Procrastination Corner

Hello and welcome to this week’s Procrastination Corner… an attic full of stuff you don’t really need, but can’t bear to throw away.

A great (but too short) interview with stop motion maestro Ray Harryhausen. (Link)

The original video to… er… Video by Jeff Lynne. He honestly seems to be having the most fun here. (Link)

Donald Duck’s family tree (Link)

The future according to films. (Link)

I tweeted this a few weeks ago but still love it – Hypnotising Chickens (Link)

10 Myths About Space Travel That Make Science Fiction Better (Link)

Always nice to hear of famous people who are dyslexic…Spielberg. Who knew? (Link)

Tattoos for websites that no longer exist. (Link)

Legoland’s annual clean up looks like a big job. (Link)

While we are on Lego… Video of first Legoland park. (Link)

My favorite literal video. Safety dance. (Link)

And finally this week’s game… be the virus that destroys the world… Infectonator : World Dominator (Link)
Enjoy.

Lights.. Camera.. Campaign!

Well this is exciting. Normally I write these blogs looking back at something, but today we’re looking forward!

This time tomorrow, we will be shooting the video for our crowd funding campaign…

…and to be honest I’m bricking it.

As I mentioned in last week’s casting blog, I am useless in front of the camera. Not only do I hate public speaking or even being the centre of attention, I have been blessed with what can only be described as one of the dullest monotone voices known to man. Truly, I’m not exaggerating. Imagine the voice of Death’s bored younger brother and you’ll get the picture. Even when I’m excited or sincere, it just comes out like I don’t give a damn.

But this blog isn’t about my insecurities (as much as I wish it were). It’s about our upcoming crowd funding campaign. As you may, or may not know, we are planning to fund The Fitzroy through crowd funding.

This is incredibly exciting. First and foremost, I would describe myself as a film geek. Crowd funding means that as film fans we can have a say in the kinds of films that get made. No more complaining that they don’t make them like they used to. Also, it allows us to share the experience and have a direct influence on the actual film.

The flip side is that as a filmmaker it allows me to discover if there is an audience out there for The Fitzroy, receive feedback on what is and isn’t working and share the experience. It’s win-win!

But a lot of people are trying to do crowd funding. So we need to stand out, and one of the ways of doing that is shouting about the film and creating a pitch video that will ‘sell’ the film. Unfortunately this means I have to get over my insecurities, and go in front of the camera. But that’s a small price to pay.

So this time tomorrow we will be knee-deep in tripods and make-up at the actual location we would like to shoot the film.

We’ll try and tweet as much as possible from the shoot and give you a sneak peak at the location (it’s awesome!).

Time to go learn my lines!

Procrastination Corner

Welcome to this week’s Procrastination Corner – a hamper of internet delights.

Adam Buxton doing what he does best. NWA – Help The Police (Link)

A very nice bit of design. Is this the new shoe box? (Link)

Ken Block shows why San Francisco’s roads are awesome. (Link)

While we are on cars, this advert for Sky’s Bond season is pretty cool. ALL THE BONDS. (Link)

The Citizen Kane script. (Link)

Nice little info graphic on summer blockbusters. (Link)

How to start a movement (not just in dance) (Link)

Is this the cutest thing ever? A little pig rescuing a baby goat from drowning at a petting zoo. (Link)

And finally this week’s game. Bubble Tanks 3, much better than it sounds (Link)

Hope you enjoy.

The Audition: A director’s POV

After yesterday’s announcement of Beach Casting and Brendan McNamara joining The Fitzroy, I thought it would be nice to share some of my thoughts on casting and what I look for in an audition.

I should say up front this is just my way of doing an audition and what I look for. I’m sure each director has a different method and it’s going to be a great learning curve working with Brendan.

I have the highest respect for Actors, it’s a tough job, sure the perks are great but the reality is it’s hard graft. Full of ups and downs, long hours and they get asked to do some hideous things. ‘Just sit in this cold wet lake and make it look like it’s the middle of the summer’. Not to mention the thick skin they must have to develop from auditions. No it’s not a job for me, and anyone who is or wants to be an actor you have my admiration.

So what am I looking for in an actor when they walk into an audition?

Three things:

  1. They are friendly and I get on with them as a person.
  2. They can take direction and listen.
  3. They have thought about the character and story.

Now these might sound simple and glib and they are designed to be.  You see so many people during an audition it becomes pretty repetitive pretty quickly.  If you are lucky you might find someone who just stands out and is the obvious choice but that isn’t always the case the truth is there are often a handful of people all good and then I fall back on this list.

I’ll go in to the three in a bit more details.

1. They are friendly and I get on with them.

It’s the old adage first impressions count: And they do. Auditions can be very quick but it’s incredibly important for me to get on with an actor. If there’s a moodiness or indifference in an audition then what will it be like after 11 hours of work on a cold wet set.

We don’t have to be friends and over friendless is just as off putting. We should be fostering a working relationship, with mutual respect.

2. They can take direction.

Often an actor will have an idea of how to play a character, scene, or line but often for whatever reason you will want them to play it differently. Being open to taking direction is really important.

In the audition this is generally how I play it.

The actor walks in we greet, make a little small chat and then I ask them to run the scene. I might give a little direction by describing the scene, where it comes in the piece and what the character is trying to achieve. But that’s it, sometimes not even that.

The actor will perform the scene.

Then I will tweak something specific with some simple direction (even if it was performed perfect), play it faster, slower, more energy, less, etc. Something like that.

The actor will perform the scene again.

And that is it.

From my (admittedly limited) experience it is surprising how often an actor won’t listen and will either play the scene exactly the same again or completely differently to how I asked.

3. They have thought about the character and story.

This might come up at anytime during the audition and normally just in conversation. I want to see signs that the actor has thought about the character, worked through why they are doing something and are not just reading the words on the page.

One of the other things I really like is when actors make brave unconventional choices even if they aren’t right it’s always great to see a creative imagination at play. I look for this in all cast and crew. There is no such thing as a bad idea. It’s just a case of making sure we run with the best option.

So that’s how I run an audition and what I look for. Like I say I think everyone probably approaches it slightly differently and if you have and suggestions or tips I would love to hear them, especially from an actors point of view on what they are looking for.

Like I say I can’t wait to get working with Brendan and start the casting process. We’ll be putting out a few open calls as we go along.

For news on that, exclusive competitions and announcements sign up to our newsletter on the website.

We have a Casting Director!

We are over the moon to be able to announce this today!

Brendan McNamara and his company Beach Casting have joined The Fitzroy and will be leading the search for the perfect cast.

The right casting is essential for any film and a surprisingly tricky business. Having a casting director of Brendan’s caliber and experience involved really does raise the film to another level.

As well as countless commercials, music promos and short films Brendan has done a number of high profile feature films including Svengali, Ultramarines, Treacle Jr and The Agent.

It’s going to be incredibly exciting ride to see who Brendan suggests for the roles and how that in turn effects the characters.

In the next few months we will start filling roles and have some exciting casting announcements!

We can’t wait!

Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter on our website for even more… well, news.

Actors: As we are trying to make this film through social media with the power of the internet we will also be putting out an open. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for an announcement of this and character descriptions.