HAPPY NEW YEAR!
And, now for my New Year's Resolution!
TO MAKE LOTS OF MOVIES.
READERS AND AUDITIONS
Often the biggest issue to submitting a video audition is finding a reader. But, don't let that stop you. You have many options for your readers. Take a look at this list:
1. Use your family members.
2. Use your friends.
3. Record yourself for the other part.
4. Skype with someone and have them be the reader for you.
5. Call someone on the phone and use the speaker phone for your part.
6. Call a professional reader service, e.g., LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP, we have actors who have signed on that will serve as readers for a small fee.
7. Use other actors in your agency and offer to trade off as readers.
Just remember, you don't have to have your reader sitting in front of you. With modern technology, finding a reader is easy.
Here is a list of some of our LACA NOLA clients who have signed up to be part of the professional reading service for auditions:
Jack E. Curenton
Robby Cook Stroud
Lastly, don't let you not having a reader get in the way of auditioning.
TAPING YOUR AUDITION
Now a review on an article on posted several months ago. I was stunned when one of our clients made a comment to me that he couldn't submit his video audition because he didn't have the $40 dollars to have it taped. I almost fell to the floor. First, of all, you video auditions don't have to be professionally shot. Remember, the casting director isn't looking for a director of photography, but are looking for actors. The only thing that matters is that you can be seen clearly and that you can be heard. So, out of review, I am re-posting the following article to help you out just before pilot season.
TIPS AND TRICKS OF RECORDING YOUR AUDITION
Additionally, you don't need to spend a great deal of money on cameras, film gadgets, or invest in editing software. Most actors, nowadays, have at their disposal everything they need to produce their submission video. Actors can use:
- Cell phone camera
- IPAD camera
- Web camera on their computer
- A flip camera
- A consumer video camera
I have an actor colleague who has a special cell phone case they use for this purpose. He attaches Velcro to the back of the cell case and then glued the matching part of the Velcro to a cheap small picture frame so it can be mounted onto the wall. That way, he doesn't ruin the wall by attaching the Velcro directly to it. When not in use, he stores his special mount frame in his Chester drawer and hangs a picture up on the nail. Then, when he needs to record an audition, he removes the picture that normally hangs on the wall, and hangs the Velcro "camera mount" on the wall and attaches his cell phone. The only thing left is for him to press the record button and enter into frame and record his audition.
Another alternative is to purchase a Cell Phone Mount. There are several available on the market for under $30 dollars. The one I love is the RAM Mount Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder with the 1" ball. It uses suction cups to mount to any hard surface and attaches your cell phone. Another favorite of mine is the PanaVise 727-06-6 Slimline Series Pedestal Cell Phone Mount. Also, many of the cell phone mounts, made for cars, can easily be adapted for placement on a bookshelf in your home, your desk, or on a table top. Just use your thinking caps and improvise.
Before you begin taping:
- Check out the lighting where you’re making your tape - don’t stand w/your back to the window. The light should be in front of you.
- Mark your spot on the floor where you need to stand or if you choose to sit, place your chair where it needs to be in the frame once you press the record button, you will be in frame.
- Frame yourself correctly: 1. You should be in the center of the frame, 2. Bottom of the frame should be at the center of your chest, 3. Top of the frame should be barely above the top of your head.
- Don't leave to much white area above your head.
- Don’t walk out of the frame of the camera while recording. We need to be able to see you.
- It is best to stand in front of a solid background: e.g. a wall, a tapestry, a sheet, a drape, etc. NOTE: It is imperative that the background be a SOLID COLOR. No patterns be used for slating. The reason is to really showcase you without distractions. However, you can use a setting for the scene or shoot against a green screen and edit in a background. (Refer to the article on the page The Back Lot for information on how to make a green screen for less than $10 dollars.)
- Make sure there is no background noise that will interfere with our ability to hear your character.
- Have your reader speak lower than you. It is you we need to focus on and not your reader.
- Prior to the recording, please make sure the camera and microphone are ready to go. You can do this by setting it up, shooting yourself and then playing it back to make sure you are framed correctly and the audio is working.
- Don't forget to slate at the beginning of your audition tape. Make sure you speak clearly and if you have an unusual name or you spell your name creatively, be sure to spell it out when you slate.
GETTING MORE CREATIVE
When I first got into this business, I had zero money for equipment and used whatever I could afford and used my ingenuity to "rig" boom mics, dollies, settings, props, and special effect makeup. I also built a cheap greenscreen for my films and auditions. I was an actor too.
Then, I bought the sticky tacky white stuff that you roll into a ball and hung the poster boards seam to seam. That was it. My green screen was ready and I didn't spend but $10 dollars.
For auditions, you really only need three poster boards and hang them in a corner. Once edited, the creases where you joined them don't show and if you have an editing system software that can handle chroma-key, you can put any background you want behind you in post. That way, if you are auditioning for a professor, you can place yourself in a classroom or if you are an oral surgeon, you can place yourself in the dentist office surgical room. The sky is the limit.
When I didn't need my makeshift green screen anymore for filming, they easily come down off the wall, store right beneath my bed, and stay there until I need them again.
If you want a more permanent greenscreen, you can purchase the lime green paint from the nearest home improvement store in the exact color you need for a greenscreen and paint a wall in your home garage, laundry room, or if you daring, a playroom or bedroom.
If you don't want to paint a wall, you can also purchase cheap plywood,4 X 8 feet and paint it with the greenscreen color paint, and lean it against a wall. When not needed, storage could be an issue unless you have a garage or somewhere else to store it.
One thing I really like about using plywood painted for a green screen, when I need to film a shot outdoors I don't have to worry about securing a material green screen to keep it from flapping in the wind. This comes in very handy when I want to film someone driving in a car with a green screen. The car never moves, I prop the plywood green screen up against the car or a couple of production assistants hold it secure, and we shoot our scene. Then in post, we can combine the scenes with the chroma-key tool and have the car traveling anywhere in the world or universe we want them to go.
These are some, but not all, of the innovative approaches I have used to make cheap greenscreens. If you have others, feel free to share them with your fellow members of this blog by adding to the comment section or emailing them to me at email@example.com. If they are really good, I'll add them here in this article and give you full credit for your idea.
HAPPY GREEN SCREEN FILMING!
by Robby Cook Stroud
GYPSY FREE RADIO
LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP IS NOW ACCEPTING ACTORS IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES FOR REPRESENTATION.
- ALL ASIAN MEN, WOMAN, TEENS, AND CHILDREN
- YOUNG ADULTS - AFRICAN AMERICAN
- SPECIALTY ACTS - FLAME THROWERS, STILT WALKERS, CLOWNS ETC.
- HIP HOP ARTISTS, BREAKDANCERS, PARKOR, FREE RUNNERS, SNOWBOARDERS
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our spotlight actor of the week, JERRY LOPEZ JR. Jerry was our very first actor that we signed with our agency and has been with us since the beginning. CONGRATULATIONS JERRY! We love you.
JERRY LOPEZ JR.
Jerry is a very deep actor who can bring strong emotions into his character portrayals. He has the ability to bring a viewer to a full circle with his comedic timing to his dramatic flare. A true undiscovered talent. Jerry is most known for his role as Ray Roche in Subrosan, and Andre in the film Rugaru.
Market: Nationwide RepresentationC
CATEGORY: Film, Television, and Commercials
Prinicipal, supporting, day player roles in film and television. Will consider web-series if the role brings a dramatic flare and artistic challenge. Also, available for commercial and industrial projects. NO NUDITY. NO BACKGROUND WORK.
Now take a look at a picture from the past. This picture was taken the very first time Robby and I met Jerry at a fundraiser given by Gypsy Elise. Who would have thought, less than eight months later, we would be Jerry's talent agents. Geaux Jerry. .
This last year as been so much fun and rewarding. Robby and I have met hundreds of people who we have grown to love and adore. Since this is the last blog of the year, I thought I'd post pictures we have taken throughout our journey. Just look at the family here at KSK AND LACA NOLA.