What do excellent model bookers and casting professionals do differently and how can we learn from them? We at QVSTA want to support casting professionals in any way possible, but in the end you still need to do the work and this often requires being a casting director, project manager and account manager in one person.
Of course, the most important skill of a caster still is a deep understanding of the model brief and the ability to find the best models out of the hundreds of agency proposals in a short time. But while this ability is crucial, it is only one part of the job. You also need to be very structured at work, be able to sell your preselected models to your client or internal stakeholders and you need to negotiate rates and build up a good relationship with agents.
In this post, we want to focus on the part of selling the preselected models to clients or internal stakeholders, which is crucial to business success. A great model booker needs to be able to create a beautiful and selling model selection to present to clients or colleagues. The ability to find the right style and select the best model images and arrangement is very important to get the “go” for one of the models.
Creating model selections isn’t that easy for casters since you have a lot of different sources, your model proposals come from. Usually, you receive package links from agencies, sometimes agencies are sending PDF sedcards. Keeping track of 20+ proposal sources and then combining them into your own selection can sometimes cause a real headache.
Luckily, there are ways to tackle this problem. We collected the most commonly used and best ways to prepare model selections as a casting team or individual.
So what is the best way to create model selections?
Here are 5 ways to prepare model selections
1. Sharable Link via QVSTA for Casting Professionals
2. Presentation via Powerpoint, Keynote, etc.
3. Sedcards via Dropbox/Wetransfer
4. Custom Website via Google Sites
5. Sharable Link via Modeling Agency Software
1. Sharable Link via QVSTA
QVSTA is offering specialized software solutions for casting professionals that are easy to use and look beautiful to make the best impression to your clients.
On QVSTA, you start by creating a briefing online that you can send to all your agencies or agents with one click. Agents receive an automated email with a link where they can submit their model packages. As a result, you get all models from all agents in one board on QVSTA. QVSTA notifies you about new submissions from agencies. Once you have this big board – a page containing all models from all packages – you can then mark favorites or remove models from this page. Once you are done, you can click on “Share” and create a sharable link for your clients or colleagues. This sharable link is public and even contains your own branding (for Pro & Enterprise accounts). Simply share this link via email to your client.
As a pro or enterprise user, you can even change the images and upload additional images to the model profiles and customize your selection.
Once you shared the link to the selection with your client or internal stakeholders, you and others can comment on the models, making the coordination much easier and saving lots of emails back and forth.
- Super fast creation of sharable model selection (1 click)
- Professional impression & custom branding
- Collect client’s feedback inside the sharable selection (comment on models and let clients like/dislike models with 1 click)
- Modify selection even after it was sent (sharable link stays the same)
- Free basic version available
- GDPR compliant usage of model images & consent by agencies upon submission of packages
- Requires briefing to be sent via QVSTA
- If agencies only send PDF sedcards and not package links, it requires manual work to create model profiles on QVSTA
You can sign up for QVSTA for free here: https://app.qvsta.com/signup
2. Presentation via Powerpoint, Keynote, etc.
Creating a custom PDF containing hand-picked images might be the most reliable but also the most time-consuming way to prepare model selections.
Simply jump in your favorite presentation software like Powerpoint or Apple Keynote to create a new PDF. Make sure to use widescreen as a template, so your presentation looks better on most modern widescreen displays. Creating custom PDFs is popular amongst casters because you have all the possibilities to arrange images and present the models in the most beautiful way. It can be a very useful way to prepare selections for pitches but might be too time-consuming for daily eCommerce shoots.
- Complete control over model presentation
- Use custom colors or design templates to match your branding perfectly
- Free to use if you choose Google Slides or other free PDF creators
- Very time-consuming as you need to manually change images, measurements and names for each model in your slides
- Not interactive (no way to collect feedback or work as a team)
- No modification possible after it was sent
3. Sedcards via Dropbox/WeTransfer
Another easy way to share model selections is by simply using the existing sedcard PDFs from agencies and put them in a folder structure that suits you. This folder can then be uploaded and shared with clients by using common tools like Dropbox or WeTransfer (look into WeTransfer Plus for custom branding and a better impression to clients).
This method is fast and easy to use but has major downsides. As you are using the pre-made PDFs from agents, sedcards from different agencies look differently from each other. This is not good for comparison. Another problem is that these PDFs are not interactive. You won’t have the possibility to show videos, Instagram or any other interactive content in them.
- Relatively fast
- Easy to prepare, no custom work needed
- Different PDF designs make a bad impression
- Static content with only few images per model, no interactive media possible
- Requires your client to download lots of data (sometimes 100MB+)
- Can’t be changed after sent out when using WeTransfer
Use WeTransfer for free here: https://wetransfer.com/
4. Custom Website via Google Sites
A less obvious but quite powerful way to prepare model selections is by using Google Sites. Google Sites is a free service (for personal use) or included in the G Suite (for business use) that allows you to create a shareable website easily inside your browser.
Some casters use Google Sites to create custom websites for each model selection. The great thing about this is that you can use a variety of pre-built templates and simply drag&drop your model images. In a way, this is similar to creating a PDF presentation but a bit faster and more convenient for your client.
When you are done creating a site with all the model info you want to share, you can click on “publish” and create a sharable link to this Google Site, that you can send to your clients or colleagues via email.
- Highly customizable
- Can be changed after sent
- More modern and professional impression compared to the PDF presentation
- Still very time-consuming
- Requires a lot of manual work
- Costs 10,40€ per month for business use (G Suite)
- Requires consent of model agencies to use model images
Try out Google Sites: https://gsuite.google.com/products/sites/
5. Sharable Link via Modeling agency software
There are many model agency software providers on the market (to name a few: Mediaslide, Netwalk, CDS, Syngency, …) that specialize in creating software for model agencies. You can use this software to create model packages, same as agents create the packages that they are sending you. Aside from that, you can manage and create your own model board for future use.
This method is very professional and can be interesting for larger companies that are casting on a daily schedule. The big drawbacks are high costs (usually around 100€ per user per month) and that you need to get written consent from all agencies that you can use personal model data in your system to be GDPR compliant in Europe.
- Professional impression
- Built-in features to reuse packages in the future
- Collect feedback from clients possible
- Not made for casters but for agencies. Some features don’t exist or are unnecessary
- Most expensive option
- Takes a lot of time to set up once
- Lot of efforts to be GDPR compliant due to model data being stored externally without consent of agencies