I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, and really appreciate all the advice you offer. I just discovered the Inside Acting Podcast and listened to your interviews. Very informative, and it was great to actually hear you!
I have a question about self-producing, because it seems like that’s the hot topic these days, and something I’m constantly hearing: that we should self-produce something and put it on the web. Sounds so simple.
But, what if you’re not “creatively inclined”? How do you come up with something (a story) that’s interesting enough that anyone would want to watch? Let’s face it, the most compelling stories have seriously great writing, or twists.
I know that part of me — okay, most of me — doesn’t want to write, produce, or direct a webisode or the like. I’m an actor. That’s what I like to do: take other people’s words and become that person.
I’m fortunate in that I have some good credits (and a decent reel), but because I seem to be stuck at a “tier” and hoping to jump to the next one, I’m giving this “self-producing” idea more weight. Just don’t know where to begin.
Thanks again for your work, lots of us appreciate it!!
Hi Marie, and thanks for writing in! So glad you enjoy the columns and I’m with you on the love for podcasts like Inside Acting. Such good stuff goin’ down!
I actually just had a coaching session with an actor whose first self-produced work is in post, after five months of bringing it all together. Yeah, we sat together and talked about how to make this happen, six months ago, and he said — during our session last week — that he never would have believed he could be ending 2012 with a finished film, a showcase of his bullseye, a better understanding of who he is in (and what he brings to) this industry, and the confidence to roll everything out.
And he didn’t write a line of dialogue. He didn’t create a concept. He trusted me to align him with people who love to write; who understand actor brand; who have produced, directed, and edited award-winning films; and with whom he could jam.
Do you need someone to connect you to other people? Nah. It’s handy to have a fairy godmother, but it’s not required. In fact, our November SMFA Essentials module is all about self-producing. Bringing together a team is one of the fundamentals to all of this, sure. But do you have to know how to finance a project, craft a story, write the dialogue, crew the shoot, show up as the on-camera talent, edit the thing down, and distribute the goods? Absolutely not. You just need to connect with a team of people who like telling the stories you want to tell.
In fact, being a co-star in someone else’s self-produced venture is a great way to get footage on yourself. Finding fellow storytellers who need an actor of your type in THEIR self-produced project can get you the footage you need, without stressing you out about writing, fundraising, crewing, distributing, etc.
In my meeting with my client last week, he talked about how amazing it was, doing material that was written just for him. “I generally look at a script and try to interpret the material. I try to come up with what the writer is hoping to convey and I work to discover something about the character. With THIS material, I just showed up and I was myself. BECAUSE IT WAS WRITTEN FOR ME. Who else could I be?”
What a wonderful experience! Sure, the process of discovery is a beautiful thing. But to be able to just show up and NAIL IT, every take, because it’s material that was made for you? That’s ninja.
Lemmeknow how it goes for you. Plug in with your community. Have fun! Make it known you’re available for projects that align with your brand. Solicit the help of those who love to write great material! Show up for staged readings. Connect. Network. Build relationships. You’ll find the way to get involved with self-produced work, even if YOU are not the producer. Enjoy it!
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001577.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.