exclusively to the needs of the film industry. In that capacity it is the most extensive free of cost application. By automating repetitive and time consuming tasks Castupload allows all parties involved - casting directors, producers, agents and actors - to spend a greater share of their time on doing what they really love.
Who are we?
We are David Zitzlsperger, Fabian Schwahn and Andreas Venturini, three friends that have never been involved in the film industry before and see this “neutrality” as a core strength. We brought our Software as a Service (SaaS) to the market and licensed it to production companies. At the same time we use the same technology to establish Castupload as a free of charge stand alone service.
„We learned that production companies see great value in lean and fast processes when it comes to their in-house casting. We understood that if it is of value to them it must be of value to any professional Actor, Agent and Casting Director.“David Zitzlsperger
„As a computer scientist, any type of problem solving through IT is of interest to me. To apply software- and network-based systems to a practical process like a casting is extremely challenging and interesting at the same time!“Fabian Schwahn
„Cloud computing is reshaping the current business landscape in fundamental ways. The flexible allocation of IT resources greatly facilitates global deployment and rapid scalability of applications like Castupload. For me, as an industrial engineer with a great affinity for information technology, Castupload is both a great opportunity and an exciting challenge.“Andreas Venturini
We don't consider the eCasting and project management features of Castupload as an alternative to the traditional casting process but rather as a valuable add-on. We believe that the studio casting function of Castupload will greately improve the process of traditional castings by relying on Castupload's built-in project management. Thus, for example, a casting director can upload shootings to Castupload and connect them to an actor's profile. Subsequently, the actors' agent will be able to review the casting and comment on it via Castupload's online collaboration tools. Similarly, the casting director will be able to review and to share selected castings with both directors and producers. They might decide to have an actor redo a scene via eCasting to account for last minute changes or they might send a casting call for an eCasting to an actor who was not even able to attend the studio casting in the first place. Regardless of the individual requirements - Castupload accompanies each party from the beginning of a casting process to the successful completion.
For any questions, suggestions, or concerns please feel free to contact us.
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