LEGENDS OF COMMERCIALS PRODUCTION: Casting Directors

BELINDA NORCLIFFE AND CLAUDIA LAYTON
Ages 28 and 31
Based at Layton & Norcliffe, London
Daily fees £600 per casting session, £300 for a day's street
casting

Career highlights Beating Gap to secure Gael Garcia Bernal, the star of Amores Perros, for the next Levi's spot. Layton and Norcliffe received all three nominations in the best casting category at last year's British Television Advertising Craft awards, for their work on Levi's "twist", Crunchy Nut Cornflakes' "bowl and the winner, Virgin Mobile.

Would you believe Layton personally approved every single one of the 5,000 people who appeared in Jake Scott's BT "stadium spot, which was shot in South Africa. For a Guinness commercial, Chris Palmer insisted on genuine strippers and perverts, which ended with Layton and Norcliffe being chased out of seedy Soho joints and questioned by the Police in their dedicated quest for the perfect pervert.

What people are saying "Every time we ask the impossible they seem to trawl the country in a different way. They have a lot of energy and they are very inventive and intelligent - they never tut and sigh when you change your mind, Vaughan Arnell, a director at Godman, says.

MELISSA MARTIN
Age "Young enough to have my finger on the pulse"
Based at Martin Casting, Studio City, California
Daily fee $850 per day

Career highlights Martin says: "Seeing someone walking down the street and knowing that two minutes later I'm going to help them make lots of money. Martin has worked with directors including Traktor, Joe Pytka, Michel Gondry, Kinka Usher, Joe Public and Dayton/Faris, for brands such as Coca-Cola, Snickers, Volvo, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Burger King and the "got milk campaign. Pop promo credits include Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Macy Gray and Aerosmith.

Would you believe Martin once cast an entire New Orleans small town parade while standing in a Native American Indian reservation in Monument Valley, Utah. Using her mobile phone, she gathered a cast of hundreds by calling the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, local high schools, clowns' agents and anyone else she could think of.

What people are saying "Our directors have very specific needs and she always finds the right people, Jim Bouvet, a producer at Traktor LA, says.

KAY PRICE
Age 38
Based at Kayos Casting, Capetown, South Africa
Daily fee starts at 10,000 rand per job

Career highlights Price has worked on a number of productions for Godman and RSA during her career, and also cast the Pringles 2000 "conga spot. Her personal career highlight was being chosen as a spokesperson for the South African casting industry by CNN.

Would you believe Price once got so involved in a client meeting that she failed to notice a torrential downpour raging outside. When the meeting finished, she opened the studio doors to find a team of Metro Rescue Service frogmen in a rescue boat floating outside her reception door.

What people are saying According to Debbie Cornell, the founder of Rocket Films Africa, Price is a unique talent in the casting world. "Kay interprets a director's brief in a way that no other casting director I've ever known does. She delivers talent of incredible quality and finds people that even us South Africans didn't know existed in our own country, Cornell comments.

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