Martin Gibbons: Life as a Casting Director

It’s Monday afternoon and we’re joined in the PHA studio by Casting Director Martin Gibbons to find out all about how he became a casting director and why he never followed his dream of becoming a footballer.
  1. Martin it’s so great to have you back in the studio again. We’ve been wanting to ask for a while how exactly did you become a casting director?

It all spanned from setting up my own theatre company back in 2003 called Monkeywood where I gained experience casting for theatre. At the time I was an actor working for a telecoms company before I was made redundant. My next step came when I landed the job as a casting assistant working at Emma Stafford Casting. I learnt so much in my 5 years there before eventually setting up on my own.

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  1. What’s your history both in acting & casting?

I’ve been acting ever since I was 12, my first ever role was the back end of a donkey in a pantomime, thrilling I know. My mum and dad used to put on amateur shows which I’d sell programmes at so I’ve spent my whole life around actors. I didn’t grow up wanting to be an actor, I wanted to be a footballer and even went to University to study Sports Science. I still did lots of acting on the side before setting up Monkeywood.

  1. Which casting are you most proud of?

Hands down it has to be Chris Morris’ film Four Lions, it was incredible to be a part of. I’m also really proud of the work I did casting for the BBC Short film ‘Sleeping Lions’ which won awards. Funnily enough we cast that in this very studio. One of the recent things I cast for which I’m really proud of has to be the commercial for ‘This Girl Can’ which also won awards.

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  1. What’s the worst thing you’ve experienced go wrong in a casting?

I was casting for a Hovis Farmer’s commercial, it was a group casting of 4 and the idea was for them to run towards the camera before jumping over a tiny fence. We filmed it in a car park in Chorlton where one guy ended up falling and tore his leg open, there was blood everywhere.

  1. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve been asked to do in a casting?

I could write a whole book! The strangest one though would have to be when I had to propose to a man to get their reaction on camera. One guy didn’t take it too well.

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  1. What are your plans for Martin Gibbons casting moving forward?

Well, things are getting busier which is obviously great. I’m blessed enough to say that I love my job so I intend on growing even further. I feel a real sense of achievement with every job that I take on so continuing with that will be a success.

  1. We hear you also do a bit of directing from time to time, are you working on anything at the minute?

I’m currently directing ‘Just Sayin’ as part of JB Shorts in November which is very exciting for me. I’ve also got some great things lines up for next year as I’ll be directing ‘The Manchester Project’ at HOME Theatre as part of the Push Season in January and ‘Witch’ with Bolton Octagon in May.

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  1. Any advice for an aspiring actor coming to cast with you?

The main thing I see from actors is that they have it in their heads that we are here to trick them or catch them out. Trust me we want you to brilliant so go into every casting with the confidence that you’re here because we believe in you.

  1. What sets you apart from other casting directors?

Ooh that’s a good question. I get told quite a lot that I make people feel comfortable and relaxed in a room and because I direct as well I’m able to give good direction to get the most out of a person.

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  1. What is it you like most about casting at PHA?

There’s a whole host of reasons I love casting here. The studio space is huge which makes it perfect for a big casting. I’ve done all sorts here, football, dance, running you name it! The staff are also amazing and very welcoming which makes me feel right at home every time I return.

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View the Commercial for This Girl Can here. 

Team PHA x

PHA MODELS: Suave & Sophisticated with Spencer Austin

Take a look at Spencer Austin in his latest shots!

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We can’t help but feel all cosy and ready for the winter season as Spencer shows us how to rock the jumper look!

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You can view Spencer’s full profile here. 

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For bookings and enquiries please contact: lauren@pha-agency.co.uk

#TeamPHA

 

PHA mainboard for Total Fitness #bodygoals

Great work from four of our models: Eli, Katie, Leah and Tom for Total Fitness Gyms the other week.

Take a scroll below for our favourite shots from this lovely little fitness campaign.

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Eli and Katie.

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Tom K.

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Leah B.

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Keep your eyes peeled for more fitness shots around Total Fitness.

Great work guys!

PHA models x

Craig Devlin with Grace B

Main board Grace B looks incredible in her latest shots by Craig Devlin.

For bookings and enquiries regarding grace please email: models@pha-agency.co.uk

Scroll down for more.

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You can view Grace’s full profile here.

View more of Craig Devlin’s photography here. 

Great work guys x

PHA Families: Lunar Caravans 2018 #betogether

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We’re really proud about this project with Wash Design for Lunar Caravans here at the agency.

Starring our very own talent and mini talent: Lee White, Gina Whitaker, Tayla-Daisy Hoyle and Dewey Wright.

Scroll down to view the promotional film in full:

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We’d love to hear your thoughts on this online commercial, feel free to Tweet us @phamodels with the hashtag #betogether

Click here to view the video live on the Lunar Caravans website.

You can also click here to follow Wash Design on Twitter.

Great work guys!

PHA x

Rob Walker photo with Lily France!

DREAM TEAM COLLABORATION: Our girl Lily France is serious goals in these latest shots by Rob Walker. Make-up by our very own PHA Creative Asteria Luxe.

Check out below for more shots of Lily photographed around Manchester this weekend.

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You can view Robs work here and PHA creative Asteria Luxe’s work here.

Finally, click here to view Lily’s full portfolio.