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actor training Archives - S-Films

In the audition room

One Director’s Biggest Advice for Local Actors

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If I could say one thing to local actors to immediately help their performance in film and give them a much better chance for landing that role in auditions, I would say this: Big is Bad. My advice to feature film and television actors is to bring it down.  In some cases… way down.  Now this advice is not without controversy.  I’ve had one agent tell they think I’ve got it wrong… that it’s better to be too big than too small… that a director can bring a performance down to the right level more easily than bringing it up.  Not in this director’s experience. You see, in the audition room, using a 0-9 scale on “bigness”, I have many local actors coming in at 7, 8 or 9.  I’m looking for 1.5.  Now we have to go from an…

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Is Screenfighting Workshop for Children Actors?

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I’ve been surprised at how many people have asked this.  For background– we’re offering a one of a kind workshop on March 24-25 where Day 1 has two classes on handling weapons as an actor and Day 2 is about how to fight and work around special effects.  4 classes– 2 days.  To register, go to the SFilms store. Can my child attend this workshop? For ages under pre-teen, I don’t think Day One (Weapon Handling) is a good idea.  What we’re talking about is learning skills for upcoming auditions and roles, that will give you an edge as an actor.  There just aren’t that many roles for a gun-wielding 8 year old.  (I could be wrong, but there you go.)  For teens, especially older teens, yeah maybe.  It’s a skill and you can add it to your headshot/resume. I…

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Screenfighting Workshop now March 24-25

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Due to several factors, we’ve moved the Screenfighting Workshop to March 24-25 (after spring break for most people).  Doug Williams will be teaching weapons on Saturday March 24 and Steve Krieger will be teaching the fighting and special effects on Sunday March 25. If you’d like to register, go to the SFilms store by clicking here.  If you plan on coming, please do register as soon as possible.  At this workshop, you will learn how to handle weapons like a professional, adding value to your performance on the set.  You’ll also learn some fight basics and learn to perform in the midst of special effects– what can be costly and how to be safe. You can take one class or all four over the two days.  And if you’d like to experience a squib hit at the end of the…

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Serendipitous Films

Screenfighting Workshop – Saving Time on the Set

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(We’ve got a workshop for screenfighting coming March 24-25.  Register at the SFilms Store). Experienced & Trained Actors Save Time & Money Early in my directing career, I was casting a day player speaking role on one of my films.  I auditioned the part with some sides that included her lines.  I looked at whether she could pull off the part as an actor.  But I made a mistake.  On the day of the shoot, it was required that she get roughed up a bit– not really a stunt situation– but needed to move a bit and the actor I cast was extremely stiff.  It showed.  It was not pretty. The lesson I took moving forward was not to be so tunneled-vision in the audition. If the part requires the person to take a punch, I might want to see how…

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Credits on your Actor Headshot Resume

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Director to Actor I like to address the most common questions I get in the seminars and workshops.  This past Saturday, we had the Acting: A Director’s POV Child/Teen acting class, and while talking about the headshot and resume, I had a couple of recurring questions.  If you find this useful, please feel free to retweet or facebook forward this page. Extra Work Do I post all the extra work I’ve done or should I leave it off?  Does this turn off a director? Generally speaking, when I flip over the headshot to look at the resume and it’s chock full of extra listings, I mentally downgrade you at that point.  You haven’t been able to land any real roles.  And I know it’s the easiest thing in the world to be an extra on a film.  So as a…

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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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