Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

This tree is awesome.

Recent pictures

I just upgraded my phone a week ago and it has a camera on it. Since I can upload pics to here via MMS, I've decided to do a picture a day.

The camera on a phone is a cheap little thing. The lens is tiny and wide-angled so that you never have to worry about focus. The images are a little soft. The shutter time is slow, so you get blurring.

Despite all that, I don't believe the tools dictate the quality of the picture just as having access to state-of-the-art technology didn't save Transformers from being a huge dung heap of a movie.

What I like the most is the immediacy of being able to make an image. I do have a nicer Nikon D70s, but due to the size and cost, I don't like the idea of taking it with me everywhere in Chicago. However, the cameraphone is in my pocket, ready to shoot whatever takes my attention. In it's own way, it's like a photographic documentary.

A picture a day. Enjoy them.

Cat bath.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Streaky lights.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Advice for Actors

I’m going to start off by saying that I know an actor’s job isn’t easy. While most people just think an actor sits in a trailer all day and then goes to play Pretend for five minutes, I understand how difficult it can be to bare yourself to the camera lens. I also understand the frustration of most people casting only for student or low-budget productions where they can’t afford to pay actors, let alone themselves (or they’re some opportunistic prick who thinks talent aren’t worth paying.)

I also understand the hassle it is to get a headshot, put together a resume and/or a demo reel, and send it out to countless cattle calls. It all costs money (a headshot can be a couple hundred bucks, then you got printing costs, never mind the postage fees you’ll accrue.) and a lot of time and effort.

That being said, last weekend, I placed a cattle call on Craigslist. Within the first half hour, I received two dozen headshots. A few days later, and I have received more than seventy responses, some of which were for more than one actor (in all but one of these cases, the multiple submissions were children.)

Let me tell you something, the flood of responses into my inadequate Yahoo account was overwhelming. It took me four hours to get through half of them. When I started reading my replies, I vowed to be fair and give everyone’s response the time it deserved. If an actor is willing to blow a lot of cash and time on getting their materials together, the least I can do is give the materials a fair shake.

However, as the hours wore on, the fatigue came in. With so many responses taking so much time, I didn’t have the energy to keep downloading all the attachments, read all the resumes, click all of the demo links and download videos. I started crossing people off for small reasons just so I could move on.

That being said, I wish to offer this advice to actors making submissions to casting calls.

1. Craigslist can’t send anything over 150kb. You’re not going to be able to send that hi-res headshot of yours to the reply address. Prepare for this. Instead of asking me to send you a “real email address” so you can then send your headshot, create a public page that contains your headshot, resume, and demo reel if you have one. I don’t have the time to respond to the many emails asking for the “real email address.”

2. If you don’t have a public webpage, get one. So much is done online, it really pays to have an online one-stop shop with all of your information. On one page you can have your headshot, resume, and demo videos. You don’t even need to hire a web designer! You can get yourself a free blog site at blogger.com or wordpress.com and then make your first post your headshot, your second post your resume, and then embed any videos from YouTube.com or Revver.com into subsequent posts. Also, you can go to actorsaccess.com and create a public profile with resume, pictures, and videos for free.

3. Don’t send links to MySpace (or any of that ilk) profiles. If I don’t have a membership, that means I have to sign up. That means a ten minute ordeal just to look at a couple of pictures and hopefully a video. If I’m going to have to sign up, I’m going to pass over your submission.

4. Send only your own information. Don’t include a friend’s headshot. First, it adds competition to yourself. Second, it makes me worry that you guys may be a package deal. If you have a friend who’s interested in a part, make them send a submission like everyone else.

5. Send the submission first; ask questions later. I’ve received a few responses that were just questions about shoot dates, pay range, etc. No headshots or resumes. I don’t have the time to answer all of these questions. Best thing to do is send your submission, and then if you get a call for an audition, ask then. You can always turn down a role, it’s not a crime.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Am Legend's original ending!

FirstShowing.net has posted the original ending of the Will Smith flick, I Am Legend, that will be included when the DVD is released in a few weeks. Here's the link: http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/03/05/must-watch-i-am-legends-original-ending-this-is-amazing/

Those of you who know me know that I Am Legend has always been my dream project. The themes in the book are ones I usually hit on when attempting dramatic works, so it's always really grabbed me. When I saw the flick, I was disappointed. The movie is good, but the way Hollywood cocked it up (the project was in development hell for many years) just betrayed the book and paradigm-shifting concept.

The original ending is amazing. While still not close to the book's plot, the original ending at least stays thematically correct. It's worth watching.

I feel cheated that this was not the ending I saw in the theater.