Ray Knight Casting – 10 Quality Productions We Were Associated With In 2019… And A Few More For Good Measure

Ray Knight Casting – 10 Quality Productions We’ve Been Associated With In 2019… And A Few More For Good Measure.

Here at Ray Knight Casting we go the extra mile to provide a first-class service and as a result we’re privileged to be associated with quality productions which regularly feature on our screens.

At the time of writing this blog post we’re hurtling increasingly fast towards Christmas and as is traditional, it’s a time when we look back with fondness at just some of the major quality productions we’ve been associated with over the past 12 months… and a few more for good measure.

1) Manhunt

ManhuntAs expected, 2019 began with a quality production entitled, “Manhunt”, with Martin Clunes in a role you might not associate with him, but a great role and performance, nonetheless.

This three-part drama was based on the investigation into the death of French student Amélie Delagrange and followed the real-life story of how serial killer Levi Bellfield was caught by the Metropolitan Police.

In March 2019, the show was revived for a second series to premiere in 2020. One to no doubt look out for.


2) Call The Midwife

Whenever we feature Call The Midwife in any of our social media posts 19033739-low_res-call-the-midwife-7bff8f1we’re always pleasantly surprised at the number of comments, shares and likes that this evergreen production attracts.

Who can forget the episode praised for bringing awareness of the cleft lip condition?

Likewise, who can forget the measles trials episodes?

We could go on, however as mentioned, Call The Midwife is a perennial firm family favourite and rightly deserves a special episode this coming Christmas Day on BBC1 at 7:00pm


3) Hatton Garden

Hatton-Garden-54f3ec2Hatton Garden, the drama was based on the infamous heist in 2015. It was initially cancelled twice in 24 months due to legal reasons and Hatton Garden was finally released on ITV on Monday, May 20 after a two-year-long delay; it was worth the wait.

Hatton Garden was based on the real-life Hatton Garden robbery in April 2015 and depicted how four elderly men ransacked an underground safety deposit facility in London’s Hatton Garden.

It’s still unknown as to what the total value of what they stole was, but some estimate the total value could be up to around £200,000,000.

As for the value of this series? Priceless!


4) Cleaning Up

On the subject of financial related crime, this leads us on nicely to “Cleaning 91LA2u1SDvL._RI_Up” with Sheridan Smith playing Sam, a separated mother and office cleaner who succumbs to insider trading in order to pay off her ever-increasing debts.

The premise might sound simple, however after watching all 6 episodes it’s clear that it was going to be a lot more involved than that.

It was great to see Sheridan Smith back on our screens and “Cleaning Up” was a great vehicle for her return.


5) Fleabag

lead_720_405For those of you who may have been living under a very dark and soundproofed rock for the last couple of years and who may have missed out totally on the whole “Fleabag” thing… let’s just say that Fleabag has been very successful to say the least.

If you didn’t see it, then you have no excuse not to catch up with the trials and tribulations of Fleabag, created by and played exquisitely by Phoebe Waller-Bridge over at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p070npjv/fleabag

Adapted from Waller-Bridge’s 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe one-woman play of the same name, Fleabag not only breaks the fourth wall in television, but also engages us the viewers as we take Fleabag to our hearts while she trips and stumbles through life in the only way that she can.

Without giving too much away, the BBC describes Fleabag as, “A hilarious, poignant window into the mind of a dry-witted, angry, grief-riddled woman.”


6) Gameface

Gameface was created by, written by and starred Roisin Conaty. The pilot downloadaired on Channel 4 on 23 April 2014 and the second started broadcasting on Channel 4 on 17 July 2019.

The show follows Marcella’s (Conaty) life as she attempts to find acting work and takes life coaching classes.

Trudging through a variety of short-term jobs which Marcella dislikes, she’s also looking for love since having broken up with her boyfriend of 12 years. Together with Marcella’s life coach and driving instructor characters, Gameface was another highlight on our screens in 2019.


7) Afterlife

thumbnailDo we really need to add anything more than the word “Afterlife”?

Afterlife, created, executive produced, directed by, and starring Ricky Gervais, has been described as a black comedy-drama, however we all know it was much more than that. It premiered on 8 March 2019, on Netflix and has been honoured with various accolades.

Afterlife follows Tony (Gervais), whose life is shattered by the death of his wife from cancer. He contemplates suicide, however, instead decides to live long enough to punish the world for the death of his wife by doing and saying whatever he wants; regarding this as a “superpower”. Surprisingly, his intentions are undermined once everybody around him tries to help him become a better person.

Afterlife also features Roisin Conaty. (See above for Gameface).


8) The Capture

Exploring the dark world of deepfakes, cyber security and the intelligence p07mdjf6services, The Capture was a six-part thriller that gripped viewers with its view of our ‘post-truth era’.

The Capture made us ask, “…can we really believe what we see…?”

Without giving away spoilers, we follow DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) as she’s drafted in to investigate Shaun Emery (cleared of murder in Afghanistan) as new footage of him in London isn’t all that it seems.

With more twists and turns than a bucket of hyperactive eels, The Capture gripped viewers who couldn’t get enough of this quality BBC series.


9) Defending The Guilty

p07mn9x0This second series was a welcome return of the legal sitcom; a subject that doesn’t sound as if it should work, but it did.

Katherine Parkinson, BAFTA award winner (The IT Crowd, Humans) played a more than slightly cynical barrister in this comedy about a cutthroat team of lawyers.

Based on the acclaimed tell-all book, “Defending The Guilty: Truth And Lies In The Criminal Courtroom” by Alex McBride, Defending The Guilty was a gem among the comedy output on the BBC and the next series (to be shot in 2020) will be more than welcome.


10) Gold Digger

Currently still running on the BBC at the time of writing, the BBC describes p07t1fg5Gold Digger as, “…A wealthy woman falls in love with a younger man. Her children worry he’s a gold digger. At the heart of the story is a fractured family trying to recover from a violent past.”

Julia Ormond takes the reins in this series as she looks back on her marriage to Ted (Alex Jennings) and feeling let down by her children, she embarks on a relationship with Benjamin (Ben Barnes), however her children have their suspicions as to what Benjamin’s intentions really are.

With the final episode still to come, once again we’re gripped by a quality BBC drama which we’re privileged to have been involved in.

It’s certainly been a great year as far as productions have been concerned,
however let’s not forget any of the mainstay productions which regularly feature our supporting artists such as EastEnders and Holby City.

We here at Ray Knight Casting would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporting artists and the production companies with whom we’ve worked with this year and we look forward to booking the outstanding members of our loyal high quality workforce on many more great productions in the year to come.


Well that’s it for this post and as usual feel free to leave your comments.

Also don’t forget that you can follow our Ray Knight Casting Blog – see right side bar – by signing up you’ll receive each and every one of our blog directly into your in-box as soon as they appear here on this blog.

© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting,
please visit







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12 Days Of Christmas Planning for Supporting Artists

It’s that time of the year when everyone is looking forward to winding down, spending time with family and friends and when fully rested, then looking forward to the New Year.

Inevitably, the novelty of having Buck’s Fizz with breakfast, having just one more piece of chocolate and laying on the couch wearing out the TV remote buttons gets a bit tiresome.

We reach that stage during the Christmas break when we just want to do something different, perhaps plan for the coming year and that’s where this blog post comes in.

So, for when you reach the stage in your holidays when it’s time to clear the decks to plan and be jolly for the coming year, we bring you the 12 Days Of Christmas Planning for Supporting Artists.


1) It’s Show Time

download (1)… or “showreel” time to be more accurate.

If you do have one….

How old is your showreel?

How many of your agents’ have a copy of your old out-dated showreel?

Does your current showreel do you justice?

Jacket sleeves rolled up, big hair and shoulder pads were in vogue in the Eighties but an out-dated showreel won’t help much in the year 2020.

So, use this time to perhaps edit or plan a new showreel which showcases your current talents, look and character.

Not all SA’s will have one and they are not necessary or expected for doing this kind of work, but when the little (or big!) features come up, they might help your cause.


2) Clothes Maketh The Man And Lady.

The rush at the dry cleaners is more or less over during the Christmas assorted-hanged-clothes-near-white-light-bulb-1233648holidays, so why not take this opportunity in getting those “old faithful” suits and costumes spick and span for the new year?

It might also be a good time to add to or look for a fresh wardrobe of clothes specifically for supporting artist work in the New Year sales. Money is tight at this time of year for most, but there’s usually a bargain or two to be had in January.



3) The Work-Life Balance.

Image result for scales"In an earlier post entitled, “10 Things I Learned As A Supporting Artist“, we touched upon the importance of keeping a clear separation between social life and the work of a supporting artist, namely due to the unpredictable hours involved.

Get a good 2020 diary, calendar or app and avoid those clashes which put pressure on you, family and friends.

Having an acceptable work-life balance isn’t difficult, but it does take some planning… and the Christmas holidays gives us time to do just that; plan.


4) Picture This

In the same way that your showreel might need updating, what about your photos including headshots?Image result for picture frame"

When was the last time you had new photos taken with Ray Knight Casting?

Making an appointment with us in the New Year to get new agency photos taken might be worthwhile.

We do try to monitor who needs updating, however in the meantime you could take some nicely taken selfies or forward any recent good quality shots you’ve had taken elsewhere.

See our post entitled, “5 Secrets To Taking The Perfect Selfie.”


5) Don’t Suffer A Breakdown

Image result for breakdown cover"Our cars go through some punishment during the winter months; cold starts, lights, heaters, blowers all taking a toll on the battery, damp and freezing conditions all contributing to wear and tear on our vehicles.

Take some time over the holidays to cast an eye over your trusted vehicle and if needed, perhaps a quick maintenance service would be a good idea as we look forward to a few more months of dark, cold and damps starts and journeys to early calls.


6) Your Times Table

Perhaps you don’t own a car and you rely on public transport, in that case Image result for times table"it’s worth checking timetables of your local buses, trains and tubes as some of these introduce new schedules in the New Year.

Remember that we post public transport travel status updates every morning at 5am on the Ray Knight Casting Twitter feed

Remember to check and update any travel apps you may have as well.


7) Act On It

Image result for drama"Considering taking your acting skills to the next level?

In that case make use of the down time over Christmas by looking up any acting courses that may be starting in your area in the New Year.

As the saying goes, “Every day’s a school day”, however taking a course in acting may be just what you need to take your supporting artist career to the next level. Some can be expensive, but there are some very reasonable short courses and one-off workshops around.


8) Bookmarks

When was the last time you checked through your bookmarks and sorted out the chaff?Image result for bookmarks"

Websites change, apps get outdated and those websites among your bookmarks might not be relevant anymore.

Use the down time during Christmas to sweep clean your bookmarks; perhaps those Facebook groups or Twitter profiles you follow are no longer active If you’re getting a new ‘phone, don’t just copy old bookmarks across from your old ‘phone, take the time to spring clean them early.

Need some help with which bookmarks we recommend for supporting artists? In that case read our blog post entitled,
10 Websites That Every Supporting Artist Should Bookmark


9) Paying The Price

Image result for paying"When was the last time you checked your phone contract?

Are you paying the price for complacency when it comes to not being on the most appropriate tariff for your usage?

Planning for the next 12 months or more, together with checking your budget with regards to being on the best contract might be a good initiative for the New Year.

If you’re planning to pick up a bargain new ‘phone in the New Year sales, it might also be the best time to shop around for the best contract.

Your ‘phone is your ally in our business. Make sure it’s working for you in every way possible.


10) Money In… Money Out

We don’t want to scare you, but once Christmas is out of the way, April will Image result for cash machine"be just around the corner… and that means it’s time to get your financial books in order.

Why not get in a head start and go over your receipts, invoices, bills and statements during the quite time after Christmas?

The more you can prepare, clarify and sort your finances before April, the less of a headache it will be… and the less an accountant will charge for doing it for you.


11) R & R

Image result for feet up hygge"Of course, Christmas isn’t just time for catching up on last year and prepping for the year to come, it’s also a time to recuperate, rest, relax and repose during the 12 days of Christmas.

Treat yourself to a good holiday as you deserve it after the previous 12 months of hard work.

Don’t worry, you’ll soon be caught up in a brand-new year with brand new challenges and opportunities once again.


12) Thank You!

Finally, a big “thank you” to all our supporting artists for your work over this this past year.Image result for thank you"

We hope very much to repeat and surpass our recent successes next year and so don’t forget to make Ray Knight Casting a part of your 2020.

Keep up to date with what we’re up to, either via our Twitter account, our Facebook account, our Blog here and of course our website over at www.rayknight.co.uk

We’ll continue to be the UK’s premier casting agency with the highest standard of service & quality and hope to work with you again in 2020.

You are the best quality SAs in the business and we are lucky to have you!

So, in the meantime all of us here at Ray Knight Casting wish you all and your loved ones a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and a likewise New Year.

Well that’s it for this post and as usual feel free to leave your comments.

Also don’t forget that you can follow our Ray Knight Casting Blog – see right side bar – by signing up you’ll receive each and every one of our blog directly into your in-box as soon as they appear here on this blog.

© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting,
please visit



10 Things You’ll Always See In Hallmark Christmas Movies

I have a confession and that is that I have a guilty secret.

It usually comes to the fore around this time of the year.

Channel 5 is usually to blame and it usually starts towards the end of the year…

I LOVE Hallmark Christmas movies.

There, now you know.

I know it’s a cliché, but these movies really do seem to seep into the schedules earlier and earlier every year.

I’m convinced that this year’s crop are early for next year… and I’m not complaining in the slightest.

Currently my DVR is bulging at the sides and waving a white flag as I’ve been recording 2 moves a day from Channel 5 for weeks!

Some I watch and the rest I’m saving to watch around the Christmas holidays.

Anyway, if you’ve watched any of Hallmark’s Christmas movies, you’ll know that not only do they seem to be set in an alternative world, but you’ll also have more than likely noticed things that turn up in all of these movies with  familiar regularity.

So, without further ado,
we draw back the curtains and humbly bring you…
10 Things You’ll Always See In Hallmark Christmas Movies.


1) There’s Always A Santa.

pexels-photo-716658Of course there is, what do you expect? 

It’s a Christmas movie, not just any Christmas movie, but it’s a Hallmark Christmas movie…

… and it’s not just any Santa…

… it’s a specific déjà vu inducing Santa.

You know the one. it’s the Santa where he’s out in the street, usually in front of a large store or office building… and he’s collecting money for some (assumed) charitable cause.

Yep, you guessed it, he’s also invariably ringing a bell.

Occasionally he’s ringing a magic bell in the background… you know the type, the magic bell that doesn’t make a sound while Santa waves it about.

This Santa must have a great agent and manager as he’s in ALL the Hallmark Christmas movies.

Not sure about the typecast issue though…


2) That Christmas Tree Farm.

Somewhere in the script of a Hallmark movie, it will call for the leading actorpexels-photo-2696134
/ actress / family to take a trip to the local Christmas tree farm.

To be honest, I don’t see the issue with this, after all we all have a local Christmas Tree farm?


3) Red, Red, Red

pexels-photo-3255915The cinematographers on these movies must somehow be immune to the colour red, as most of the scenes in these movies include at least one member of the cast wearing some sort of red clothing through the entire movie.

This is more often than not complimented with green somewhere in the background or on another cast member.

Just as an aside, the “red” and “green” you see in Hallmark Christmas movies never, ever…




… appear anywhere else in the known universe… only in Hallmark Christmas movies.


4) Let It Snow… Or Not… Let It Snow… Or Not.

Look out for this doozy as scenes like this are ubiquitous and obligatory in pexels-photo-289649every Hallmark Christmas Movie…

Picture this, an external scene which includes gently falling snow.

One shot has falling snow, the reverse shot… no snow… etc… rinse… repeat… rinse… repeat…

Intermittent snow showers are one thing, but th… oh never mind.


5) A Family Business.

pexels-photo-2159065For some reason every Hallmark Christmas movie always seems to have some sort of family business written into the script;

… coffee shop…

…eatery …

… cake shop…

… bakery…

… gift shop…

… motel…

… toy shop…

Strangely enough, the only family business that doesn’t appear to feature in these movies is a Christmas Tree farm. See number 2 above.


6) Found, Lost And Found.

The main thread of any Hallmark Christmas Movie runs along the well worn pexels-photo-884418
path of, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again.

A common alternative of this is as follows…

Girl gets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy again.

Interchange boy with man, girl with woman at your leisure.


7) The Christmas Show / Concert / Pageant

pexels-photo-2747446Inevitably every Hallmark Christmas movie ends with some sort of Christmas show, musical, pageant… etc.

Usually these somehow save Christmas, save Santa, save the town, save the family business, save a life, save the relationship, save the world from climate change, save the universe from doomsday… get the idea?


8) Art Deco(s)

Everyone in a Hallmark Christmas movie must be an expert and highly pexels-photo-1708601
qualified interior designer and decorator.

Everyone’s Christmas decorations in their homes is always perfect, artistically done and not a tinsel or speck of glitter out of place.

As usual there’s lots of red, green, a nice perfect roaring fireplace and an immaculate Christmas tree; obviously purchased from the local Christmas tree farm. See number 2 above.


9) The Kids

pexels-photo-939702The main cast kids…

… the neighbours’ kids…

… the film extra kids…

… in fact, every kid in
the universe of Hallmark’s Christmas movies is well behaved, clean, hair styled perfectly, even the badly behaved kids don’t stay badly behaved as the final scene show, musical, pageant… etc. even fixes that somehow.  See number 7 above.


10) Let It Snow… Or Not… Let It Snow… Or Not… Let It Snow…Or Not…

Very rarely do we see a crowd of people all helping to clear the snow in the alm-friuli-snow-snowfall-45204.jpeg
morning before the stores, offices, coffee shops, eateries, cake shops, bakeries, gift shops, toy shops, motels open in the morning. See number 5 above

Nobody is ever delayed for work due to snow.

No airports, railway stations, ports, highways ever have any delays or other issues due to snow.

Gee… how I’d love to live in a Hallmark Christmas movie!

Right, give me a moment to don my reindeer patterned Christmas sweater and red and green scarf as I’m off to the coffee shop for a cake. Then I need to hurry and get to the local Christmas tree farm before they close…

Hold the ‘phone Joe… What am I talking about? I’m living in Hallmark Christmas movie… they never close!


Well that’s it for this post and as usual feel free to leave your comments.

Also don’t forget that you can follow our Ray Knight Casting Blog – see right side bar – by signing up you’ll receive each and every one of our blog directly into your in-box as soon as they appear here on this blog.

© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting,
please visit


An Invaluable Free Tool For Film And Television Production Companies.

amsrectangle-red-3Look through our portfolio of television and film productions and you’ll see that here at Ray Knight Casting we have a long track record with big productions and blockbuster movies, as well as being involved in recent popular shows such as Afterlife, Fleabag, The Capture, Gold Digger and so on.

If you work in television or film production, particularly on larger projects, you’ll know that the key to a smooth production lies mainly in the logistics and excellent communication between departments.

This is where the Ray Knight Casting Artiste Management System comes Three People Sitting Beside Tablein.

The Ray Knight Casting Artiste Management System has been developed by Ray Knight Casting in close collaboration with: producers, assistant directors, production accountants, costume and makeup departments and security personnel and is an essential tool on any production, regardless of how large or small the production may be.

“AMS looks really good, just a click of a button. Loving it!” – Ibrahim Ajali – Production Accountant – Pronto (Good Dog) ltd.

Having used our Ray Knight Casting Artiste Management System, it has proven itself time and time again by adding value in all aspects of casting, working with and paying Supporting Artists, it is paperless and we offer it to our production clients at no cost.

That’s right, there is no cost to use our Artiste Management System on productions we work with you on.

Let’s look at the Artiste Management System in more detail and see how it can help you on your next production.

One benefit is that fact that ADs can select and enter artiste fees with a single click or tap (and duplicate them for any number of artistes) making signing off at wrap time quick and hassle free.

Also, we are constantly refining and updating the system to make it smarter
and faster.

Person Signing Document PaperWe know that signing off a large number of supporting artistes can be time consuming, and the last thing you need at the end of a long heavy day, but as you can see, our Artiste Management System will save you time and

“I like the way that you can put an entire crowd call & sign off together with just a few clicks” – Andrew Foster – 2nd Assistant Director

As mentioned above, one of the factors required in a good production is excellent communication between departments and this is another benefit of the Ray Knight Casting Artiste Management System.

Our system easily enables easy instant and fluid communication between Closeup portrait of young lady talking on mobile phoneassistant directors (or other staff booking Supporting Artistes) and Ray Knight Casting for all aspects of booking, from searches, suggestions and daily interactive booking sheets to approval to accounts for invoicing.

“AMS is great! Very easy to use. A real treat after paper chits!” – Nadya Wilkinson – Offstone Productions

A wide range of date range searchable reports allow for quick and clear monitoring of expenditure.

Logs are automatically kept of all messages, sign offs, approvals, sent invoices, payments received etc. so there’s a paper trail of who did what and when for easy reference.

One outstanding feature is the facility to email and text the artistes directly Email Blocks on Gray Surfacefrom the system (at no cost to production).

For example, wardrobe/make up can quickly send out briefs to any or all artistes with minimum effort.

No need to keep tapping away on a mobile ‘phone replicating messages. A massive time saver!

You can even add photos or a perhaps a mood board if you want to.

“I found the (FREE) AMS very easy to use … even after only a short course in how to use it!” – Kate Selby – 2nd Assistant Director

In keeping with the theme of collaboration and communication, our system goes beyond just paperless payments……

With the Ray Knight Casting Artiste Management System, any production team member from any department can be given access on request with features tailored to their role for example:

Black Calculator Near Ballpoint Pen on White Printed Paper• Producers can have an overview and track supporting artiste usage and costs.

• Production accountants can communicate and work with each other, assistant directors and the agency on all aspects of invoicing and billing, including dealing with queries – all in one place and 100% paper free!

• Wardrobe and make up departments can text their requirements to artistes individually or collectively with just a few clicks.Photo of Women's Clothing

Temporary access can be given to any crew member assisting with the SA (other AD’s, runners, security personnel etc.). You could give your runner limited access to go and sign the crowd in if you’re busy, or do the same for unit security so they can quickly bring up a roll call and car reg numbers on their ‘phones to check crowd vehicles on and off unit base.

Gray and Black Laptop Computer• Diversity monitoring is quick, easy and simple with our Artiste Management System with detailed breakdown of age, ethnicity and gender for easy analysis and output to various formats including spreadsheets together with graphs for easy representation.

• Sensitive information carefully measured according to the crew member’s role, preserving confidentiality and GDPR compliance.

“I absolutely love the (FREE) AMS. It speeds up the process considerably & uses a lot less paper which I like” – Fred Van Strydonck – Sister Pictures

As mentioned above, our system has proven itself many times on various productions streamlining communication, logistics, planning and analysis, thus an invaluable tool on any production, but don’t just take our word for it.

If you work in production and would like more information about our Ray Knight Casting Artiste Management System, please visit www.rayknight.co.uk/ams or give the office a call.


© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting,
please visit