At Work With… Elle Hughes, Casting Director
The ‘At Work With…’ Interview Series is our way of bringing you behind-the-scenes with the people and businesses included in our Texas Production Directory (TPD). We want to showcase the creatives that cover all levels of production experience, backgrounds, and geographies around the state. This week’s spotlight is on Elle Hughes, Casting Director based in Houston and a Texan for 15 years.
What’s the most memorable experience on a project or production that you’ve had and what made it so special?
The most memorable experience on a production is working with an all-women crew, it was truly amazing. We bonded on mishaps that made it memorable for life, came together, and achieved the goal of building and making the film come to life.
What are the skills required to succeed in your specific area of expertise?
The skills required to succeed in casting are knowledge of acting talent, ability to stay up on the latest industry trends, good instinct to recognize talent, great communication, organization and negotiation skills.
Have you had an industry mentor or colleague that has made an impact on you or helped you along your career path? If so who, and how did they impact you?
My industry mentor would be Michael Drunk, he gave me an opportunity to learn and grow from him. He impacted me because I realized after working with him that there are many ways to try to find the talent that best fits what is needed.
What advice have you been given that continues to be helpful in your work?
Some advice that has been truly helpful is research! The industry has changed so much and there are so many platforms where you can discover new talent. Many people are creating their own content and just haven't been discovered. Developing a good memory, remembering people you've met, seen perform, and interacted with is another essential aspect of working as a casting director. Join groups and associations to continue to meet others in your field and to become certified.
In your industry, collaboration is the key to success. How do you best foster collaboration with your colleagues from project to project?
I have been very blessed to be able to collaborate with some super-talented professionals. One of my first casting jobs I helped break down the script and researched the clients' strengths in order to be able to submit them for the project. You must form strong connections in the industry. It's also important to keep in touch with those you meet.
What tools and supplies can’t you live without in your job and why?
I can't live without my cellphone and Mac Computer - it's so essential to what I need. I can do casting from anywhere, however without these tools it's not happening!
What are some of the projects made in Texas that you feel reflect the diverse culture of the state?
Some of the amazing projects filmed in Texas are Selena, Bonnie & Clyde, No Country for Old Men, & 1883 - I feel that these projects reflect a diverse culture for the great state of Texas.
Why do you choose the Lone Star State as a place to live and work?
I choose the Lone Star State to work because my job transferred me here, and ever since I've considered myself a "Texan" - too late to send me back!
Interview has been edited for brevity.
Texas has thousands of freelance individuals, companies and associations that serve the film, television, commercial, video game, animation & XR industries.
If you or your business are listed in the Texas Production Directory, we want to hear about your special skills, memorable experiences and more.