Biggest Loser casting tips

17 Jan
January 17, 2008

   

*** EDIT *** I’ve closed the comments on this thread because it was just getting too huge; if you want to post questions or comments, do so on my Updated Biggest Loser Casting Tips page!

It’s that time of year again … the Biggest Loser is casting, which means I get lots of emails asking for advice on making a video for the application!  This is by no means a recipe for success; it’s based on my video application and the conversations I had with casting directors out in LA in between things.  I was pretty curious about the whole process so I was pumping them for info even after filming began.  I’m such a nerd!

  • They’ve usually decided if they’re interested in you within the first 30-60 seconds of your video, so frontload it with your best stuff.  Make it interesting!  Start off with something funny or exciting!
  • Keep in mind, if you’re going to be cast, your video is going to be watched hundreds of times by producers, executives, casting directors, etc.  If it bores you or your friends the second or third time watching it … put some more time into it!
  • Special effects?  Don’t bother!  We’ve all got video editting software with all sorts of bells and whistles on our home computers, but fancy transitions are not going to sell you to people who do video editting for a living.  In fact, it can distract from who you are.  I’m a video editting nerd and I didn’t use any special effects other than putting my name and contact info on as a subtitle at the beginning.
  • Don’t bother talking about why you need to lose weight.  When I first started filming my audition video I started descibing all of my health reasons for losing weight – but when I was watching it back, I realized … they don’t need to hear it!  One look at me was all they needed to know I needed to lose weight!  Show them why you need to lose it; I said I needed to lose weight for my kids, and then I followed it with a minute or two of the best footage I could find of me with wrestling with my three boys.  We probably filmed half an hour of that insanity and I grabbed the cutest, loudest, and funniest few moments for the audition video.  Your physical need to lose weight is not nearly as interesting as who or what your losing the weight for.
  • Live loud!  Reality TV is over the top, dramatic, and filled with loud personalities.  They need to see that on your video!  I wanted them to know that even though  I was morbidly obese I was up to the challenge of the crazy competitions and workouts – so I threw on a bunch of clips from my different youth group activities; me getting slimed, snowtubing, playing paintball, screaming at events, being on stage, running around … you get the idea.  Other contestants did things appropriate to their lives; Tim from Oregon had himself spinning out on his Harley, Tim from Deleware recruited his elementary school class to do things with him, Heather Hanson filmed herself running around in a sports bra all day doing her household chores and errands.  The less talking and more action you can have, the better (in my opinion)!
  • If you have footage or photos of yourself thin, include those at some point on the video.  If you can show them what your after will be, then do it!

There’s probably other things to say, but that’s all I can think of at the moment!  If you have other questions, post ’em here and I’ll add it to the list!  Good luck!

*** EDIT *** I’ve closed the comments on this thread because it was just getting too huge; if you want to post questions or comments, do so on my Updated Biggest Loser Casting Tips page!

1067 replies
« Older Comments
  1. Matthew McNutt says:

    Hey guys, I asked Dr. Huizenga if he'd be willing to do a phone interview with me so I could ask him some of the questions you all have about his book and he said yes; read about it & post questions here: http://mattmcnutt.wordpress.com/2008/04/26/ask-dr

    It should be fun!

  2. larissa says:

    matt! that's totally awesome!!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Hi there Matt…

    I was reading the many posts and was really wanted to see answers to "JZ GIRL". She posted 4/24 and many of the questions she has, I do as well.

    My sister and I decided we could do The Biggest Loser, but looks like we might be too late for season 6. I just sent in all my info yesterday. I want to know if they are done casting, do you know what they do with any tapes? Will they save it for the next season? (oohhh.. I hope so!)

    Thank you,
    Rebecca

  4. Matthew McNutt says:

    Rebecca/JZ Girl; you're right! Those ones slipped by me … let me throw some thoughts out on 'em:

    Regarding CD's being in contact – that means the person has at least made the first round of casting, in other words, they've caught someone's attention and as a result got some contact info. Usually it's an email address, sometimes a phone number (that most likely goes through an assistant so calls can be screened).

    What happens after you send in a video? Well, it WILL get watched, but who knows when! It takes time to get through them all. I was cast based on my video and it was several weeks after I mailed it that I got a phone call about it. If it catches someones attention, they'll get back to you wanting some more information. If you haven't heard anything after a month or so, that's not a good sign.

    I don't actually know anything for sure, but I am guessing that at this point they are getting ready to ramp up the casting for season seven. My speculation is that they will begin filming season seven in August or September, which means June is when they'll start getting intense about their search for the cast.

    How does it work if they watch your video and LOVE you? You'll get a call requesting some more info/photos. Then you wait and wait and wait, while occasionally getting more updates, requests for info, etc. It's basically months of not knowing whether it's going to happen or not until finally getting the call to fly out there. They let you know when it's time to start talking to your boss, making arrangements, etc. My work got about six or eight weeks notice from me that I might be going – that's when Biggest Loser told me I should clue them in and what to say.

    Regarding how many extras they fly out … for my season, with a cast of 50, they brought out at least an extra twenty or so. I think that was more extras than they would normally bring out, but it was simply based on the fact that with so many more people there was greater chance of needing to send more home. I wouldn't think that they would be bringing out more than 15-20 people more than what they are going to cast, and that's probably a pretty generous guess.

    Hope that helps!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Thank you SO much Matt.

    I KNOW they will LOVE my sister and I *wink* , but I just wanted to be sure (more or less anyways) about the process. And how much notice is very good info to have… like JZ girl, (and MANY others I am sure) there would be lots of plans to put into action.

    Matt your Awesome for keeping this up.

  6. JD says:

    Matt, I had asked this in the Weight Loss forum, but perhaps it was missed…I hope you don't mind me asking it again here…

    From your experience…how would a person go about finding a trainer in their area that subscribes to the same philosophies as those put forth in the book or on the show? Finding trainers is SO darn difficult, who are knowledgeable and can actually help affect change.

    What say you? Is there like a list that can be tapped? Who would be the right person to ask? And, shoot, I’m not THAT far away from LA…SO…you know?

    Hope everyone had an awesome and chill weekend!

    JD

  7. Libbee B. says:

    Hey Matt, just a seggestion since this page is getting SO long and takes so long to load. Can you maybe do something like break the posts into different months and put links to each month? Just a suggestion I've seen on other pages. :)

    I've been working on my video for Season 7 and I have a lot of good stuff but I can't figure out how to get it from my camera's hard drive onto a dvd. I'm such a nut!

    I can hardly wait to see the new contestants on Season 6! I'm having BL withdrawals since that and Lost are the only tv shows I watch. I loved Journeyman too but it got axed. :(

    Wishing everyone all the best,
    Libbs

  8. Renee says:

    Matt,
    Thank you so much for all of your advice and support to all of your fans! I *HAVE* to do this. I joined the gym yesterday and am going to make my video this week. I have 3 boys too! They are MY LIFE!! Well… actually the boys, my hubby, my teaching career and everything else in my life. Yes, my problem is that EVERYONE and EVERYTHING else in my life comes first. Anyways… I just wanted to THANK YOU for all of your casting input and tips here. I've been glued here for hours (well maybe only an hour or so). I don't even know what to ask… I just so want to be on the show and want the CD'ers to see the real me! I just "friend requested" you on MySpace as well.
    :) Renee

  9. Joy says:

    Hey Matt,
    I am a bit confused. I hear people talking about season 7. What about season 6? It looks on the website that season 6 begins airing in October. Wouldnt that mean that they would begin taping in August? I thought the final contestants were only home for about 6 weeks before the finale. I had looked into it in March and missed the deadline to submit applications. During the finale of Season 5 they started flashing casting info again. The info all of a sudden appeared online again. I assumed it was for season 6. Am I wrong? There is no deadline for applications to be in and it doesnt list any "must be available" dates. My brother and I applied hoping that we hadnt missed the family couples. Maybe we have… Joy

  10. Matthew McNutt says:

    Joy, normally there is about four to five months between the last episode and the finale (we had about four months in my season). Because season five was added to the schedule at the last minute, there wasn't as much time to go the normal 8-9 months from beginning of filming to finale like seasons 2-4. However, this year they know well ahead of time that there will be a season six in the fall and a season seven at the begining of season seven. To get that 8-9 months that they like to have for the weight loss, season six most likely started filming within the last couple weeks. However, I would guess that season seven will start filming at the end of the summer or around September/October, for a January premiere. :) I hope that helps clear up the speculation a bit!

  11. Joy says:

    Matt, Thanks for the response. I'll have to figure out if I'm discouraged or not. I do serve an awfully BIG God… Thanks, Joy

  12. walter says:

    well…i finally came to terms that i am NOT going to california any time soon….and i deleted all the emails, the contact info, and threw out the mailed receipts for the tapes etc…its time to dry my tears and dust off my disappointment and find some strength from within and find some new focus. i won't be trying out again for season 7. i just don't have it in me to go through all this again. as many of you know, its difficult putting all your faith into something, getting so close, and then not getting chosen. i think about the contestants out in california now…probably completing their third week…some losing 40 pounds or more already…and i am ashamed that i have fretted for that whole time, dreaming of the phone to ring…and have not lost any weight at all…actually gained about 8 pounds…and for some crazy reason, can not dig myself out right now…of this void. thank you all for sharing the dream. God bless u all and i wish you all the greatest success.
    i had dreams of being the mother and son team…my son who is a fireman tried out with me…and we would have at least made you laugh and feel great about yourself. :) matt, you are a great inspiration to so many. thanks. hugs to everyone.

  13. Rebecca says:

    I just wanted to say that I see the website now says they are casting for season 7. 😉 I was just wondering if I should re-submit my info that I mailed early May..

  14. Libbee B. says:

    Well, I had a partner to audition with for Season 7 but it seems she's dropping out on me. I'm kinda down about that. I really wanted to audition. I know how hard it is to actually get on the show, but any chance is some chance. My best friend would be perfect to go on the show with as we're both equally competitive (even with each other) and I know we'd do some serious work there. She won't even seriously consider it. She's never been away from home for more than a week at a time so she just doesn't want to try something new. :(

    I work with at-risk kids and doing something like this could really help me have a much larger impact on their lives. Besides that, I would really LOVE to win the money! :)

    I guess God has something else in store for me (and I hope it involves paying off my graduate school student loans fast!!) so I'll try hard to be patient and wait on Him.

    Wishing you all a most blessed day!

    Happy Father's Day to all you daddy's out there!
    ~Libbs

  15. danisel says:

    Libbee B-
    Where do you live? Just curious as I really want to apply… again but my partner isn't interested anymore…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] advice you’ll see below as well as over a thousand comments worth of discussion, click here.  I’ve added my answers to a couple questions that seem to come up a lot, as well as my tips […]

  2. […] been getting a lot of traffic to my site on one page in particular: my Biggest Loser Casting Tips.  Honestly, I just kind of threw it together because around casting time I always get emails […]

Comments are closed.