“An artist is everything in any piece of entertainment. Yes, directors make them perform but a genuinely talented artist is noticed even amidst bad directors. They make or break a show. I wish we had a search engine like Google that instantly and accurately shows me specific performing artists, across the country or even the world! ” said Sonia to her friend Vishwas during one of their coffee conversations.
Sonia, a filmmaker, faces this problem on an everyday basis and like her, many casting directors, producers, event managers go through the same difficulty.
“Why, aren’t there agencies and casting people who help you to find the right artist? What’s wrong with those traditional casting methods?” quipped Vishwas.
“Well, consider this. With the range of schedules, timelines that are always back-dated, and budgets that are often being bargained till the last minute… how do I find a character artist in Gangtok, a stuntman in Cochin or an anchor in Lucknow within my timeline and budget? Plus I am someone who is very particular about the kind of artist I want. But we get that typical response from these casting agencies: ‘Madam, this person is the best possible at the moment. Please make do with him!’ How do I reach out to those artists who are not on their referral radars or on talent lists of casting directors? How do we reach out this to talent pool which still remains untapped?” replies Sonia.
And that’s how a casual conversation between two friends translated into a brainstorming session between the two soon-to-be founders of Match [My] Talent dot com – Sonia Swaroop Choksi and Vishwas Daswani. What started as words being exchanged over a cup of coffee has today graduated into India’s first exclusive search engine to find performing artists in the entertainment industry! Match [My] Talent has moved from being just an abstract idea to an actual usable internet product: a dream that Sonia and Vishwas together cherish!
Performing artists on Match [My] Talent, or MMT, find an exclusive online space to highlight their talent. Each artist who registers creates his own Match [My] Talent Profile Page after providing extensive yet specific details according to their talent-type. Every newly registered artist receives a confirmation call from the MMT team in which their profile details are verified and they are informed about the best use of the website for their benefit.
The journey so far has taken a lot of introspection, discussions, arguments and a hell lot of caffeine, ensuring that we get the need right. Ensuring that only genuine profiles exist on the site was a critical need and for that, intensive research led to the making of exhaustive filters and several other structures. The search engine is in the last phase of development and will be available in the next upgraded version of the website.
Overcoming the initial hesitations of artists and producers as well as enrolling them with the immense possibilities of the web as a global casting platform has been a herculean task for Team MMT. Hopefully though it will be hugely rewarding once the search engine becomes a household name for entertainers.
“We are committed to reaching out to performing artists from every nook and corner of the country, to make regional, rare, specific talent be available to any employer looking out for them from anywhere on the globe, at any hour of the day, with even a limited budget!”, says Sonia. “The actual reward will be repeat customers – producers and all other employers coming back to it again and again”, adds Vishwas.
The duo envisions MMT being used by performing artists and producers globally, and for it to become a reliable method of casting. This is the ultimate goal for Match [My] Talent that Sonia and Vishwas aspire for.