Our cast reminds us of our own family. They are familiar, uncomplicated archetypes. They’re idiosyncratic and occasionally idiotic. I imagine the parents are in their early 40’s with kids old enough to look after themselves but don’t really. They are parents who look like parents. They’re bloodline heroes: when it comes time to getting friends together, they make sure it’s a day to remember. I like the idea of using a mixed-race family. That’s my reality, and it was great to see how you’ve used mixed families in a couple of your previous commercials.
We want actors who are comfortable together, that look alike and can naturally improvise the nuanced, familiar chaos of a family that’ used to being in motion as a unit. It’s a bit messy. People interrupt and talk over each other. I suggest we pursue two avenues – a real family and also one which we cast traditionally. We should also look for actors with extended families. I’ve had great results this way.
Of course, it’s difficult to replicate the dynamics of a real family. And in my view, we shouldn’t be too married to the specs. If we find a family we love, we can adjust the brief (i.e., brother/sister Uncle/Aunt etc.).
If we end up with actors, I will guide them through rapport-building exercises. One approach that’s worked well in the past is to have them do something together like visit a park or have dinner. It’s amazing how they relax and settle into their roles this way and makes it easier to foster a family dynamic in a compressed time frame.