Casting director of Avatar and American Gods – inspiration talk at KMW 2018!

6 August 2018, 15:00

Margery Simkin – casting director who worked with such directors as James Cameron, Terry Gilliam and Guillermo del Toro, as well as actors like Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Julia Roberts – will reveal her professional secrets and opportunities of international casting for Hollywood at KYIV MEDIA WEEK on September 17.

Casting director – a person behind the scenes, without whom the movie will not happen. Their task on the project is to find faces. Margery Simkin, in her more than thirty-year career, has discovered thousands of names, some of which have become truly iconic for the global film industry. 

For example, Ms. Simkin was responsible for casting of Top Gun (1986) by Tony Scott, a film that made Tom Cruise a star. And also for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) by Terry Gilliam, a cult adaptation of the book by Hunter S. Thompson with Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro playing lead roles.

The most famous project she worked on was James Cameron's Avatar (2009), which got three Oscars and became one of the highest grossing films in history. And now Margery Simkin is the casting director of the second, third and fourth parts of Avatar, being in production. 

Also among her projects there are biographical drama of Steven Soderbergh Erin Brockovich (2000), for the role in which Julia Roberts received the Oscar and Golden Globe as Best Actress. Another one is Richard LaGravenese's drama Freedom Writers (2007) with Hilary Swank, David Frenkel's family tragedy Marley & Me (2008) with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, science fiction film by Guillermo del Toro Pacific Rim (2013) with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba. 

In addition, Ms. Simkin was engaged in casting for many TV series, including two last year's hits – American Gods and Star Trek: Discovery.

‘Great is easy to see. The perfect match is easy to see. The bigger casting challenges are when things are very good but not exact. And then it’s a leap of faith to some extent. That’s what I do. I don’t know how actors act. It amazes me every day. And I don’t know how to tell you I know what I know. But I know when people come in a room, and do a scene, even if it’s not perfectly done, you can see the promise in there. That’s the art of what I do, is seeing that. We can see that. That’s my talent’, – says Margery Simkin.

In her speech at KMW 2018, organized with the support of Vancouver Film School, she will talk about developing a similar ‘X-ray vision’. And also Margery Simkin, the nominee of many awards in the field of cinema and theatre, casting director with a ton of experience working with leading filmmakers on projects of diverse directions, will share various professional secrets and will put special emphasis on questions and opportunities of international casting for Hollywood.

Inspiration talk by Margery Simkin will be held on the first day of KYIV MEDIA WEEK (September 17) from 16:10 to 17:00.

KYIV MEDIA WEEK will be held on September 17-21, 2018 in Hyatt Regency Kyiv (Kyiv, Ukraine). Register for the media forum here.

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Vancouver Film School is the leading Canadian school of postgraduate education in cinema, television and related fields. At the moment, it presents 13 directions for postgraduate studies in the most popular professions, including acting and scenario skills, film and television production, sound engineering, interactive and game design, etc. Among the graduates of the Vancouver Film School are many professionals who have succeeded in different fields of film and television. For example, the director of Clerks (1994) and Dogma (1999) Kevin Smith and director of District 9 (2009) Neill Blomkamp.