Tuesday 9 June 2009

bit of an apology.

Hello All,

So basically, not many people liked my last blog. And I can kind of see why. Discussing the notion that men are more interesting as leading actors than women is tricky enough, but I did it with a bit of an argumentative and perhaps even condescending tone at some points. Which is not really me and not how I meant to come across.

However, I'm not one to delete or change the things I write - best to keep things out there and honest. So now, I'm just apologising if the blog pissed you off. It was more like a blog by a middle aged bitter idiot in the middle row than the ramblings of an excited kid in the first.


Care to share?

Sunday 7 June 2009

For The Record..

Moving on from my non film related and overly wordy entry yesterday - I thought I'd get back on topic and state a few things, just for the record.

My all time top five films are:

1. Cinema Paradiso
2. The Apartment
3. A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints
4. Jaws
5. Beautiful Girls

My most watched films of all time are:

1. You've Got Mail
2. Seven
3. Jaws
4. Shawshank Redemption (which is, I think, the greatest film of all time. So why is it not in my top 5?)
5. Manhattan Murder Mystery

For me, the greatest Writer/Director's are:

1. Billy Wilder
2. Charlie Chaplin
3. Woody Allen
4. Cameron Crowe
5. Guiseppe Tornatore

My Top 5 actors are:

1. Tom Hanks
2. Jack Lemmon
3. Jimmy Stewart
4. Robert Downey Jr
5. Jack Nicholson

My top five places to set a movie are:

1-5: New York

I'd love you to answer these too on your blogs and post them back to me :)

Care to share?

Saturday 6 June 2009

June 6th.

A Short Story.

I logged on to Facebook. I was kind of hoping that Sally would have messaged me back, but she hadn't. Although she did write on Paul's wall so she had been online. Aggh, I'm so depressed. Why won't she message me back? Should I write on her wall? Poke her?. Not only that, but my boss keeps giving me shit because I keep showing up late. Fucking idiot, doesn't he know I've got enough problems? I logged back on to Facebook, Sally has deleted me. OMG. How could she block me?.

He was in the middle of the sea. He was probably freezing cold, he was probably scared - but he didn't really notice because he was so focused on the task ahead. And what was ahead, he didn't really know. He wanted to look into the eyes of the men beside him but he couldn't, because he was in the darkness of night. The horrors that were only hours away were too big to think about. He took comfort in knowing that his best friend Timmy was on the same boat as him.

I messaged Jane and asked her why Sally deleted me. I didn't understand. I am also looking for new jobs but it's so hard with the recession on. I took comfort in my Xbox 360. But then midway through a game it FROZE! This is why I don't let my Brother play my Xbox. Obviously he's broken it somehow. I just about managed to stop myself going insane and throwing the console out of the window. Fuck it, I just need comfort food. I made myself a sandwich. Actually I didn't - because there was no chicken left in the fridge. How can there be no chicken left in the Fridge? I tried phoning my brother to find out if he'd stolen my chicken but I couldn't get a reception on my phone. My phone is crap, I need a new phone.

He couldn't help but notice the eerie silence around him. The only noises were the occasional cough, or some guy at the back being sick. Everybody felt sick. Most wouldn't admit it. The night was nearly over and the beaches were ever closer. He instinctively knew that what was to come was going to be a lot different to everything he had experienced before. He thought briefly about Mary. He wondered what she was doing right now. He hoped she was sleeping.

I did a google image search for Scarlet Johannson. Life was suddenly great again and all my stresses were gone. After about fifty pictures of her I moved on to Meagan Good. Maybe life wasn't such a drag after all. My friend Charlie came round and we ordered a pizza. Charlie's my mate but to be honest, he annoys me. For example, he blatantly always tries it on with Sally, right in front of me. And he always belittles the things I say. AND, the dude owes me £50 from like three months ago. I wanna smash his face in. I can't deal with a friend owing me money and hitting on my girl.

He didn't quite get time to have a thought pass through his head, because the bullet flew right into his helmet before he even saw the enemy. Luckily, his helmet managed to hold out. Little Bryan wasn't as lucky, it sliced right through his shoulder and took him down. Within seconds, they were all in the water, fighting to get to dry land. Not that dry land was any better-- the onslaught of German fire was non-stop. He saw a small dip in the sand that could be used as cover. He headed for it but another soldier got there first. Good job the other soldier got there first because his arm got blown off just as he touched the ground.

I was meant to go to JJ's party tonight but instead thought I'd stay at home. I logged onto facebook and looked at some pictures. Pictures of Sally that her friends had tagged. I had reached the point of official devastation. Maybe I should just kill myself. Nah, I think I'll just throw on a DVD and drown my sorrows.

He could almost burst due to the sheer pressure in his head. Everything was happening at once. The water behind him was a sickening red, and the beach before him was a sea of men falling. It was too many things to take in at once - the smells and sights were indescribable. He would have taken more time to be dazzled by all this but there were still Germans shooting at him. Suddenly, a soldier dived on top of him-- they both fell to the ground. "What was that?" he asked. The bald comrade who wasn't wearing a helmet said "Keep moving, you nearly got your head blown off". Before he could say thanks the bald guy was already saving another life. As for our hero, he never saw the bald guy again. He never saw Timmy again either, but he didn't have time to think about that.

I think the world is falling apart. Seriously. Apparently, they think that maybe too much coffee can now cause mental issues. So I'm fucked! And I've just found out they're thinking of making a new Back To The Future movie, why Lord, WHY? Nothing makes sense anymore. Even Ronaldo is thinking of signing for Real Madrid!. I left Sally a voicemail. I know I shouldn't, but I did.

His uniform was ripped on one side from shrapnel and the other side was covered in blood. Although it looked brown. He thought blood was meant to look red. They were shooting at him again. Everyone was exploding. One guy was on fire, he didn't know how that happened. It was at this point he realised he needed to kill some Germans. He nervously hovered behind some tall soldier he'd never seen before and another guy who might be Mikey J but he can't be sure because his face was half blown off.

I logged off of Facebook and I ignored JJ's missed calls. My life was becoming more than stressful, I'm too old to be dealing with this shit lol.

He turned to look at the boy who was giving him instructions. He really was a boy, he looked 14. The boy didn't get to finish giving instructions because his head got blown off. All around there were boys crying, boys screaming, boys dying. But more common than that, were boys coming together. Boys focused. Boys advancing on an enemy that had to be stopped. He suddenly felt a jolt of confidence, a reminder of his purpose. It was all he needed. He wasn't going to go down without a fight. He pointed his gun at the tower above and took aim.

Care to share?

Friday 5 June 2009

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Why Struggling Actors Should Produce Their Own Work

If I hear one more actor say "there's just nothing out there at the moment" or "I don't have anything for my showreel" I am going to scream.

When you're starting out in the industry it's hard, I get it. But the industry doesn't owe you anything. And that can really frustrate me about young actors; they feel like they are owed acting roles, owed great showreels, owed everything. But the industry owes you nothing. And the thing most of you don't realise is that there are thousands of actors out there working harder than you. You need to catch up.

Acting, like Producing and Directing, is creating. Something didn't exist and now it does. If you do a short film TODAY, then you have put something out there into the world. It is a part of your legacy. Now it may suck, so you may not want to make it. But what's better, a film that sucks or a film that doesn't exist? To begin with, just by making something that sucks, you wipe out 50% of the competition, because the other half is sitting in offices and supermarkets saying "I want to be an actor".

Most actors get a bit scared when they get DVD's of their performances. It's usually "oh God, I wasn't as good as I thought". But imagine if before doing that film; you had made five of your own shorts and acted in them-- chances are your performance in the DVD you just received might be a bit better.

There is no need for an actor to wait for roles, CREATE the roles. If you want to play a nurse, make a film about a nurse. You want to be an astronaut, be an astronaut. You want to play a whore, play a whore. "But I have no money!" you say. Okay, well - how about you and two other struggling actors make a short film set in one location. 'An Astronaut misses his last day of training due to being caught with a whore by his girlfriend - who uses her nursing skills to help the whore who's struck down by a fever.' - there you go. Grab a camera, shoot it. You have a film.
Make a mockumentary about an out of work actor who has a fear of leaving his house. Make a film about a man who keeps watch over his garden as he's convinced the pigeons are Nazi's. Film a bunch of your acting friends talking about their fears and hopes and put it on YouTube, it's footage of YOU.

If you have showreel footage, you immediately overtake 80% of the actors currently doing the short film circuit.

Back to creating. Maybe you're scared by the term 'Producing'. A producer takes nothing and turns it into a product. He finds a story and finds the people needed to make it end up on the screen. You can do that. You can do it by borrowing your Aunt's camera, getting a friend to press record whilst you perform.
"But it doesn't look professional," you say. Casting Directors don't care. Whether it was Patrick Fugit in Almost Famous or Katie Holmes in Dawson's Creek; the industry is full of cases where some struggling nobody who lived in a farm in nowhere managed to win a role by showing Producers/Casting Directors who they are. Tom Hanks on 35mm is Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks on your Aunt's camera is still Tom Hanks. I was watching a behind the scenes video of 'Vanilla Sky' yesterday; it was just Cameron Crowe and the crew messing around-- but every time Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz are on screen; they steal the show. Why? Because they have that thing. In their eyes, in their movement, in who they are -- they are great personalities, great actors. It shines through. YOU WILL SHINE THROUGH if you create video content of yourself, being yourself, and showing the world your talents.

There is no need to be distraught if you are not getting roles, or if Directors everywhere are ignoring you or saying "I may be casting next month," who cares; a lot of their films will be terrible anyway.

Go watch 'Ellie Parker' - it's Naomi Watts in a horribly rough and cheaply shot feature film; but what she does in the film is show off every aspect of her acting skills. She proves to the world how great she is. You can do exactly that.

Some of the best short films I have seen have been terribly shot. But if you can act, you should show people. You want to know what is worse? Terrible acting with beautiful photography.
It will ruin you. If a casting director sees you on TV or in your showreel or, even worse, in the cinema and your performance is wooden and stagey - then you're screwed. So go pick up a camera; this is the most freedom you'll ever have as an actor. Go create, go and become the very characters you want to play. The ball is in your court - and you need to smash it right into the Casting Directors face so he can't miss you.

"I am getting my reel together soon" should not be a sentence you ever utter.

Care to share?