Archive for the ‘Actors & Acting’ Category

Red Fox Media’s Film “A Changed Man” to Screen at Sidewalk

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Red Fox Media - Video Production - Birmingham, AL - If Only BTS 007I’m pleased to announce that our short film A Changed Man will screen at this year’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham, AL. Our film is part of the “Local Shorts #2″ block, which starts at 7:20pm on Saturday, August 27. The film will be shown at the Hill Event Center, located at 1811 3rd Avenue North. A Changed Man tells the story of an emotionally-broken woman trying to put her troubled past behind her and regain a sense of normalcy in her life.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time, efforts, and energy to produce this film. I definitely couldn’t have done it alone.

Crew

  • Written & Directed By Clint Till
  • Director of Photography – Michael Praytor
  • Producer – Todd Hornsby
  • Editor – Sam McDavid
  • Audio – Chris Burns & Jeremy Burns
  • Music – Paul Merryman
  • Art Director – Kimberly Johnson
  • Gaffer – Chris Hilleke
  • Hair & Make-up – Tara Merryman
  • Script Supervisor – George Smyly
  • Grip – Troy Wagner
  • Production Assistants – Tyler Dawson & J. Neil Bloomer

Starring

  • Kendra Fuller
  • Kevin Watts
  • Tammy White
  • Nicole Hernandez
  • Jana Harris
  • Gabrielle Metz

The 2011 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival runs from August 26-28, 2011. Visit the festival website to see the full weekend schedule and learn more about each film.

How to Make Confident Casting Choices

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Casting for a TV commercial or corporate video is an important step in pre-production. When you hire the right actor for a particular role, everything on screen seems to click. However, the auditioning process can be challenging, especially when you see a lot of talented actors. Sometimes it’s difficult to narrow the list of choices down to that one actor who fits the bill. Here’s how you can make more confident casting decisions.

First, HOLD AUDITIONS. Don’t simply cast someone based on a headshot and resume. Get them into your office. Meet with them. Talk with them. Get them on camera delivering lines from the script. An actor’s headshot may look perfect, but the performance may be lacking.

Second, HIRE PROFESSIONALS. I know that your production budget may prevent you from hiring professional talent, but if you can afford it, do it. Professional actors are accustomed to being on a set. They are comfortable on camera. They take direction well. They can deliver the same lines in a variety of ways, which will give you options when you get into post-production. Non-professional actors may require a lot of extra direction, which can cause the production to fall behind schedule. If you have to cast amateurs, you definitely need to adhere to tip #1 on this list. It will also help to hold a few rehearsals with your amateur cast before the actual shoot.

During the actual audition, you will want to do the following:

  1. FILM EVERYONE’S AUDITION. You can use the footage as a reference after the audition is over. When you are going back through everyone’s headshot and resume days later, it can be easy to forget how they performed. Also, seeing an actor perform live is different from seeing them on camera. Having video footage of an actor’s audition is an excellent way for you (or you and your client) to evaluate his/her on-camera presence.
  2. ASK THEM TO PERFORM THE LINES IN DIFFERENT WAYS. If an actor’s initial interpretation comes across too weepy, ask them to do it with a more angry feel. If it’s too “bubbly,” or “perky,” ask them to perform it with a more reserved and subtle joy. This will give you a sense of an actor’s range, and it will also give you an idea of how they respond to direction.
  3. DIRECT THEM TO STAND AND MOVE AS THEY DELIVER THE LINES. I realize that this tip really depends on the nature of your project. For example, if your commercial takes place inside a car, you won’t need the actor to stand. However, if the script requires standing and/or moving, get the actor up on his/her feet and ask them to move around as the script directs. Someone may look and sound great while seated, but they may move awkwardly when standing or walking.




And when evaluating the auditions, examine the following:

  1. Did the actor provide you with enough vocal variety when reading the lines?
  2. Did they respond to your direction well? Did they deliver what you asked them to do? Or were they slow to comprehend and deliver?
  3. Do their facial expressions and body language convey the emotion you are looking for? So much of an actor’s on-camera performance is non-verbal. Did the actor communicate the feelings of the character without saying a word? Or, did his/her face remain relatively unemotional?
  4. How did the actors look when up and moving around? How did they carry themselves? Was it natural and believable or forced and stiff?
  5. How was the actor’s overall appearance? Sometimes someone may have a great presence and an excellent delivery, but he/she may just not have the right look for the part. Who just “looks right,” in your opinion? When following up with actors with whom I have auditioned, sometimes I have to tell them that they are extremely talented and did a great job during the audition, but ultimately, just didn’t look right for the part.




Taking time to weigh your casting options will definitely have a positive impact on the final video.

Acting for the Camera – On Set

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

A majority of my first post on acting for the camera dealt with preparations the actor makes in order to find work. For the purposes of today’s post, imagine that you’ve landed the role. What do directors and producers expect of you throughout the production process?

  1. A Strong Work Ethic – Whether you are getting paid for your time or you are donating your talents for the experience, you need to demonstrate an eagerness for the project. This includes: a) Arriving on time for all rehearsals and shooting dates, b) Memorizing your lines, c) Remaining courteous to everyone involved, d) Being mature and professional. We’ve all seen those “behind-the-scenes” documentaries of actors joking around on set. There’s certainly a place for that, but don’t let it hinder the process of filmmaking.
  2. A Willingness to Listen – When the director critiques your performance, don’t get defensive. Listen and acknowledge that direction. Don’t make excuses. Don’t tell the director why he/she is wrong. Effective communication begins with listening.
  3. A Willingness to Collaborate – As a director, I enjoy getting input from my actors. I expect them to come to the project with their own ideas and suggestions. I realize that not every idea fits with my vision, but I also know that some suggestions will make the film better. I welcome that creative collaboration. As an actor, you need to study the material. Be prepared to offer your opinions. It shows the director that you care about making the best film possible.

The process of filmmaking is extremely demanding, yet extremely rewarding. Being professional, courteous, and hard-working will go a long way toward landing you that next acting job.

Acting for the Camera

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I had the opportunity yesterday to speak before a group of young actors and share with them some important things about acting in front of the camera. The class was very productive and I think I left them with some valuable information.. So, if you are a young actor, new to the world of film production, allow me to share with you some of the things I shared with the students yesterday.

Getting Started

If you want to work in film and you live in a smaller market, be prepared to work for free. This is especially true if the project is a short film. However, you will gain some great experience and will be able to start building a reel. If you’re looking for paid work, I would suggest getting involved with a local agency. They will help you find commercial work that will pay.

As a young actor, it may be tempting to jump in with both feet when you read the words “Film Auditions.” After all, who doesn’t want to be in a movie? But I would suggest taking the time to find out more about the production company before you get involved. Look at their work. How’s the production quality? Would you be proud to have your name associated with the kind of work they produce? Maintain a sense of pride about yourself and your craft.

Consider being an extra in a production. This will give you valuable on-set experience and will help you get introduced to some important people.

Preparing for the Audition

Always have a headshot ready to go. It should be a single image with your resume stapled to the back. Your resume should be a single sheet and it should be attached so that a casting director can flip the headshot over read your resume. Don’t add on extra photos or extra sheets. Don’t paper clip items together, because your resume could get separated from your headshot. This means a casting director could have your picture without having any idea who you are or how to get in contact with you.

If you pride yourself on being a character actor and can offer a director a wide range of looks, you can always create a composite headshot. The composite would contain your main headshot and then two or three other images (on the same sheet) of you portraying particular character.

Auditioning

Every audition can be a little different, but you need to be prepared for the following:

  1. On-camera introduction
  2. Cold read
  3. Informal interview
  4. Improvisation

On-Camera Reminders

When you are on camera shooting a scene, remember that continuity is very important. This means that you have to do the exact same blocking in the exact same way for every take. This is to help the editor match footage together when the film is being assembled.

You also want to think subtle. In the theatre everything is big, because you have to project to the back row. Film is a much more intimate medium. The slightest change in facial expression can be read by the audience. If you play it up too big, you will be over-acting.

Finally, continue acting until the director says, “Cut.” Many directors want their actors to continue the scene and improv additional dialogue and action just to see what happens. Sometimes the best material can be found in these moments. So, don’t break character until you here the “Cut” command.

We went over a lot more material in yesterday’s class, so I might post a series of notes on acting for the camera in the next few days.

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Film Auditions This Weekend

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Parc Entertainment will be holding auditions for the short film “If Only” on Friday, February 6 from 6-8pm and Saturday, February 7 from 1-4pm. Auditions will be held at the Parc Entertainment office, located at 2309 2nd Avenue South. Please bring a headshot and resume when you come. If you have any questions, you can contact Clint at 205-588-4185, or clint@ParcEntertainment.com.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

Cast:

VANESSA – Mid 30s. A classy woman who dresses smart. She’s not snobby or uptight. She suffers from emotional issues following a turbulent relationship. She has a close group of friends she relies on, and won’t really let anyone else in to her life. She’s guarded and introverted.

MATTHEW – Late 30s. Ex-boyfriend of Vanessa. Charming, but manipulative. Moderately successful. Moody. Insincere — will always tell you what you want to hear.

VANESSA’S FRIENDS – Three Women mid 30s-early 40s. Fun, sincere, trustworthy, just an all-around good group.

THERAPIST – Male or Female – Late 40s to mid 50s. Intelligent, academic. Soothing voice, calming effect on others.

We will also have some supporting roles including:

WAITER
POLICE OFFICER
MAITRE DE
RESTAURANT HOSTESS

And we will also be in need of extras to fill out a restaurant scene.

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