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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Interview with Los Angeles Casting Director Danielle Eskinazi

Danielle Eskinazi has been in the film industry for over 20 years. Throughout her career, she has worked with Hank Azaria and Milla Jovovich, David Bowie, Woody Harrelson, Buck Henry and Rosanna Arquette, among many others.

She is an award-winning casting director who is able to spot talent from afar.
Danielle was nominated for the Talent Managers Association prestigious Seymour Heller Award for Best Commercial Casting Director of 2009, and was a runner up twice for Favorite Commerical Casting Director in BackStageWest

AVIVA: You have been in the film industry since 1988, what do you feel has been your favorite part of your career?
My favorite part of my career? Has been the industry in itself, it's ever changing business and nothing remains the same-that's what makes it so exciting... New products pop up all the time. About 7 years ago it was all about .coms and now it's a lot of Internet and webisodes which can be very creative if done right. I just cast a car webisode/commercial with Justin Timberlake that was so creative for me.

AVIVA: What inspired and motivated you to become involved with films?
I have always wanted to cast films and commercials ever since I could remember. I love the quick turnaround of casting. We get a project on a Monday, by Friday we are in callbacks and the week after it's shot and out on TV. It's quick and the results are right there in front of you. I love instant gratification.

AVIVA:If you weren't a casting director, what else do you see yourself doing? (other passions, interests)
I would love to direct/I tried my hand in directing a video for a Band called Kid Moxie a French Video called "Ma Romance D'hiver" (my winter Romance) we did it on a $500 budget and it was an awesome experience for me. The song was featured on the "L word". I also directed a short called "Atmosphere", a comedy about glorified extras. So directing is something I may pursue when the time is right.

AVIVA: What do you believe has been your greatest accomplishment in your career?
The greatest accomplishment is an on going thing for me. I mean I can look back now and see how I created this life for myself but to look in the future and see what more I can do is more exciting for me.
I mean I put Milla Jovovich in her first film when she was 12 in a film called "A night Train to Kathmandu" and also found Hank Azaria and cast him in a film called "Deep Blue" with Woody Harrelson. I could say that was pretty cool but my best accomplishment is yet to come.

AVIVA: What is one piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring actor/actress?
Stay focused, don't let yourself esteem get lost in a sea of rejections, get into workshops, never stop learning, be passionate, and it will happen. Acting is a 9 to 5 job, 8 days a week. Don't leave it all up to your agents. Do your homework and network.

AVIVA:Could you tell me more about your new website, ACTVICE?
DE: came to me when I was on Twitter. I would do Q&A's 2 or 3 times a week to help actors have a more accessible reach to a casting director, but I realized I could only give them 140 characters back when they would ask me a question which required a much longer answer. So I came up with actvice-it's a site for an actor to go to if they have an audition for a scene for an agent, manager, or a film where they can upload their scene and I would give back critiques. I also included if an actor has a reel and needs a cd's eye to help them edit it down to the most important scene to show off themselves. We just added a link for 8x10's as well.
Actors seem to love it and it has been very successful.

AVIVA:Do you have any funny/crazy/exciting casting story that you would like to share?
Well, I was casting a film once and I was reading. An actor came to my office, the scene was about a thug and his victim, well the actor pulled out a gun and pointed it right at my head I was speechless..I freaked. After the scene, he said it was a fake gun and I politely asked him to leave my office and told him to NEVER do that again. Not a good move for an actor in this day in age. I called his agent and I'm sure they gave him a tongue lashing because he came back to my office with flowers.

AVIVA: What are some of your upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
I just did a Reliant commercial, Nokia commercial, playstation and, skittles and Capri Sun amongst others.

AVIVA:Do you have any additional comments?
: I would just tell actors to stay true to themselves keep motivated and don't lose yourself in the process.

I would like to thank Danielle for this interview. I wish her all the best in every project that she takes on.

You can check out Danielle's website, twitter, as well as Actvice.


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