Behind the Scenes

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Behind the Scenes

  1. 1. Behind the ScenesThe Surprising Reality of Film and TV Acting
  2. 2. Film/Web/TV Opportunities• Film: movies, shorts, industrials• TV: series, commercials, movies – Length of shoots – Locations – Directors/Producers – Funding and Pay
  3. 3. The Local Markets, or, “Better Move to Austin”• Houston: local commercials, industrials, independent movies• Dallas: state and national commercials, TV Network Series• Austin: state commercials, industrials, major studio movies
  4. 4. Types of Production Budgets• Feature Film (studio backed to $500 million)• Macro Budget ($10M – $40M)• Mid-level ($100,000 - $10M)• Low Budget ($10,000 - $100,000)• Micro Budget (<$10,000)
  5. 5. Production funding is usually reflectedin amount of equipment and # of crew
  6. 6. On Location Filming “Headhunter” Downtown Houston – 2012 (Feature Film)
  7. 7. Trailers and Extensive Equipment
  8. 8. Microbudget Short - “Robyn” <$1,000Bring your own everything!
  9. 9. Writer/Director/Producer Griffin Yu with Cameraman
  10. 10. Slo Mo Violence Special Effects
  11. 11. Frame by Frame
  12. 12. Thumbs Up from “Victim”…No Actors Were Hurt in Filming this Short!
  13. 13. Always a scenic adventure!
  14. 14. End of a great evening location shoot
  15. 15. No job too big or small for an independent filmmaker
  16. 16. Types of Sets• Natural• Modified• Green Screen
  17. 17. Natural Set – Star Furniture
  18. 18. Natural Set - “Headhunter”Outdoor scenes are tricky and time-consuming
  19. 19. Modified Set – “Headhunter”Downtown Houston Office Building
  20. 20. Changing the building’s name
  21. 21. Movie Magic!
  22. 22. Green Screen Set• Yup, this is what it looks like…..
  23. 23. Who’s Who on Set• Producer (s)• Director• Production Assistants• Technical Crew• Wardrobe and Make-Up• Craft Service• Talent
  24. 24. Star Furniture -Observing Producers
  25. 25. Producer observing a run-throughon set of Anna’s Story (Industrial)
  26. 26. My Favorite Director -On set at Star Furniture (Commercial)
  27. 27. Production Assistant, Ready to Roll 6 ½ hours later – Take 1
  28. 28. Technical CrewSound Check – boring but necessary
  29. 29. Gaffers, sound engineers, & techies
  30. 30. Wardrobe, Hair, Make-Up …..and Food• Depends upon – Who is producing – What is being produced – What role you have – Funding levels• It’s OK to ask what to expect when cast• Always have extra neutrals pieces, your grooming kit, actor jewelry, and extra headshots/resumes• Collect period pieces over time for your private wardrobe collection
  31. 31. All bow to Queens of Wardrobe!On set of Headhunter (Feature Film)
  32. 32. Actor’s Badge of Honor on Set
  33. 33. Make-Up ArtistPrepping at Make-Up
  34. 34. Make-Up isn’t all Beauty….
  35. 35. Putty, glue, dye, whatever works!
  36. 36. Hierarchy of Roles • Extra • Featured Extra • Support • Ensemble • LeadMovin’ On Up……is always the goal on set!
  37. 37. “Talent” in run-through
  38. 38. Notice the sweat….whatever it takes to get the shot, right?
  39. 39. Talent EnsembleDoritos Super bowl Commercial Contest
  40. 40. Biggest Surprise of All: Talent -v- “The Look”• Talent is always a good thing, but not necessarily required however…….• “The Look” is critical for both film auditioning and commercial casting
  41. 41. Sooooo…….Are You Ready to Get Started??
  42. 42. Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet• Average US actor earns <$8,000 annually• Expect $0-200 for a normal Houston gig• National commercial residuals can pay >$100,000• Commercials and Industrials usually pay the most• Independent movies and shorts are usually for copy and credits only• Web series usually for exposure only• Expect to be paid within one month• Agents get 20%• Always have your TDL/SS Card or Passport on first day
  43. 43. 3 Things You Must Have• Flexibility• Patience/no time conflicts• Understanding that rejection is never personal
  44. 44. 3 Things You Should Have• Headshot –professionally done, B&W or Color• Resume – 8X10, stapled or double printed w/headshot• Classes and Workshops, especially helpful for Auditioning
  45. 45. Color Headshot with name
  46. 46. 3 Things You Don’t Always Need (Surprise!)• Talent• Experience• An Agent
  47. 47. Sticking Your Toe in the Acting Pool….• Audition Websiteswww.southwestcasting.com• Texas Film Commission Websitehttp://governor.state.tx.us/film/hotline-cast• Join local film and TV network groupswww.southwestcasting.comLinkedIn film and acting groups• Sign up for workshops and classes• Volunteer at Film Festivals• Take unpaid intern or apprentice positions with small production companies
  48. 48. Classes and Groups and Workshops, Oh My!• Always good to learn new skills• Great resume filler until experience covers the paper• Excellent source of networking• Shows your commitment to the craft
  49. 49. Auditioning• Take at least one workshop• Find out what works for you, then over-prepare! Or don’t.• Realize you are nothing special until you somehow stand out in an audition• Always be gracious and appreciative to everyone involved• Follow Up
  50. 50. You got the part! Congratulations!! Now what???
  51. 51. Location Survivor Kit• TDL and SS Card, or Passport, if paid role• Extra headshot/resumes and business cards• Wardrobe if required (have extra pieces)• Actor jewelry/props as needed• Make-up and grooming kit with mirror• Comfy shoes, flip flops, or house shoes• Pillow or stadium cushion• Plenty of reading material or project work• Snacks, snacks, snacks• Cash and change for vending machines• Cell phone/laptop chargers if needed
  52. 52. On Location: Hurry Up and Wait• “Don’t stand when you can sit, don’t sit when you can lay down…”• House shoes and cushions are your friends• Don’t count on Craft Service• Over-prepare for downtime• No one cares about your personal situation• Cherished to Ignored – all things are possible• ALWAYS BE EARLY AND PREPARED!!!!
  53. 53. Protocol and Politics Abound…..• Keep quiet on set• Don’t voice opinions• Don’t comment on any aspect of the shoot• Follow directions of the PA while on location• Follow directions of the Director while on set• Always be ready – never make anyone wait• Pee, drink, and eat any time you can• Network, and have business cards ready• Be nice to every person – very small industry
  54. 54. Now that you are on your way…• Remember: – It’s often about first impression and looks – Don’t take anything personally – Be patient, look at the experience as a whole – Network, make new friends, and just enjoy it all! See you on the Red Carpet!
  55. 55. Sticking Your Toe in the Acting Pool….• Audition Websiteswww.southwestcasting.com• Texas Film Commission Websitehttp://governor.state.tx.us/film/hotline-cast• Join local film and TV network groupswww.southwestcasting.comLinkedIn film and acting groups• Sign up for workshops and classes• Volunteer at Film Festivals• Take unpaid intern or apprentice positions with small production companies

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