Hiring a casting director isn’t as expensive as you might think. There are a range of CDs who work on different projects and charge fees based on a sliding scale. Most every production can afford it, and I think most productions can’t afford not to. A casting director connects you with the best actors available for the size and scope of your production. A casting director can also help you reach out to agents who represent talent who may be out of reach otherwise.
A casting director also takes a tremendous amount of work off your plate: CDs make all the phone calls to set up auditions, email scripts and post sides, and set up audition appointments. It’s a CDs job to know the talent that is out there. A good CD is constantly going to plays readings, and workshops as well as watching as much film and TV as he/she can. Also, we sit in auditions all day, and we’re always making notes. Every director will tell you that casting is 75%-95% of directing so why not bring in a professional to make sure you are putting together the best cast possible?
Also, the CD serves as mediator between the production and the actor or agent when it comes to contract negotiations. Most directors and producers are inexperienced in that field and the assistance of a CD can make sure that both sides come out with what they want.