Al Dorsey: seeking actors to film a series!
Al Dorsey is the first large-scale series to be made in Tahiti. Inspired by detective novels by Patrice Guirao depicting investigations by detective Al Dorsey. The filming is anticipated in Tahiti from May to July 2016. Exclusive to FIFO, a public pre-casting will take place at the production team stand for the series. Although better to register on the series website before coming, it will be open to everyone from 10am to 7pm.
‘Do you think you are competent enough to play the main character?’ asks Claire Schowb, casting director of the Polynesian series Al Dorsey. Sitting behind her makeshift desk, with a cigarette in her hand, the other tapping on the computer keyboard, Claire tries out her hopeful. 38-year old Jean-Louis is at the pre-casting this morning to play the main role, detective Al Dorsey. His last performance in front of the camera goes back to when the film Le prince du Pacifique was made, released in cinemas in 2000. ‘To be honest I have a few doubts about the role of Dorsey, as you haven’t acted for a long time. Would you like a less tough role?’ But, the participant remains determined. He wants to give it a go. ‘And then if I’m rubbish, never mind!’ he jokes.
A great opportunity
Since setting up the pre-casting stand at the FIFO village, sixty or so hopefuls have passed through Claire Schwob’s office. Profile: people between 25 and 70 years old, Polynesian, mixed race, or French. ‘What we are really lacking is Chinese people! We therefore invite the Chinese community to come and see us!’ emphasises the casting director who has transformed the stand. The private detective’s office has been perfectly set up in this makeshift container. It’s a way of giving the candidate an immediate impression of the atmosphere of the series. The first season is an adaptation of the first two detective novels by the writer Patrice Guirao: Crois-le and Lyao-Ly. It will be presented over six episodes of 52 min. A first for the fenua… ‘There aren’t many opportunities like this. We have to take advantage of it!’ enthuses a young candidate Olivia. The pretty 16-year old secondary school pupil knows that there is no chance of a main role as there aren’t any characters that correspond with her profile. But she still wants to participate in the series. ‘Because of this, I suggest being an extra. Is that OK?’ questions Claire. Olivia agrees, she doesn’t want to miss an opportunity to act. ‘I’d love to be involved!’ She is moreover delighted to strike a pose for the photos.
‘You have to throw yourself into the character’
Claire’s right hand man, Jérémy, is in charge of taking photos, face on and then the profile, of all the hopefuls at the pre-casting. ‘OK, so can you act like a surly guy?’ he asks Daniel. The septuagenarian would like to act the priest in the series, a role that could suit him perfectly. ‘It’s one of the only characters that has my age. Also, he’s a bit nutty and rebellious like me!’ jokes the man with quite a rock ’n’ roll look, a bit like Eddy Mitchell. Daniel acted for the last time sixteen years ago, at the time of the film Le prince du Pacifique. He therefore knows that it will not be easy to act again after so many years without practice. ‘I’ll give you this sequence. You work on it until Sunday OK? You have to learn the text, not read it.’ Like all the hopefuls at the pre-casting, in addition to the sheet to fill in with their personal information, Claire Schwob hands out a section of the script to each of them according to the role allocated – a sequence that they will have to act on Sunday in front of the cameras. ‘The casting will in effect take place then. That’s why we ask candidates to throw themselves into the character. We want to see if they can act and if they are relaxed in front of the camera.’
For those who want to register for the pre-casting, there is still enough time to do so on the series website (http://al-dorsey-la-serie.com/). For candidates who have already been selected, all that remains is to get to work!