Ah that New Year feeling of fresh beginnings!
Following my sabbatical search for meaning (and health) across the past couple of years I'm excited to be dedicating 2019 to igniting momentum in my acting career, whilst taking fledgling steps as a filmmaker.
Before Christmas I listed some specific tasks to complete in this direction (which you can find at the bottom of my last post here) and so I’ve decided to review my progress. Perhaps I'll try to make this a monthly habit.
#1 Home Studio Built
After painstaking research I managed to build my home studio - gathering the following kit which in the right hands can shoot professional 4K cinematic quality film. (These hands of mine have some way to go yet!)
Lights: 2 x Softboxes
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH4
Lens: 12-35mm Panasonic
Sound: Rode Video Mic Pro
Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro
Laptop: HP OMEN
Peripherals: Spare Batteries, memory cards, external hard drive
#2 Practicing the Craft
I enrolled in an online course in which participants must submit a self-tape (filmed audition scene) each day for 10 days straight. Here's a little excerpt from each scene for the lolz.
The course...entitled The Acting Habit is led by experienced casting director Manuel Puro. It was the perfect initiation into using my equipment, whilst getting on screen practice and feedback from Manuel and the other course mates. Highly recommended!
I booked a few workshops with casting directors through The Actor’s Guild - not exactly cheap at £31 a go - but a great way to gain insider’s knowledge and do a bit of acting for (and hopefully impress) a working professional who may audition me in future.
#3 Rejoin the Audition Circuit
With some recent acting experience under my belt, my Acting Portfolio Website completed and shiny new headshots taken - I was feeling as confident as ever to begin submitting myself for opportunities.
I’m directly applying for jobs on Spotlight and Mandy on the daily -the UK's two primary casting directories.
#4 Get Acting Work!
And lo and behold - I’ve won two acting jobs! A play - this week - tickets available here if you fancy attending - and a filming job - portraying the anarchic musician Jimmy Cauty of the band KLF in a documentary feature about their antics.
Here's a little clip of me having fun on the first day of the shoot (which involved me chain smoking fags eurgh!)
It’s a wonderful feeling - following my recent confidence building steps - setting out my ‘acting stall’ - to be rewarded with some work. Now I’m hungry for momentum!
I’ve booked more workshops at Actor’s Guild - continuing the campaign to get seen by casting directors and I’ll continue The Acting Habit course online- staying match fit mentally and physically with plenty of exercise.
#5 Make Movies
Beside my acting goals I've been keen to put my expensive camera kit to work and get making short films! A couple of months back I took a half-day course ‘How to Make your First Short Film’ - the best tip was to focus on quantity not quality. Many filmmakers get stuck for years trying to write an epic original screenplay whilst shooting/learning very little.
So I jumped right in and invited an actor over (a fellow cast member in this play I’m in) - and filmed her in character doing some silly things - with the intention of editing the footage into an online trailer for the play. Masterpiece it is not, but it’s a start - and it’s been truly thrilling to be receiving warm feedback. Yay! I made a thing! Enjoy!
As a filmmaker I will be learning how to develop creative concepts, write scripts/screenplays, organise a team of collaborators...shoot, edit and release films. Being an actor, I’ll be able to perform in anything I make, which if successful will raise my profile, or in any case will create practice opportunities.
As a filmmaker I’ll be able to work on making projects with subject matter that is important or exciting to me. Actors generally serve someone else’s vision - playing puppet to their whim - how thrilling to dance to the sound of my own drum so to speak!
Overall I'm really pleased with what I've achieved in this past spell. Looking forward to writing again next month with further news of acting work and filming collaborations.