Josh Algie and Renee Currie seek to cast a wider net with Altai

Altai has launched in Australia and New Zealand.

A new platform is aiming to streamline the casting process for artists and agents via a technology-based approach.

Altai launched in Australia and New Zealand this week with features including browser-based live-video sessions that casting offices can run with clients either online or in-studio.

Users also have the ability to update status reports of the casting process in real time, as well as showcase relevant auditions, wardrobe forms, documents, and lists within one link.

The platform is the culmination of a three-year journey for co-founders Josh Algie and Renee Currie, who have worked with chief digital officer Phil Whitehouse and a team of designers and developers to create the bespoke solution.

Algie told IF he came up with the idea after witnessing the “day-to-day pain points” that came with the administrative side of the process in his role as a casting associate at McGregor Casting, adding he hoped Altai would empower casting offices and end-clients to cast a wider net for more authentic, inclusive storytelling.

“Having worked in casting, I saw that the resources and networks available to casting offices can be part of a barrier of entry for misrepresented and marginalised communities,” he said.

“We really see that Altai as being able to bridge that gap between engaging with local communities and organisations that do represent those artists and connecting them up with free profiles and having their details available in the directory for casting.

Altai co-founders Josh Algie and Renee Currie. (Image: Hugh Stewart)

“Our small approach is to share knowledge across the sector to really kind of dismantle that.”

Altai presents a different interface depending on whether it is a casting office, agent, or actor that is using it.

Currie, a previous agent at Niche Management and general manager at Screenwise, said while there were similarities with other platforms in the industry, the way in which the information on each interface “integrates and speaks to each other seamlessly” is the point of difference.

“If a casting office wants to release an artist from an audition, they don’t have to pick up the phone or send an email or send a message,” she said.

“They can just update the status report and the message will then go through to their agents and their agents, who can pass it on straightaway. If it’s something like a TVC that’s not a big deal, or if it’s something the artist was really pining for, pick up the phone first and then send the message.

“It’s really giving artists that that knowledge of, ‘I put three hours into that self-tape, I know that I’ve been released’, and helping that mental barrier.”

For more information about Altai here.