Partnering Up: Using Tech to Streamline Casting with JamarGig CEO Andrew Busutill - StageLync

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Partnering Up: Using Tech to Streamline Casting with JamarGig CEO Andrew Busutill

With the recent announcement of the strategic partnership between CircusTalk and JamarGig, we were eager to sit down with JamarGig CEO Andrew Busutill (AB) to discuss how JamarGig came about, how they are focused on changing the landscape for casting directors, and what this partnership brings to the market. This interview between Andrew and our own CEO Stacy Clark (SC) delves right into the details. 

SC: How did the idea of JamarGig first come to be?

AB: Being also the founder of JamarGig’s sister company Launchpad6, we have long been providing SAAS solutions for competition and awards management to organizations all over the world. This is where I met Rick Tjia whose company Choreography Online runs their annual International Online Dance Competition with Launchpad6. Rick is a world-renowned dancer, choreographer, and casting director for dancers, actors, musicians, and singers. Rick was also a choreographer for Cirque du Soleil. Through this relationship, Rick, with his 30+ years of casting experience, highlighted the huge gap in the Entertainment industry to provide an audition management solution that was aimed at streamlining the process and capturing the intellectual property of casting directors. 

Rick then introduced Angela Calo, who has over 35 years of experience in the entertainment industry, into our discussions. Angela is the founder of a company called Gig2Gig. Her vision was to improve the lives of both casting directors and freelance entertainers through technology. She had conducted years of research on both Talent and Casting processes and combined this with her own experience to develop the foundations of the Gig2Gig solution. 

It was clear that while many industries had significantly leveraged technology to streamline processes, the entertainment industry was still operating in a very archaic way when it came to managing talent through the recruitment process. 

By bringing together Launchpad6’s technical expertise, Choreography Online’s deep casting experience, and Gig2Gig’s foundational talent and audition management expertise, JamarGig was born.

 SC: What are the key problems JamarGig solves?

AB: Casting directors provide a critical function for the production of entertainment; however, in our opinion, it appears that they are really undervalued by their peers, and sometimes even by themselves. Their skill and expertise in identifying the right talent for the right roles is what makes them valuable. 

However, this skill and insight are thrown away at the end of every casting call. This means they start from scratch every time they conduct a casting call for talent. 

This is because most do not capture the insights and assessments from each audition against the talent they have seen. Even when it is captured, it is not done in a structured way or by using tools that are designed for casting, which makes it difficult to search. This creates a huge inefficiency. It makes it difficult to recall who might be right for a role based on who they have previously auditioned.Until now, there really have not been the right tools specifically designed for casting directors to capture, manage and recall this information. 

Having a single solution that enables them to seamlessly communicate with talent and have them actually involved in the process offers huge benefits not just for the directors, but also for the talent.

When talent are not effectively communicated with during the audition process, it means their opportunity to improve is stifled and just provides an overall bad experience. This effectively weakens the talent pool. 

SC: How does JamarGig differ from other talent-based casting tools on the market?

AB: That’s a great question. When we analyzed the market, we found most solutions focused on capturing talent in a large database and offering cheap or even free access for casting directors to encourage them to post their casting calls. Their capabilities for casting directors really focused on searching for talent based on the information entered by the talent, not the information captured by the casting director. The attraction for casting directors to these solutions is accessing large pools of talent. However, these solutions do not help the casting director manage the process beyond the initial identification of possible candidates. These platforms “own” the talent information, which means that casting needs to duplicate this information in manual spreadsheets or internal databases if they want to maintain any historical insights, which they invariably do poorly. 

JamarGig’s approach is the reverse. JamarGig provides a private solution for casting directors to manage their own talent insights with their own casting process and even their own branding.

We believe that if we can provide the right tools for casting directors to manage the process, capture the insights from their own perspective, and effectively communicate with the talent, then it will add significant value beyond the initial candidate list.

We have also really focused on driving efficiencies through simple interactions, such as just hovering over talent to see their videos and images in real time, as well as single-click decision-making.

While there are definitely huge benefits that public talent databases provide, they offer only part of the solution. 

I like to think of the analogy that many solutions today are like Linkedin, which is great for initial B2B prospecting; however, once a prospect is found, you need to capture this information in your customer relationship database in order to then manage the process of turning that prospect into a customer. 

 SC: CircusTalk is excited to partner with JamarGig due to its deep casting call management; however, can you explain for our audience the benefits this partnership brings to Talent and Talent Seekers?

AB: As mentioned above, there is great value for casting directors in having a large pool of talent available to them to search for initial talent candidates. Providing seamless integration between CircusTalk and JamarGig enables the best of both worlds. The great thing about CircusTalk is that the experience and skill of the talent available is of a really high quality, and the talents really seem actively engaged due to the value of the platform’s content and collaborative features. This was really important to JamarGig when looking for an organization to partner with.

With this partnership, casting directors will have instant access to a pool of over 35,000 talented performers. They will be able to post their casting calls from JamarGig to CircusTalk with the click of a button. CircusTalk talent will then be able to apply for these posts directly from CircusTalk. The CircusTalk talent profiles will be instantly accessible from JamarGig, ready for casting teams to begin assessment and move the talent through the whole casting process to final selection—all the while enriching the CircusTalk talent profile with casting-specific information in JamarGig.

Talent will then be able to be searched and invited to future casting calls based on information captured by the casting team. This protects the casting team’s intellectual property and creates huge efficiencies and insights not previously available.

 SC: Tell us a little bit about future plans for JamarGig and where you aim to take the product.

AB: We have massive plans for JamarGig, which really excites me! Without giving too much away, our aim is to modernize casting in line with and even beyond the technological capabilities enjoyed by many other industries today. Managing an audition booking should be as easy as making a booking using a restaurant app or booking a flight. Sharing talent should be as easy as sharing social posts. Communicating with talent and casting should be as easy as communicating with customers and drivers as is done with Uber.

Ethically leveraging AI into our solutions is also big in our plans. We want to make it easier for talent and casting to identify the best opportunities for success and, most importantly, improvement. 

We are also planning to move beyond casting and reach deeper into the casting process which includes working with contract management providers, production management, and more.

Images courtesy of JamarGig

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