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Seminars

Shooting Actor Demo Reels

Demo Reel Hints from a Film Director

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What Goes Into a Good Actor Demo Reel Today, an actor needs a good demo reel. Many agents won’t even look at representing an actor if they don’t have one. So what are the elements that need to go into a demo reel to make it effective? Brevity. Us directors and the casting directors don’t have a lot of time. I’m not going to sit through a 6 minute demo. I will make it through a one minute demo. And that might even leave me wanting more. Which is what you want. Quality of Acting. I want to see beats or turns. Not just effusing drama. So you can cry. What caused your character to start crying? That’s what I want to see. Quality of Production. I understand that many actors use what they can get– that the filmmakers have…

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New Demo Shoot

New Demo Shoot

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Actor Demo Reel FEB 21 We are tentatively scheduling a new actor demo scene shoot for Tuesday Feb 21.  We usually shoot in the afternoon and evening (to allow for those who can’t get out of work or school).  Go to the store to register.  We need to have a minimum for the shoot to take place.  The cost is $350 per person.  But brand new– if you do two, we will give a $50 discount (use coupon code “doubledemo”) so that 2 is $650 and not $700. Go to Store. Here’s how it works: You register I contact you for headshots and to discuss your demo reel needs. I write a short scene, pairing you up with another actor who has signed up.  I try to give you 20 to 40 solid seconds and same for the other actor…

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Ron Gonzalez Headshots

The Actor Headshot

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Yesterday we discussed the resume (read it here).  If you’re coming to the Acting: A Director’s POV for Child/Teen actors on Jan 21, bring your headshot and resume and we’ll discuss it right there and then.  To register, go to the store. The Headshot As the director, the majority of headshots will come to me in the audition room.  Yes, throughout the year, people will hand them to me.  At church.  At industry events.  At my house unannounced and uninvited.  To my wife when I’m not there.  The truth is that outside the audition room, I don’t have a system for collecting headshots.  It might go in a folder that I forget all about.  Your best bet is to cozy up to casting directors. So you’ve appropriately handed me your headshot as you walked into the audition room (or the…

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Actor Resume

Actor Resumes

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For those coming to the Acting: A Director’s POV for Teen and Children actors on Saturday Jan 21, bring your headshot and resume and we’ll talk about them.  (Register for the morning or the afternoon session here). The Resume Most of the time, I get handed a headshot as I sit behind the table about to hear your audition.  I might have been handed the headshot by the casting associate or given when you walked in the room.  I will glance at the headshot (more on the next blog) and then turn it over and read. Here’s a bullet point of things I see: SAG or SAG eligible — A very common question is whether a non SAG actor who is eligible should put “eligible” on there.  I’m fine with that.  It tells me you’ve worked on a SAG set…

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What’s a Parent of a Actor To Do?

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We’re going to be having another seminar on Saturday January 21.  This one is Child/Teen Acting: A Director’s POV.  To register, you can go to the store.  When I’ve taught this seminar before, I’ve gotten some very interesting questions. “The Director wanted to take my child into a different building, pretty far away from me and wouldn’t allow me to come.”  Although on the face of it, this seems a simple “hell no.”  But there are a lot of conflicting thoughts that run through the head at this moment.  You want you and your child to be a team player.  You want the director to like your child actor so that they won’t get cut.  Or their part lessened.  Or maybe the thought flitters through your head that maybe in this industry, it’s just the way it’s done… that it’s…

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Children & Teen Actors

Children & Teen Actors

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As a working film director, I’ve had lots of opportunities to work with children and teen actors.  And it seems to me that most of the training is actor to actor– so here’s some information to children and teen actors and their parents from a director to actor.  I’ll be teaching a class in Fort Worth on January 21 on this subject.  You can register at the store.  There’s a morning session and an afternoon– you just need to pick one– they’re identical. First of all, the child actor needs to look and play younger.  The younger the better.  This goes against what almost every child is seeking– to be grown up.  So as you shoot headshots, assemble demo footage, go to auditions– keep that in mind.  You want to look and play younger. Why?  Two simple reasons.  The more…

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Sean Patrick Flanery and Dan Millican

How to Land Name Actors for Your Film

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So you want to make a feature film.  You might have even heard that the biggest factor, bar none, for the distribution success of your movie is to cast name actors.  But how do you do it? The Name Actor’s 4 Factors First, you need to know the four factors that weigh in a name actor’s decision to be in your movie. A director they want to work with A script they want to do A producer or producing team they can trust The money I’ve had people go into this process thinking that they can land anyone for a price and it’s just not true.  I’ve had name actors turn down large amounts and I’ve had bigger name actors take a lot less.  So money is not the only factor.  And if you’re a first time director and you’re…

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Tips for Auditions

Acting Tips for the Audition

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Hey Actors! December 9 we are shooting actor demos.  These are original scenes, shot on high def and made to look like it’s taken right from an indie film.  For more information, check out the Seminars page. Tips to Actors from a Director As a director of five feature films, I’ve sat through a lot of auditions.  We’ve cast in LA and NYC and of course local.  And what I want to do here is give some advice, some cheat codes that can quickly make an impact for you as an actor going in to an audition. First– if you’re given the sides, have them beyond memorized.  What I mean by this is that if you work until you’ve finally get through it once from memory, that’s not near enough.  The crucible that is the audition room will pressure your…

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Shooting actor demos

Demo Shooting

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LATEST NEWS!! Taking registrations for slots on FEB 7  to shoot actor demos.  CLICK HERE to register. When I was casting Rising Stars, I came to realize that local actors have some serious challenges to overcome in landing roles. The biggest is a bias towards LA/NYC actors. Another, is that a lot of local actors just don’t have any good material for demo reels. One problem is that often the micro budget indie that they get to act in– they get promised a DVD but in actuality rarely ever get one.  The filmmaker gets too busy and just can’t or won’t pop out the discs for their actors.  Another problem is that they just don’t have anything that can showcase their skills in front of a camera. I decided to offer a service– I would write an original little scene,…

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Seminars for Directors and Producers this Saturday!

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  DIRECTOR SEMINAR *** PRODUCER SEMINAR Saturday, October 1, only $29 (reg. $49) for each class   We’re going to have a Director and Producer Seminar on Saturday October 1.  Director class is 9 to 11:30.  We’ve dropped the price to only $29.  Producer class at 1:30 to 4pm.  Same price. Director Class 9am-11:30 [buy_now_button product_id=’132′] Producer Class 1:30pm to 4pm [buy_now_button product_id=’128′] For Directors, we’ll go over what to look for in auditions, how to approach the shoot, shot lists, vector lines, and the psychology of working with actors and head strong crew members.   For Producers, we’ll talk about nuts and bolts of getting the project started, paperwork needed, how to raise money, how to pitch, pulling a team together all the way through to distribution.   If you sign up for both, bring your lunch and we’ll…

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