Sunday, April 24, 2011


As time is going on it is increasingly clear to me that my original concept for this video is the one I have to pursue. Namely, using a character to help tell my story of urban dissolution.

So that means I needed an actress. As part of my profession I've worked with "talent" before but usually in the form of an on screen narrator or presenter. I don't make movies for a living.

The only actors with whom I've worked were my friends and families in the student movies I made back in college. I have never worked with a professional actor in my life

The first hurtle is: Where to start? Lucky for me I live in Toronto, a city with of course a very active scene for actors, from stage to movies to TV to webcasts and everything in between. We have several colleges here that focus on acting and the city attracts aspiring actors from all over the country

I decided to begin my search on Craigslist. I have gotten editing jobs from the list in the past and I've seen people asking for acting help for their projects. Of course, I had to have a volunteer, I am not getting paid for this and there is no monetary prize. I felt a bit weird asking a stranger to work for free but I got a dozen responses in a matter of hours

Some of the responses were clearly inappropriate; models with sexy poses were not what I was looking for. I was looking for someone who can convey emotion without dialogue and who had some enthusiasm for the project.

Casting from emails is an interesting exercise. Most of the ladies sent a head shot and I won't say looks are not important to the project but not essential. Still, I do have a certain image in my mind so some were too young or too old and one I very much liked her letter but she came across as too confident and assertive. I know, actors can be what you want them to be but I am talking about a few shots without dialogue so look does factor into it

There were three women in particular who caught my interest but Collette saw a certain girl's head shot and said "Oh pick her, she looks perfect for the part"

Anna Ross will therefore be my actress, we're going to meet up Wed and do the shoot. My plan is to match shots with her to the B Roll I've already taken, putting her in some of the same locations and contrasting her alone with the shots of busy traffic and large crowds

I am quite impressed that someone would give up their time to help me and I feel that she has a stake in this video turning out well as it will reflect well on her and give her something for her reel. It will be posted on Vimeo and go at least through a judging process so I hope she get some positive exposure

Working with a pro actress (irregardless of what she is or is not getting paid) will be a new experience for me. Making movies and videos is definitely a corroborative effort and since I've been doing this entirely on my own I welcome some input and I look forward to what Anna can bring to the project

No comments:

Post a Comment