Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Gurella Filmmaking-Things I learned making no budget films Part 2"

So my last blog listed the three most important key roles on my crew. Well I must have been drunk because there really is four. The fourth person, just as important, is the sound guy. You can have shitty pictures and still make a movie, but if you sound is're FUCKED!

So next you need to find the best cast you can. Auditioning can be a very difficult process for me. You have no budget and sometimes it is hard to get around that. I have done 10 short films and in those films I was able to access ACTRA talent twice and that was only because the actors in question really wanted to do the role. But with that said I am fortunate that I live in a place that has an incredible theatre community and really good actors are everywhere you just need to look for them. I have an actor friend Andy Northrup who is really well connected. He has been in all my when I have a role and I am not seeing anyone I like, I call Andy and he usually has a suggestion. As well by mentioning Andy's name I can more easily convince the person to do the role for no money.

I don't want this to sound sleezy, I think I make good films and a lot people seem to like them. So yeah, I haven't had budgets but at least most people who become involved with one of my projects realize that their is a big chance that what they do will be good for their demo reel.It is important that you create an environment where there is something for everyone. Maybe a 1st Assistant wants to work with a certain DP who is shooting the film, then the shoot becomes very valuable to them. An actor has never done film just theatre, here is an opportunity for them.

Every film I have done I have almost always made at least one casting error. Just remember no role is to small to worry about. I always get nailed with the stragglers, roles that are always the hardest to cast and there aren't a lot of options. They are in large part small roles, that add color and texture to the story so are important. Something to watch for...I have been snowed by enthusiasm. An actor is so excited about the project, which in turn gets me excited about them and I have confused their enthusiasm with ability. This is really easy to do when you can't seem to find someone for a role, the shoot date is around the corner and you need to start the rehearsal process. You don't have a budget so the casting call can't go on that long, and your options can be limited. But you live and learn. The problem with no budget is that you can very rarely afford to re-shoot with someone new. But one of the things I love about film acting is editing. Not that I mean to diss the talents of film actors but if someone does a crap job and if the role is small enough their is a strong possibility that the problems can be fixed in editing...the cliche "We'll fix it in post" is alive an well in Guerrilla Filmmaking. But to wrap this segment when you are looking for actors, look everywhere. Ask friends, write down names when you see really good plays or look at every day people that seem to have that knack. Your cast is important...and one thing I never accept when I do a film is someone with the attitude you get what you pay for. When I work with someone on one of my films they know the parameters, they know what they are getting from the job...if they commit I expect 110%...there is no money to throw at this so everyone better be there.

Finally, I am writing this blog because I feel I have some info that could help others...but at the same time everyone reading this should also feel comfortable in adding to it...lets turn this into a learning tool for everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment