CastNet is used by more than 240 film and TV casting directors

By Patrizia DiLucchio
Updated October 16, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Goodbye casting couch; hello modem. More than 240 film and TV casting directors are using the online service CastNet ( to point and click their way through head shots, resumes, and audio-video demos of 35,000-plus thespic hopefuls. The site’s talent comes via agents (who get to post their client rosters free of charge) and trade ads, with more than 10,000 unknowns willing to pony up $150 a year for a basic head shot (video and audio cost extra).

So far, success stories mostly concern TV ads and series — like the time The X-Files’ producers turned to CastNet to fill three bit parts in an upcoming episode. But not every casting pro is sold on this new definition of cybercasting. ”What time-saving?” asks Holly Powell, who works at the agency that cast Maggie Winters and To Have & to Hold. ”Even if I used CastNet, I would still need to preread an actor before I brought them in to see my producer.” Former Universal Pictures prexy Thom Mount, the CEO of CastNet’s parent company, is unfazed: ”The volume and speed elements make this a perfect fit. Younger professionals take to it as though they were playing a videogame.”