Welcome to the first installment of the newest series at Casting Networks: Production Hubs. We start out with Atlanta, the “Hollywood of the South.” The city is home to well-known shows like Stranger Things and the aptly titled Atlanta. According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, some big features are also slated to shoot there like Coming 2 America and Thunder Force. Here’s the lowdown on these projects and on who’s cast them. We’ll also take a look at other Atlanta-based casting directors that actors should know.
Besides working with Kim Coleman on Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots, Drummer also teamed up with Coleman for his 2018 film Nobody’s Fool, handling the Atlanta casting. Drummer has a couple of upcoming projects to look out for, one being Tyson’s Run, a feature drama from Kim Bass that stars Major Dodson, Barkhad Abdi and Amy Smart. And not surprisingly, it’s another project that can claim Atlanta as a filming location. Actors interested in connecting with Drummer should be aware of all of her industry pursuits, including those that fall outside of casting. This means they should study up on the Atlanta-based web series she created, Good Girls. More information on Drummer can be found on her website, which also provides links to her social media pages. She is active on Instagram as @rhavynn, and actors looking for answers to frequently asked questions can view the Story Highlights on her page, which feature her answers to actors’ questions.
This casting duo is comprised of Tara Feldstein and Chase Paris. According to their website, the two work closely together, so actors interested in connecting should be sure to study up on both casting directors. They have received Emmy nominations for Atlanta, Stranger Things and Ozark, all of which shoot in or around the Atlanta area. Stranger Things won them an Emmy in 2017 for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. As for upcoming projects, Feldstein and Paris handled the Atlanta casting for Disney’s upcoming film Jungle Cruise, which stars Dwayne Johnson and is slated for release in 2020. Actors interested in learning more about the casting duo can check out @chaseparis and @tarafbennett on Twitter, on which both casting directors are active.
Actors who are fans of Melissa McCarthy should keep Redding on their radars since the casting director frequently works on films in which the Oscar nominee stars. She helped cast Life of the Party and The Boss, both of which were shot in Atlanta and showcased McCarthy’s talents. Pitch Perfect 3, which was also filmed in the Georgia capital, is another comedic credit under her belt. Redding worked with well-known comedic casting director Allison Jones on Life of the Party and reunites with Jones on two upcoming projects. They teamed up to cast Paramount’s Like a Boss, which stars Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek, and they’re also behind the cast of Netflix’s upcoming action-comedy Thunder Force. It may come as no surprise that McCarthy leads its cast as well, starring opposite Octavia Spencer. Actors interested in further research on the Atlanta-based Redding can dig into her website, which offers encouragement for actors in the area still waiting to be discovered. “Kris is scouting for unique faces and talent 24/7 wherever she goes,” her homepage states. Actors can also request to follow @kredcasting on Instagram.
Like Drummer, Pierre has teamed up with Coleman to cast films shot in Atlanta. Pierre and Coleman worked together on Little, starring Regina Hall and Issa Rae, as well as Night School, starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. Regarding upcoming projects, Pierre will be teaming up with another well-known casting director, Leah Daniels Butler. IMDb credits them both in the casting departments of two upcoming sequels: Coming 2 America, which will feature Eddie Murphy reprising his role of Akeem, and Undercover Brother 2. Pierre is active on Instagram as @gpierre722, and his page provides ample material for actors looking for areas on which they can connect. His LinkedIn page provides information on his backstory, what led him into casting—which actors may find valuable—and gives a window into Pierre’s other creative pursuits, which include writing and producing. According to his “About” section on LinkedIn, of all the short films he’s created, Letters to a Father is “the one closest to his heart.”
The list of important casting directors who are based in or often work in Atlanta continues. Actors should keep in mind Mark Fincannon, Craig Fincannon, Lisa Mae Fincannon, Erica Arvold, Jackie Burch, Olubajo Sonubi, Winsome Sinclair, Shay Griffin, Cheryl Louden-Kubin, Jen Kelley, Rita Harrell, Cynthia Stillwell, Jillian Johnston, Kelly Tippens and Shannon Reis. Besides prominent casting directors in the Atlanta area, it’s important also to be aware of the studios that can be found there. Tyler Perry Studios, currently filming BET’s new drama series The Oval, is one that stands out. Another big studio here is Pinewood Atlanta Studios, where many of the Marvel movies have been filmed.
Atlanta actors can continue staying up to date with the projects being filmed here as well as with the people casting them. But regardless of where they live, actors can benefit from keeping current with their knowledge of the “Hollywood of the South.” With casting names like Coleman, Jones and Butler attached to projects filming there, it’s a good idea for all actors to keep up with the Atlanta market. And who knows? If you do your homework and actively pursue casting connections in Atlanta, you may even find yourself starring in the latest season of a popular Netflix show. Stranger things have happened.