Beth Melsky and Envision

At a Glance

  • Provides talent casting opportunities across the globe
  • Superior picture and sound quality
  • Real people casting for advertising and reality TV businesses
  • Ability to see 40-50 people an hour without travel costs

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Casting From Asia to San Francisco

One of the more enduring images of the fabled world of Hollywood is the casting couch. It also happens to be a throwback to a past era. Today, everything has changed!

Beth Melsky, owner and casting director of Beth Melsky Casting and Envision Studios, has melded her decades of experience to new technologies and broken casting free from the boundaries of New York and Los Angeles. Collaborative solutions are changing the way talent is discovered across the globe.

"I opened up Envision because it was a way to connect different cities and help my casting business," explains Melsky. "By having the technical business, I was able to cast in New York and see actors from other cities and have directors see actors from other cities and it enabled me to have two businesses that create more work for everybody."

Envision Studios also opened up a new, unexpected market for Melsky. "In California, I have video conference boxes in four of my competitors out there. Because they would rather have Envision run the lines than to have to start a secondary business."

As the outlets for acting have increased, so has the need to spread a wider net for talent. Melsky has tapped into this, casting actors as well as real people who show the audience exactly who they are.

Real people casting becomes increasingly important for clients like Swiffer, who want to feature real people using their products in commercials. "We want to go out and find a family who may have kids, dogs, and a garden. Their floors may not be in good shape and they don"t really know how to clean them," says Melsky. "We introduce a product and teach them how to use it. The Swiffer Spot commercials on air all feature real people."

Sounds easy enough, but it wouldn"t have been possible without video conferencing. "I send people to small facilities in little towns and we can tape and direct anybody," says Melsky. "I don"t think we would be doing as much real people casting if we didn"t have video conference."

The superior sound and picture quality regardless of distance are game changers for directors and casting agents, observes Tyler McGuire, manager at Envision Studios. "To me, distance is irrelevant. We want to make it easier for people to connect, not just from L.A. to New York, but from Calgary to South Africa, from Asia all the way to San Francisco."

For those at the other end of the video, collaborative solutions open up new possibilities and opportunities. "I love videoconferencing because this business is a numbers game. People wherever can see me here in New York as naturally as being in the room with me," says actor Jonathan Sale. "It"s all added benefit, all upside."