Now Casting Takes Over Academy Players Directory After 70-year Run
July 14, 2006 - The Academy Players Directory, known throughout the entertainment industry as the “casting bible,” will be taken over next week by Now Casting, Inc., and after nearly 70 years as an Academy publication, will be known as simply the Players Directory.
Keith W. Gonzales, editor of the Players Directory for the past ten years, will continue in this capacity for Now Casting and will take with him some of the current Players Directory staff. The remaining staff will be absorbed into other positions at the Academy or will move on to other endeavors. Now Casting will continue to publish the printed version of the Players Directory, but also will provide increasingly sophisticated online products to actors subscribing to the service.
“It feels strange for us to divest ourselves of a function that the Academy has performed for nearly as long as the organization has been in existence,” said Academy President Sid Ganis. “For almost all of that time we were the only ones providing that particular service. One side effect of the increased influence of technology in the casting process is that a number of for-profit entities have entered the field in recent years. The Board just wasn’t comfortable with the idea that the Academy, a not-for-profit, was in essence competing with those companies.”
The Academy Players Directory and Now Casting have been associated since April 2005 in a program that enabled PD subscribers to post demonstration reels with online profiles on the Now Casting Web site.
“It’s been a privilege to work with the Academy over the past 15 months,” said Bob Stewart, CEO of Now Casting. “And while we will miss that partnership, everyone at Now Casting is completely committed to maintaining the quality of service that users of the Academy Players Directory have come to expect and to doing justice to the industry-wide respect the publication has earned over its decades of existence. We’ll be even more focused on bringing to all of our clients and members the best possible technological tools to maximize their exposure in the casting world.”
First printed in January 1937, the Academy Players Directory is the industry’s oldest and best-known casting directory. The first issue was a 248-page publication listing 1,257 players, including Mae West, James Stewart, Gene Autry, Bette Davis, Mary Astor and Gary Cooper. The most recent issue includes thousands of listings, among them many of today’s best-known actors. For the past four years, the Players Directory has been located at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood.
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