Using Breakdown Express

for Casting Directors
Revised: March 20, 2015
GETTING STARTED ..................................................2
REVIEWING SUBMISSIONS .....................................4
CREATING AUDITIONS ............................................8
View Current and View Unfinished Pages ...... 17
USING CMAIL........................................................ 18
Viewing messages & replies ........................... 19
Moving and deleting messages ...................... 21
Getting notifications....................................... 22
To multiple actors........................................... 23
To a single actor ............................................. 25
CONTACT US......................................................... 27
Getting Started
Welcome to Breakdown Express--the website that connects casting directors
to agents and their clients, simplifying and streamlining the casting process.
With these pages as your guide, you can use Breakdown Express to review
your submissions, select and schedule actors for auditions, and learn how you
use your cMail.
Log in to Breakdown
Start by logging in to
Your login name and password are supplied by Breakdown Services. If you
can’t remember one or the other, click Forgot your password? on the sign-in
screen, or give us a call.
Los Angeles
New York
(310) 276-9166
(212) 869-2003
(604) 943-7100
(312) 860-1164
Preferences Page
Your Preferences Page is located under the Tools drop-down menu.
Currently, this page contains only a few customizable options. But over time
new features and options for how you use Breakdown Express will be added
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Scheduling Change
When this box is checked you will be sent an email notifying you when an
actor or their representative has requested a time change for a schedule you
sent out. This is turned on by default, so if you do not wish to receive those
emails, uncheck this box.
Scrollable Schedule
When this box is checked, the “Working Schedule” and “Available Talent”
columns on your “Review Schedule” page (see page 15) will be contained
within two independent scrollable panes. Uncheck this to view that screen in
one scrollable window. In other words, both columns will scroll together.
Eco Cast External Link
By default, the Eco Cast presentations that you send to your producer,
director or client will show the actors by role. If you check this box, they will
instead be sorted by “group”.
For more information on Eco Cast, please see the tutorial titled Using Eco
Cast for Casting Directors.
Click here to save your changes to the above preferences.
Change Password
Using Breakdown Express
Enter your current password, then enter a new password twice, and click
to change the password you use to log into Breakdown Express.
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Reviewing Submissions
Select a project
When you first log in, the list of your current projects is displayed.
Click on the title of a project to open the main submissions page. You can see
all the roles for this project and the number of submissions you have received
for each role.
Note: If the project you have posted is classified as a “Memo”, you
will only be able to view it and print it as there are no digital
submissions associated with Memos.
The columns of numbers organize submissions into those you’ve viewed,
selected, and scheduled. These numbers update automatically as you make
your selections, schedule auditions, and so on.
Review submissions
To review the submissions you haven’t seen yet, click on the number in the
Unviewed column for a role.
The page that appears shows a grid of actor’s photos; click on any photo to
enlarge it. Click any of these icons for more details:
Using Breakdown Express
Click here to view the actor’s resume. (If the
resume is scanned, click Download Scanned
Click here to view any additional photos.
Click here, if available, to view the actor’s
SlateShot. A SlateShot is a 7-second video that
plays back directly over their picture, allowing
them to slate their name and show how they
look on camera.
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Click here to view any available video or audio
clips. Click expand view to watch the video in a
larger player.
You can also click the actor's name to view their "one-page resume" which
contains their pictures, resume and videos all on one screen.
Note: To see other submissions categories for this role, click one of
the options at the top of the page.
Click this envelope icon to mark this actor as someone you want to send a
cMail message to. See page 23 for more information on using the cMail
Message Queue.
This icon indicates that this actor has been scheduled for an audition time.
Hover your mouse over it to see the day and time they are scheduled for and
click the icon to jump straight to that schedule.
Submitter Details
Click this icon to quickly view the name of the specific agent who submitted
this actor, and their phone number and email if it is available.
Change Role
This tool allows you to move an actor to another role if you feel they are
better suited in a different one. Just choose the new role from the dropdown menu and they will be marked as a select in the new role.
The drop-down menu will always indicate the role this actor was originally
submitted for with an asterisk (*).
Using Breakdown Express
No matter what group of submissions you are viewing (unviewed, viewed,
selected, scheduled, or not scheduled), the grayish-blue box at the top of the
page allows you to filter your submissions by a variety of options.
Zip Code Radius
Chose a mile radius and enter a US Zip Code or
Canadian Postal Code. Your submissions will be
filtered by that geographic radius allowing you
to view submissions from only a specific area.
Select Numbers
When viewing “Selected” submissions only, you
have the option to uncheck certain select
numbers to not display those selected
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Margin notes
Type in an actor’s name to quickly find them.
Group Results by
When viewing “Selected” submissions only, you
may check this box to have your selects
grouped by number, but sorted how you choose
within that group. (i.e. all 1’s, followed by all
2’s, etc.)
Change the order that the submissions display.
The default is Random, but you can also sort
Alphabetically by last name or by Submission
Check the box to filter out submissions that did
not include Performance Videos.
Filter by Agency
Choose an Agency or Management Company
from the drop-down list to view submissions for
this role from only that company.
Click this icon to view, edit, or add private notes about this actor.
If the icon is gray, than you have no notes on that actor yet. If it is orange,
than you have saved notes there.
Click Add Date if you want to include a date stamp. When you’re finished,
click Save Changes.
These notes will be saved with the actor and available to you every time they
submit to one of your projects.
Select actors
Below each picture are buttons numbered 1 through 6. You can use these
numbers to prioritize your selections.
Click a number to select the actor. You can use these numbers any way you
like, but you must choose one for each actor you want to consider.
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Select All Unviewed
While viewing your “Unviewed” submissions, click the link Select All
Unviewed Submissions to quickly mark everyone as a specific select number.
Schedule Selected
When viewing “Not Scheduled” submissions, click this link to jump right to
the new schedule creation screen (page 8) with this role pre-selected.
Mark viewed
When you finish selecting actors on a page of submissions, click Mark These
Actors Viewed at the bottom of the screen. The next page of actors opens.
After viewing all of your submissions, or at any time in this process, click the
project title in the top left corner to return to the main submissions page.
Repeat the last 3 steps for each role in your project.
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Creating Audition Schedules
When you have made your selections, it’s time to schedule them into a
casting session.
On the main submissions page, open the Schedules menu and select Create
Select a Casting Day
First, choose the day of your audition from the date picker or type it in.
Then, enter the start and end times for your audition day. If you leave the
end time blank, the day will end when all selected actors are scheduled.
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Create a Time Slot
Leave the Room as “Room 1” unless you need to overlap this casting session
with an already existing one. Actors will not see the room number you
Then, choose how you want to schedule your actors. Depending on what you
select, the next choices will change. To see an example of each method, click
icon next to that option.
Randomly from selected
This option will randomize all selects for the roles you choose and place them
in available time slots.
Enter in the number of talent you want in each time slot and the length of
each time slot. Could be 1 actor every 10 minutes or 3 every 15 for example.
Then check off the role(s) and select number(s) you want to be automatically
populated. The numbers on the right will change to indicate how many of
each role will be given times.
Read Together
(Multiple Roles)
This option will allow you to put more than one role into each time slot in
order to have characters read together in the audition. For example, you
could have 1 Mom, 1 Dad, and 1 Kid in each time slot to be able to audition
them as a family.
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Enter in the number of talent you want of each role in each time slot and the
length of each time slot.
Then check off the roles and select number(s) you want to be automatically
populated. The numbers on the right will change to indicate how many of
each role will be given times.
Grouped by selected
role(s) throughout the
This option lets you set up blocks of time for separate roles and insert
arbitrary breaks into your schedule.
Enter the number of talent you want in each time slot and the length of each
time slot. Then check off the roles you want included. You will be able to
restrict each role by select number on the next screen. Then click Continue.
You are not given a number of additional options to arrange this schedule
how you would like it. Each role is given a block of time sufficient to see all
the actors you have selected for that role. When you run out of time in the
day, each role that follows will be indicated as “Role will not fit”.
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Change Role
Use this four-way arrow icon to drag the roles
into a different order
Add Break
Drag the “Add Break” icon from the top left into
any spot in the order of roles to add a 1 hr long
break. You can then expand out the options for
the break to make it longer or shorter.
Start Time
Each role’s start time is listed. This is
determined exclusively by the end time of the
previous role
End Time
The end time for each role is listed. This is
dynamic and will change when you change
criteria for that role such as number of talent
per time slot and which select numbers to
include. You can also manually set an end time
for each role.
Edit role
Click the triangle on the left of each role or
break to expand out the customization options.
Here you can uncheck certain select numbers,
change the number of talent to schedule into
each time slot, or manually assign an end time
for this role. Click Update Schedule to have
your changed be reflected.
Note: At this point, no actors have yet been scheduled. This simply
gives you a representation of how the day will be arranged so
you can adjust it as needed before actually assigning times to
specific actors.
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None (will create a
blank schedule)
When creating a Blank Schedule, the system will not assign times to anyone,
allowing you to do so yourself. So it is not necessary to choose roles or
number of talent per time slot.
Simply enter the length of time you want each time slot to be.
Once you have entered all of your criteria for the session, click Create
Today’s Schedule
Breakdown Express now displays a summary of all casting sessions you have
created for that day. You can print out the day’s schedule, delete a time slot,
and perform several other tasks on this page.
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Click the Modify/Tools button under your session to access a variety of
features to modify that session.
Click here to add a second role to the existing
session. Actors will be added simultaneously
into the existing groups, allowing you to set up
reading partners between multiple roles.
Click here to remove this session. This cannot
be done after you have sent the schedule.
Move Schedule
Enter in a new date, start time and/or room and
click Save New Date / Time to move the entire
session. If you had already notified the actors
of that session you will need to send the
schedule again.
Add Time Slots
Choose a new start or end time from the dropdown menu to add groups on the front or end
of the existing session. Then click Add Time.
Click Review Schedule to view your working schedule and make sure
everything is how you want it.
Once you have the schedule arranged the way you would like it:
1. Click Send Schedule.
2. When the cMail form appears, fill in any relevant information. Be
sure to include the audition location address.
3. Check the box to Allow Notes from Recipients to allow the actors and
reps to send back notes when they confirm the audition. No matter
what you choose, they will always be required to send notes when
they decline or request time changes.
4. When you’re ready, click Send Message.
Agents and Managers will receive a schedule for their clients only. They do
not have access to the entire schedule.
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Print today’s schedule
To print your schedule/session sheet:
1. Click Print Today’s Schedule. Breakdown opens a preview window
ready to print.
2. Use the options on the top right to customize how the schedule
displays. The default display is by time (merging all rooms or sessions
onto one list), click Display by session to break up sessions with
header bars.
Also, check off Show Previously Scheduled to include a section at the
bottom of the report displaying the actors who could not make the
audition with the notes as to why.
3. If some talent reps have confirmed their clients by phone or another
non-Breakdown Services method, you can click the checkbox next to
each actor’s name, and then click Confirm Checked Actors.
4. Click the Print Schedule link to send the schedule to your local printer.
You can also export this schedule into an editable form so you can
customize it further by clicking Export to Spreadsheet (the actors'
photos will not export but the rest of the data will).
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Reviewing your Session
Click Review Schedule to see the following.
Working Schedule
The left hand column displays the current schedule with actor’s names, roles,
and time slots.
Available Talent
The right hand column displays anyone you had selected for that role who
hasn’t yet been scheduled.
Use the filters at the top of the list to more easily find a specific actor to then
move them into the working schedule.
Show Pictures
To see the actor’s pictures in the schedule, click the Show Pictures check box.
Move or remove
To move an actor to a different place in the session:
1. Click the Move button under the actor’s contact information.
2. Select another time slot from the drop-down list.
To move an actor to a different session or a different day:
1. Click the Move button under the actor’s contact information.
2. Select Another Schedule from the drop-down list.
3. Choose the new session. It must already have the role that actor is
reading for scheduled for that session.
4. Choose a time slot from the drop-down list.
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To remove an actor from the session, or just set them aside for a moment:
1. Click the Move button.
2. Select Unschedule this Actor. This moves the actor’s entry to the
Available Talent column.
You can also click Clear Role, Clear Group, or Clear Schedule to
quickly move multiple actors into the available talent.
3. Click their Move button again to put them back in the schedule.
If you choose Unselect this Actor from the drop-down menu, they will be
completely removed from the available talent and your list of selects.
Add/Edit Notes
Use the Add Notes or Edit Notes buttons under each actor to put private
notes on them. These are not seen by the actor or representative, but can
optionally be included when you print your session sheet.
Review responses
Once the actors and agents have had a chance to respond, their responses
will display to the left of each actor.
Each actor who has replied is marked Confirmed, Declined, or Requesting
Any notes the actor or rep has provided will display in the box below their
You can now make changes to the schedule, as necessary.
Note: If you would like to respond back to an individual actor
without moving them to a different time, see page 25.
Use the Status button to manually change an actor’s confirmation status. So
if the agent confirms their client verbally or tells you they can no longer make
it, you can use this feature to mark them as such.
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When you have finished making adjustments, click the audition date link and
return to the audition summary page.
Click Send Schedule and send the CMail to notify the actors of the changes.
Only the actors whose auditions times have changed will be notified.
View Current and View Unfinished Pages
When working with a number of schedules broken out among multiple
Breakdowns, it can be challenging to keep track of the status of each of those
sessions. The View Current and View Unfinished pages can help keep you
To access these pages, go to the schedules menu from the home page.
View Current
The View Current page will list any upcoming schedules that you have
created, grouped by Breakdown title. Use the Search bar at the top to quickly
find where a particular actor or role is scheduled.
View Unfinished
The View Unfinished page will list any schedules that you have created or
modified, and not yet sent to the actors or talent reps, sorted by date.
Jump to schedule
On either page, click the date of a schedule to go to the page for that day’s
sessions so you can take whatever action you need on that session.
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Using cMail
cMail is an internal messaging system designed expressly for users of
Breakdown Express. Since it is not part of your regular e-mail program—
although it is similar—it never collects spam.
What does it do?
cMail lets you instantly notify actors and their representation of audition
schedules and changes. You can even communicate with the agent or actor
while you are viewing submissions. Best of all, your messages never get lost
in the maze of everyday e-mail.
When you send a message or audition notification to actors or their
representation, they see an on-screen alert as soon as they log in to their
respective Actors Access or Breakdown Express accounts. And if you receive a
reply to a message you sent, you will get an on-screen alert if you are logged
How does it work?
You can get to your cMail from anywhere on Breakdown Express. Just click
the cMail
icon. A caption tells you how many unread messages you have
waiting at any time.
My Folders
cMail comes with these default folders:
My Messages (x)
All the cMail messages you’ve sent or received. The number shows
how many new, unread messages are waiting.
All the messages you have deleted (see page 21). Messages are held
in the Trash for 7 days before being permanently deleted.
Messages you have marked Save for Later.
These all function the same as in any web-based e-mail system.
Creating a New Folder
You can create as many folders as necessary to organize the cMail you want
to keep.
1. Click Create New Folder.
2. Enter a name, and click OK.
Personal folders appear in alphabetical order below the Drafts folder.
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Managing Messages
The My Messages folder displays new messages in two groups:
System messages from Breakdown Services.
Your sent messages with their associated replies from agents,
managers, and actors. (You will never receive un-solicited messages
from actors or their representation.)
In your sent messages:
System Messages
A green dot indicates that you allowed replies on that message.
A red dot means that no replies are possible.
System messages, if any, always appear before private ones.
You must open a system message before you can do anything else with it,
such as move it to Trash. You can’t delete it without opening it.
Viewing messages & replies
To see your messages, click My Messages.
The Replies column shows how many replies a message has received. Click
any message’s subject to open it and see the replies.
Any replies a message has received are listed below the original text. Any that
you have not opened are shown in bold.
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The status of each reply is identified by an icon. These icons indicate whether
the reply is:
Replied To
Responding to a reply
Every response from an agent, manager, or actor includes a Reply button so
that you can answer any questions:
1. Click Reply.
This opens a cMail message with the original sender’s name in the To:
line, and the complete original text in the body of the message. You
can keep or delete as much as you like.
2. If you want an answer, leave Allow all recipients to reply checked.
3. Click Send Message to send the cMail.
– or –
Click Save for Later to move that message to your Drafts folder.
Note: You cannot send your reply to anyone except the original
You may send a message with replies allowed (see page 22), then realize you
didn’t need to hear back from the agent or actor after all. When this
1. Click the message to open it.
2. To allow recipients to reply to the message, click Allow Replies.
– or –
If you don’t need or want replies to this message, click Do Not Allow
Note: The text varies depending on whether or not that message is
currently accepting replies.
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Moving and deleting messages
Moving Messages
You will probably want to file your messages into topic-related folders to
keep them organized. To do this:
1. Click the box next to any messages you want to move. You can also
click the top checkbox on the private messages title bar to select all
messages on that page at once.
2. In the Move checked to: box, select a folder. The messages are
automatically moved to the selected folder.
Deleting a Message
To delete an open message, click Delete. When the confirmation message
appears, click Yes.
To delete a message from a folder:
1. Open the folder.
2. Check the box next to the message you want to delete.
3. In the Move checked To: box, select Trash.
Deleting a folder
To delete a folder:
1. Click on the name in the My Folders list.
2. When it opens, click Delete Folder.
3. When the confirmation dialog box appears, click Yes.
If the folder has items stored in it, they will all be deleted along with the
folder. To avoid this, make sure to move any messages you want to keep into
another folder before deleting the original one.
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Deleted messages are kept in the trash folder for 7 days and then
permanently deleted. To retrieve messages from Trash before that time:
1. Click Trash to open the folder.
2. Select any messages.
3. Select a folder name from the Move checked to: drop-down list.
Getting notifications
You can decide whether or not you want to be notified by regular e-mail
about waiting cMail messages. Click cMail Preferences and click the checkbox
to turn notifications on or off.
If you choose to receive notification, the system sends a message to your
regular e-mail address. (The system checks every 15 minutes for new
messages.) If you don’t access your cMail for 4 hours, you will get a reminder.
After another 4 hours, a second reminder goes out. You will not get another
until after you have checked your cMail. This keeps your mailbox from filling
up with cMail reminders.
Sending cMail in Submissions
Any time you send a message, there are a few fields you can control.
In some cases a subject is entered for you, but
you can always type something else if you
Type the body of your message.
Allow all
recipients to
Clear the checkbox if you do not want to receive
replies. Leave it checked, if you do. If you
change your mind after sending the message,
see page 19.
When you’re ready, click Send Message to send the cMail.
– or –
Click Save for Later to move that message to your Drafts folder.
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To multiple actors
Viewing submissions
When you’re viewing submissions, you’ll notice that every photo includes a
cMail icon.
1. Click the envelope to add the actor’s name to a queue for a group
mailing. The icon changes
to show it has been selected. If
you change your mind, click the icon again to remove them from the
2. Choose as few or as many actors as you need.
3. When you’re ready to make contact, click Message x Queued Actors
at the top of the page. The number in this line will change as you
check or uncheck actors.
Note: To uncheck all the actors and start fresh, click Clear Message
cMail icon
Pick a template
Using Breakdown Express
The template options let you choose the type of contact you want to make.
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Your choice determines the subject line in the message you send.
Basic Message
Like a standard e-mail with a subject line and
Demo Reel
A Demo Reel Request automatically fills in the
subject line. You can still type a note in the
body of the message.
The recipient will be able to submit videos
directly from the cMail message. You will get a
reply in return, telling you to go back to your
submissions and that actor’s videos are now
Note: Do not use this feature to
request self-taped auditions
from actors. The actors are
only able to send videos or
audio reels they already have
uploaded to their profile.
Please use Eco Cast (found
under the Tools menu) to
request self-taped auditions.
See the Using Eco Cast tutorial
for more information.
The addresses are already in the system, so Breakdown Services takes care of
that for you.
When you’re ready, click Send Message to send the cMail.
– or –
Click Save for Later to move that message to your Drafts folder.
The actors in the queue will be saved until you click Clear Message Queue on
the Submissions page, or until the message is sent.
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To a single actor
To send a message to a single actor, you can use the message queue as
described above, or:
1. Click the actor’s name or the circle icons (
picture to open their profile.
2. Click the
) under their
icon below the actor’s headshot.
3. Select a template and continue (just like for Multiple Actors, page 23)
to send that actor a message or video request.
4. When you’re ready, click Send Message to send the cMail.
– or –
Click Save for Later to move that message to your Drafts folder.
Compose cMail
Sending cMail from a Finished Schedule
When you have finished a schedule, you may want to send an additional
message to the actors and agents involved.
1. Open the schedule.
2. On the time slot you want to send a message to, click Review
3. When the schedule appears, click the Compose CMail icon.
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4. Enter whatever text you want to send, then click Send Message or
Save for Later.
Sending to an individual
You can also send a message to an individual actor in your schedule by
More information
For more information about scheduling, see page 8.
Using Breakdown Express
clicking the actor’s name and then the
icon on their Profile
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Contact Us
Need to talk?
If you run into any problems or would like to learn more about additional
casting features, such as our Eco Cast service, please call Breakdown Services
at any of our regional offices.
Using Breakdown Express
Los Angeles
New York
(310) 276-9166
(212) 869-2003
(312) 860-1164
(604) 943-7100
(416) 923-1292
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