Thursday, May 28, 2009

Should I get professional head shots?

All entertainers should have professional calling cards. This is your number one promotional tool. In the case of Actor's this would be a head shot.

There are many photographers out there who take beautiful photos. One thing I recommend is that you have a look at their body of work, look for familiar faces, some head shot photographers have taken shots of celebrities and those photos are on their site, this will help you to see the representation of the person they shot.

Many photographers will meet you in person if you feel that is helpful before you hire them. There is probably not much worse than having someone take your pictures with whom you are uncomfortable, so this is a valid step in the process.

Don't let your buddy take some shots of you because they have a hobby and then think those will pull like a pro. The industry knows professional work when it sees it!

To be a Pro, you have to BE a Pro!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Important is it to be nice to everyone?

A very wise man once said remember the secretary of today is the boss of tomorrow.

No truer words were ever spoken. In fact, most of the Hollywood elite are not Harvard educated business men and women, most of them have industry related education and then went in to a mail room at some agency or studio to work their way to the top.

The late Dawn Steele, former head of Paramount who made Tom Cruise super star, was a self made woman and the first female to head a studio (she has a great Auto Biography that is a worthwhile read).

Most of the big wigs I have met in the industry have been self-made, which means that they had to work up through the ranks! And I will tell you the BIGGEST actors and BEST execs are the ones who have ZERO superiority complexes!

One time I was at a restaurant in Los Angeles with my husband, there was a very kind man and another gentleman sitting just next to us. They were simply trying to enjoy their meal. throughout dinner a variety of people kept stopping at their table and saying hi and chatting at them, finally the topper was a couple who stopped with their very large dog who sniffed around at us and the gentlemen, it was obnoxious. The one gentleman apologized to us. I turned to him and said in earnest, don't apologize to us - you guys are the one's who can't enjoy your dinner! Long story short, I rifted with the gentleman a bit, made fun of a film that was opening down the street only to find that he was the PRESIDENT of that film company, so rather than apologizing I played into my flub and made a good laugh of it. He then took my name and address and for 5 years sent my daughter EVERY single video release from that company that came out. She wrote thank you notes every time a new video would arrive.

So I would say that it is VERY important to be courteous to everyone you encounter - but above that be GENUINE in your behavior as veils are transparent - even a veil of feigned diplomacy or care.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How come it takes a week to make a show?

This is about a brief rundown as can be done on a blog. If you have specific questions feel free to write back and ask those and I will answer as I can.

Television is not like a film. Most comedies are shot in sequence whereas most films are shot totally out of sequence.

In television there are multiple steps to creating a show and there are also multiple people who are involved.

There is the Director of the show, the Executive Producer, The Studio person and the Network person. ALL of these people have to agree that they like the particular show that has been written BEFORE it gets shot.

Because most studio and network execs are more business oriented than they are creative (someone has to make sure a show makes some money!!) they generally like to see the actors do what is called a table read. A table read is where all the actors sit down with the first draft of the script and read their parts and then all those present make notes, most importantly the Studio and Network people say what they do and do not like or will and will fly for the censors and advertisers.

The re-write begins. Then the cast and crew have to come back together to run through the script that has now been agreed and approved. Though there are still changes to be made from this point and those will be incorporated all the way up to filming.

There is another step called Blocking. This is where all the actors “marks” or places to walk or stand etc are blocked out so the camera men can ensure their cameras are in the right spot for shooting.

And then we come to the Network/Studio run through and rehearsal. This is where any notes from the Executives of the show are given and incorporated into the show.

Finally – it is shoot day! Some shows are shot in front of a live audience and this is the day they use to make the show that will finally be on TV.

So all in all it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days to shoot a comedy show because of all the people who are involved.