I am often asked "how do I get to be famous?" Or, in other words "how can I get known?" This somewhat elusive goal can be achieved through the following simple formula:
Talent x Marketing = FAME
If you have talent, I mean real talent, then your next step is to get it in front of the right people. The challenge is finding the right people and you will undoubtedly run into some problems. To save time, simply refuse to accept a NO from someone who was not in a position to say YES in the first place (there are a hell of a lot of these people). By all means, the following is very important: GET AN AGENT before you go to Hollywood or New York. AND a publicist! Or, at the very least make arrangement to meet an important one (or more) before you go! Check their references, ASK QUESTIONS and take someone with you who will help you keep your head level. It can be an exciting time for you but you must remain grounded in what and why you are there.
I also recommend that you consider signing up at following networking websites: www.NextCat.com and ReelMix.com. They are a great resource for actors. For some hardcore advice (BE WARNED) I suggest that you watch a video "Pay the Writer." It is not about acting but the important lesson is clearly there and I am sure you will learn something. To view it simply follow this link:
One of the most creative places to meet those who are in a position to say YES (and really market you) are at film festivals. Go to as many as possible and beg, borrow or "steal the scene" to attend the seminars and social events. Agents, casting directors, producers and managers attend these events. Remember, its show-BUSINESS. All eyes could be on you so act accordingly! Also, make sure to attend "actor" networking events (such as those promoted and produced by the Screen Actors Guild). Did you know that many states have SAG offices? Check with them often as well as your local film offices. They can advise you as to the what, when, and who is sponsoring these events (many are free too). Also note, you usually DO NOT have to be a member to attend.
Some of the best festivals to attend are Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Palm Springs, but there a literally hundreds to choose from. TIP: go to www.withoutabox.com to see the most active ones. AND, by all means attend those that are local to YOU!
You may want to consider attending the American Film Market and the American Film Institute's events in LA. They are a breeding ground for undiscovered talent. But be warned, there is a lot of competition there already. You WILL have a great time.
Most importantly, make sure you come prepared with headshots, a resume and a reel (on DVD). If you don't have thee or need an updated one I can help you. They can't help market your talent and achieve fame if you don't have these basic tools! And by all means mention your "proud membership" in organizations such as SAG, AFTRA, etc.
Also, use your MySpace page to attract the right people. I have over 4000 film, actor, and entertainment friends. I welcome you to network right here from my listings. I am sure they will be happy to hear from you. I have been very selective who is associated with me here on MySpace and I hope you see this as another resource to market yourself.
P.S. If you really want to learn more about how others have done it (Fame that is) make sure to check out the TV program "Shootout" on Sunday mornings on the AMC Channel.
THE DEBATE: FILM vs. HIGH DEFINITION PRODUCTION, by John P. Lauri
For several years now there has been an ongoing and sometime heated debate within the filmmaking community. It's about the benefits both technically and artistically of shooting on film (16mm and 35mm). The traditional school of thought is that high definition digital cinematography cannot reach the same level of image capture as film. Of course, I do not deny there are some benefits of shooting on film, but they are mainly artistic in nature and rarely interfere with or convey a better storytelling process. My thoughts are as follows but they certainly are not the definitive answer in this debate. They are simply some observations if have made.
As celebrated director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict) recently said. 'anything you can get on film, I can get on high def. Quicker, easier and with more control. I don't know of a director who is not frustrated by the cumbersomeness of making a movie on film. How much light you need, the pace interrupted by the necessity of changing film magazines, the mystery of "was my exposure right? all contribute to the difficulties. Thankfully, I don't need that much light when shooting in HD. And my focal depth, exposure and color control is much greater. On top of that, I can test it all (including processes usually reserved for post production) on set with stand-ins before filming the actual scene!
He goes on to point that there are only three forms of energy: Thermal (heat), Chemical (elements) and Electromagnetic (light). With film you are capturing Electromagnetic energy (light) to a Chemical based (film) only to be transferred for Electromagnetic manipulation (editing in a computer). This energy is then transferred to another medium (or two) so it can be transferred again to electromagnetic display (light): a projector. In addition, there is always loss from what your eyes saw and what the film saw and how it is interpreted. In HD you get what you see. And RIGHT NOW!
He also states that "in high definition it's electromagnetic all the way." It starts with light (electromagnetic), it is recorded as light (electromagnetic in digital form) and edited in the same form. Finally it is projected as light (electromagnetic) from a projector. In other words, you can work without generational loss attributed between different energy forms. So for that reason, I work in the electromagnetic form.
In addition to avoiding the high cost of recording on film and tape I use the Sony solid-state SxS cards. I find I can fine tune the image in camera before post production. That offers an incredible time-saving advantage. I just love the efficiency this workflow offers me and that allows me to concentrate on the creative aspects of filmmaking that my clients and audience have come to expect.
On the other hand, it would be foolish for me to suggest that film does not have its place or its important role in making motion pictures. It is widely held that film has the ability to capture subtleties and a resolution that digital cannot. In my humble opinion we have heard that before (when digital still cameras first became popular) by some professionals who were still using film as their medium of choice. For the time being, there are still times when, for technical as well as artistic reasons, film (not high definition video) makes the most sense. It's up to the cinematographer to help make the distinction that best serves the story being told.