Indian Cinema has completed over 100 Golden years in the History, since 1913. In all those memorable years, there was always a rapid transition in filmmaking. Now everything is digitized and computerised. Back then, everything was manually done. You would be shocked to know, there were no acoustic studios in the 1930s and the mostly music was recorded live with every seen. Indian fans have seen Cinema turning to an Industry in 1997. Now Cinema is more corporate Industry rather than just an artistic thing.
You might not see another K.Asif ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ (1960) or Bimal Roy’s ‘Devdas‘ (1955) in 21st Century. Another important term in Cinema is Casting or Auditioning. If you think Film auditions became a prominent thing only after the 90s then you are truly wrong. Because we got a hold of audition pictures of 1951, that will make you think twice about the Casting aspect back then in the 50s.
Earlier there were, rumours that it was a casting couch pictures, which might exist in the bygone era but this is an actual casting picture. Back then in 1951, famous Director A R Kardar has organised a screen test for casting of new girls for his movie. You might not know him well but he is known for his path-breaking films like ‘Dulari’ (1949), ‘Dillagi’ (1949) and ‘Dil Diya Dard Liya’ (1966).
The Old casting pictures were taken by a photographer from Life Magazine, which was the only popular English magazine during those days. You might find some adorable photographs of Madhubala posing for a Life Magazine.
Actually, the casting was there in the olden days too but it was not being given so much importance. As the director and producers were only concerned about the perfect casting of their main leads. Interestingly, Before the 1990s, the casting was done by directors and there were no separate department of casting as we see in today’s time. In the film scroll lines, there we no mention of casting team either. Mira Nair’s 1988 film ‘Salaam Bombay’ is one of those rare films which started the casting credit in Indian films. As the film was a hit because of its effective casting is done by Hassan Kutty.
In most of Anurag Kashyap films, you will find casting credit appears much before than other credits in the movie reel.
Anyways, there has been a lot of change has happened in casting in last 20 years. Now, films are more realistic and even their characters demand a realistic touch. So here a big role played by casting directors. Every month, there are thousands of people coming to Mumbai with a dream to be an actor, but they forget the simple fact that without acting you are not fit for a long run. Though, there is discrepancy still exist in casting but talent will someday take you to the top.
Now, mostly the requirement is more of like a slim chiselled boy needed with a 6 pack abs or a lady with a white skin tone, over 5.7 height for a lead role. Well, the completion to get into the frame is really a difficult one as the casting director mostly prefers the one, who ready to pay more than the others.
So in Today’s world making into a films or serials with a lead role is more of like an impossible job.