But, filing paper work for ultra-indie projects 4-6 weeks before shooting sounds, well, like a little too much unnecessary work for ultra-low budget DIY projects, so, for many indie filmmakers - the casting process goes a little like this:
1 - ask your filmmaker friends for actor recommendations - try to find the actors needed,
2 - hold an audition or several for non-SAG actors - try to find the actors needed,
3 - use non-actor friends & acquaintances - try to find the actors needed.
Those are fine ways to go, and I'll probably (actually already have a bit) use all 3 methods to find actors for my next fiction feature, BUT, for filmmakers & actors who are not "connected" to various small indie filmmaking networks or do not live in areas that have a lot of filmmakers & actors, I wonder if - A) there are other websites, etc. that connect indie filmmakers with reliable & skilled non-SAG actors & also connects actors with reliable filmmakers, and B) if such a site or sites do not exist, if we (interested people) should create one or several.
I don't have anything against SAG or SAG Indie, but it seems like those institutions were set up for Hollywood & indiewood needs, not the current age where high quality feature films can be made for a very low budget, I mean really, really, couldn't even imagine in the 16 MM indie days low budgets (Quiet City, Medicine for Melancholy, both recent comedies by the Duplass bros. - etc.). Also, really, dealing with SAG is or feels like dealing with Hollywood - the down side being layers & layers of rules & regulations & high cost, also there's an incompatibility in available resources between the two parties (indie filmmaker vs. SAG), making truly just negotiations difficult or impossible* - maybe I just want to find some good actors for my ultra-low budget DV feature & not have to spend hours & hours & hours reading up SAG regulations (although, I am cool with doing that if I absolutely have to at some point) and then worrying about if I am following them in the months & years ahead that are involved in a feature.
Maybe something like a website for indie bands looking for musicians? I guess Facebook, MySpace, Craigslist, etc. could be where such connections can be & are made.
Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions on places where reliable indie filmmakers (people who will eventually get the films completed, even if it takes a long time so that the time put in & work done by actors in not wasted) & reliable non-SAG actors (people who will show up for rehearsals, shoots, & are skilled at what they do or approach the acting work with a fair degree of professionalism) can find one another, leave the URLs & links in Comments. Thanks!
*re: incompatibility in resources: if an indie filmmaker has to, he or she probably could raise a couple of thousand dollars for a lawyer for a complex/very important legal matter, however, an entity such as SAG or any other Hollywood level organization would have access to several times that much in legal resources & thus could make life difficult for the indie filmmaker if there is a significant disagreement between the two parties. so, i think it is a good idea to try to do business with others who are pretty much in the same boat as you are - fellow artists really - instead of large organizations or corporations, so that neither party is able to intimidate the other into getting their way. i have heard horror stories from indie filmmakers about dealing with "indie" distributors & chain stores - with the indie filmmakers ultimately losing out because he or she can't or is not willing to waste time & money battling their former business partners who have far deeper pockets & more personnel to use in trying to get what they want done.