Friday, February 27, 2009

Clinically Insane

Here is a post on Actors and Acting. I get asked quite a bit about actors. Usually something like "What's Lou Diamond Phillips like?" For filmmakers, I get asked the most "how do you get a name actor to be in your movie?" And other questions pop up all the time. This is for all indie movies, not just faith-based. Here are some truths:

* Recognizable name actors are leery of first time, low budget, indie directors.
* Sometimes money isn't enough to get them to come on board. Sometimes it is.
* The key is getting a good LA or NYC casting director.
* Most of them are real nice to work with, but a few aren't.
* Most LA and NYC actors are really, really good.
* Acting looks easy, but is incredibly hard, because we watch gifted, experienced people do it on tv and at the movies all the time.
* Some people are born with more ability than others.
* It pays to just have "flight time" -- on other words, just experience with the pressure on and the cameras rolling, so that you can get use to not thinking about the pressure or the cameras.
* By DSM manual used by psychologists, actors are clinically insane. To be able to "become" someone else is to become schizo.
* Playing bad guys may look like fun, but can take a mental toll (see above).
* Many actors forget how to be themselves and play roles when the cameras are not on. (See "The Imposter.")
* Vivacious, extroverted, life-of-the-party people don't always translate to good actors on screen.
* Film acting is different than theater acting. And theater training can mess up film actors.
* Tom Wright, a great actor recommends theater training. So there.
* Great actors can lift mediocre writing.
* Mediocre actors can ruin great writing.
* Most local actors need a lot more experience.
* Most local actors think they are really, really good.
* A few local actors are really good.
* Most local actors I know that are really good, move to LA and are no longer local actors.

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