Durham Works - Casting Call

The City of Durham is now casting the role of host for our new unscripted short-form video series, Durham Works.

Take Durham residents behind the scenes of the City of Durham’s 25 departments and show them how the City’s more than 2,300 employees keep the Bull City charging forward as the host of the City of Durham’s new unscripted short-form video series, Durham Works. If you love Durham, being on camera, meeting new people, and trying new things – send us your video audition!

Host (role requirements)

Man or woman between the ages of 20-65
Durham city resident
English speaker
Able to stand, kneel, climb, run, crawl, and lift 10 lbs.

Auditions are being conducted through self-submitted video auditions. Scroll below for instructions or download the video audition instructions (PDF).

Audition Dates
Video Audition Period: October 30 - December 8
Video Audition Deadline: December 8
Callbacks: Dec 15 (specific time TBD)

Series Synopsis
Durham Works will go behind the scenes of the City of Durham’s 25 departments to explore all of the various ways City of Durham employees serve Durham residents. Each episode will be hosted by a Durham resident, who will partner with a City of Durham employee or team to work a city job for a day. The City employee(s) will teach the host and audience how to do a particular job and how that particular job benefits residents and the community.

Production Title - Durham Works
Number of Episodes - 6
Episode Length - 5 minutes
Shoot Length - 1 day per episode (6 days total)
Shoot Dates - Every 2 months throughout 2018 (specific dates TBD)
Shoot Location - Durham NC
Union/Non-Union - Non Union
Compensation - None
Producer/Director - Nathan L. Rittenhouse
Production Type - Government/Educational

If you have any questions, please email: publicaffairs@durhamnc.gov

Durham Works - Video Audition Instructions

General Guidelines
The cutoff for submitting video auditions is December 8. Video auditions submitted after December 8 will not be accepted.
• We only want to see you in your video audition not friends or family members.
• Stand in front of a plain, un-decorated wall. This will make it easier for us to see you on the video.
• Make sure to record your video audition with horizontal framing not vertical framing (see Framing Guide below)
• Make sure that you are well lit. We want to clearly see your face. The light should be in front of you not to the side, behind, or directly above you.
• Make sure there are no other sounds, noises, or music playing while you record your audition. We want to clearly hear you.
• Don’t handhold your cell phone camera or video camera. Set it on a counter, shelf, stack of books, or tripod.
• You must have your own personal email address and cell phone.

Auditionee Requirements
• Durham city resident
• English speaker
• Between the ages of 20-65
• Ability to stand, kneel, climb, run, crawl, and lift 10 lbs.

What Needs To Be in Your Video Audition
1.) Slate
2.) Mock Promo
3.) Washing Dishes Process

1.) Slate - Directions
• Clearly write your full name, birth date, email address, and phone number on an 11 x 8.5 sheet of white paper (see Slate Guide below)
• Frame yourself into a Close Up Shot for this section on your cell phone camera or video camera (see Framing Guide below)
• Hold the sheet of paper with your personal information in front of your face and read the information aloud
• Make sure the information is written and stated clearly. This is our only way of knowing who you are and how to contact you.

2.) Mock Promo - Directions
• Memorize the lines for the mock promo below
• Frame yourself into a Closeup Shot for this section on your cell phone camera or video camera (see Framing Guide below)
• Make sure to speak the lines. You might have great singing and rapping skills, but we only need to see your speaking skills.
• What we’re looking for: memorization ability, diction, and on-camera energy

Mock Promo Lines

Hi, my name is (state your full name). I’m a Durham resident and the host for the first season of the City of Durham’s new video series, Durham Works. In each episode of Durham Works, I’ll join one of the City of Durham’s 26 departments to work a city job for a day. I’ll explore the many surprising ways that the City of Durham’s employees serve city residents and learn what it takes to get a city job done right. I hope you’ll join me for my first day on the job on each episode of Durham Works right here on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and the Durham Television Network.

3.) Dish Washing Process - Directions
• Read over the Dish Washing Process below.
• Come up with ideas for acting out the process in a unique and entertaining way. This is the section where we want to see your comedy and improv skills shine. You can create additional steps, modify the existing steps, play a character, or be yourself. The only restrictions are you cannot use props or additional actors. We only want to see you in front of the camera. We can imagine the sink and dishes.
• The steps don’t need to be memorized
• Frame yourself into a Medium Shot for this section on your cell phone camera or video camera (see Framing Guide below)
• Your performance should be no longer than 3 minutes
• What we’re looking for: improv skills, comedy skills, on-camera presence

Dish Washing Process
1. Stack your dirty dishes next to the sink
2. Turn the faucet on and let the water get nice and hot
3. Once the water is hot, insert the drain stopper so that the sink fills up with water
4. Add dish soap to the running water
5. Turn off water when the sink is a 1/4th full of water
6. Place the dirty dishes into the sink
7. Scrub the dishes
8. Place the clean, wet dishes into a drying rack
9. Once all of the dishes are clean, dry them
10. Stack the dry dishes next to the sink

Submitting You Audition
• Pick out your favorite take for each of the three sections and edit them together into one video file.
• The file must be a .MOV or .MP4 file. (note: iPhones make .MOV’s by default)
• Name your video file using your full name, dash, City Jobs Audition followed by the year (ex. Jeff Doe - City Jobs Audition 2017)
• Go to wetransfer.com and use their free file transfer service to send your video to publicaffairs@durhamnc.gov
• Note: By submitting your video audition, you are agreeing to let the City of Durham use your video audition in all manner of media in perpetuity, to edit your performance at the City of Durham’s discretion, and to use your audition in any of the City of Durham’s future programing, promotional efforts, or internal communications.

What’s Next
• We will review all of the video auditions and pick the top 6 video auditions. The auditionees in those top 6 auditions will be invited to City Hall for callbacks on December 15.
• We will send out emails to all auditionees to inform them of their callback status on December 13.

Framing Guide
Slate Guide