Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Tour, Casting & Other Stuff

September 29, 2009

I had a great time at the B Movie Celebration, thanks to all who attended. Now I am headed to Tulsa for the Script2Screen Film Festival this weekend. I am speaking at the Festival twice (Thursday evening and Friday morning) and then doing a workshop at the Nightingale Theater (416 E 4th Street) on Saturday from 11 – 2 pm.

Then I’m flying home for the annual Father/Daughter Dance at Fiona’s high school. It is her senior year, and I haven’t missed a dance yet. This will be fun. I am home for about 30 hours and then back out on the road and off to Southeast Missouri State University.

Let’s talk about Casting for a moment.

How do you find Actors for your films?

I go to see as much theater in town as I can. I love theater, and I love theater actors. In my experience they work real hard and they love what they do. They must, because most of them are never going to get rich working in the theaters. So how come filmmakers don’t go to the theater? At one of the panels I was on at the B Movie Celebration another filmmaker made the comment, “Most of your friends can’t act so don’t put them in your movie!” I have to agree (unless of course your friends are stage actors…). And that’s the point, nothing looks worse than bad acting in a film. The audience will laugh for awhile, and then when it doesn’t get any better, they will leave.

Find the best actors you can and rehearse the hell out of them. And don’t forget to respect them and their craft.

The studio/distribution people will tell you that you need a name. Don't believe them. They're lazy. They don't want to have to work at their jobs. We work our asses off making the movie, why shouldn't they do the same thing promoting it? And these days, to say you have William H. Macy in a movie isn't enough. How many straight-to-DVD movies have you seen on the shelves that have name stars? If there are lots of titles that you have never heard of, just think how many movies these "stars" have done that never got picked up for the straight-to- DVD route. Probably lots.

It's all bullshit! Good actors are more important than stars any day of the week. Remember, stars have to come from somewhere. Maybe your low-budget film will be the launching point for the next Parker Posey? Doubtful, but possible. I still say, stay away from "stars!"

Excerpted from my book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One: Making The Extreme No Budget Film. It’s full of things to help you make your film. So why haven’t you bought it!

Go to my site, (www.angryfilmmaker.com) and buy it for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H. You’ll feel better about yourself in the morning.

“This is a killer book. It tells you what your teachers can’t, because they haven’t done it. It tells you what your friends can’t, for the same reason. Jammed with tons of useful advice, Baker’s book is an invaluable “think before you shoot” guide for beginning filmmakers, as well as people who’ve been around the block, but need a refresher course.”

William M. Akers
author of Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways To Make It Great
teaches screenwriting and filmmaking at Vanderbilt University
Lifetime Member of the Writers Guild

On to other stuff.

Even though Moses and I are on the road, I still have open dates on the Fall Tour so if you want us to come to your college, university, media art center, high school, theater or even to your house for dinner this Fall send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, Show Biz Software, (www.showbizsoftware.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and Cheezy Flicks (www.cheezyflicks.com ). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

And I’m welcoming a new Sponsor, Film Slug, (www.filmslug.com) but more about them later…

As always, feel free to link to my site and you can subscribe to my blog. So what are you waiting for?

Talk later.




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