These audition pieces are usually video taped, typically in the form of screen tests and then attached with resumes, as well as head shots and or viewed online via websites such as IMDb, then shared with film producers, film directors and or studio executives. Later stages may involve groups of actors both union, (SAG-AFTRA) and non union depending on the size and scope of the production, attempting to read material from the work under consideration, paired off in various combinations of two, three or more. With each of the actor's overall motivational choices evaluated, the casting panel considers both the individual actor, and the chemistry created from either one of the combinations set forth within the read-through, such as boy meets girl, etc.
Within the production of a prestigious work under consideration for film or television, and depending on the difficulty in finding a lead or supporting actor for the role, such as with the casting of the biopic films Notorious, Straight Outta Compton and All Eyez on Me, casting calls may go out into the general public at large, this is referred to as a Cattle Call (typical for community theater), to professional and semi-professional local actors where a similar process is followed (for supporting roles in theater and film) or for specifically selected actors (for leading roles, especially in films).
Casting character breakdowns, not to be confused with script breakdowns, are often provided by production agents who submit their clients to casting, which provides a brief summary of character (age, gender, race or ethnicity, situations they may be involved in). A more robust version of this painstaking task can be made through the Breakdown Services, which was founded by former actor Gary Marsh over 40 years ago. This was due to the difficult logistics issues for agents to get their actors submitted for acting roles from major film studios and casting directors.
This casting breakdown service provides a complete character breakdown of various scripts and projects from production companies for film, television, modeling, commercials etc., to only agencies and managers who meet certain criteria.