Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Timothi Jane Graham post 2: Branding IntroLos Angeles Photographer Timothi Jane Graham guest blogs. Read her earlier post: 1
Knowing and understanding your brand is, from a marketing standpoint, one of the most important elements in an actor's business arsenal. Your brand is that vibe that makes you you. It is that first impression you give when you walk thru the door. It is your quality, your energy and it is your commodity. I have had so many actors come to me for headshots who have very little awareness of their brand. This takes an ability to look at yourself objectively and honestly and know where you are going to make your money. Yes, a well trained actor should be able to push those boundaries with vocal and dialect changes, a change in physicality, in movement etc. etc. but when you are first starting out and all a casting director or agent can go on is who they see before them... it is important to know who and what that is and embrace it, enhance it, market it... that is your money. Agents and casting directors are business people... most have business or law degrees. They deal in absolutes, not creativity. When you own your product and have confidence in it, so will they. It is the law of the universe.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Casting 'Actors' vs Characters
When I'm hiring people for a show, I know what I need and want.
And that is ALL I'm looking for.
When it comes to people who appear on-screen, I almost never need an actor.
I need a homeless man with a Harvard education. I need a mother of three who is accused of murder. I need a hapless hero with red hair. I need a villain who's willing to kill kittens and eat lard.
So, while you are trying to sell me an actor, I'm not paying much attention to you, because I have a show to get on - and I need characters.
Which means ... your product should be a character.
You may have the range to do anything we throw at you ... but we'll never know that unless you get on the soundstage with us.(from Bob Fraser's MySpace blog).
Friday, April 04, 2008
Timothi Jane Graham: guest blog 1Over the next few months, Los Angeles Photographer Timothi Jane Graham will cover the process of branding, look, choosing a photographer, preparing for the shoot, the shoot itself and then how to put together the layout of your headshot to make it work for you. Keep in mind these are her ideas, and no matter how good they are, always do your own research and investigation; caveat actor.
The LA actor's life gives new meaning to the word competitive. With more actors per square mile than any place on the planet you have to stay on the cutting edge of all aspects of your career. An LA actor's headshot is a very important element. It is your calling card. An invitation to the event that is you. And before you walk thru the door it does... and in many cases it is your admission ticket. I think the problem with alot of actor headshots today is that they lack authenticity and they play it way too safe. I see headshot after headshot of actor's in the same sunlit loft, brick wall or the ever popular rag rolled taupey backdrop. The makeup and hair is nice enough, the wardrobe choices are safe and tepid and they basically say nothing about you or what you are selling. They instead scream out "actor looking for job." There are photographers that specifically shoot actors in a neutral way... a blank canvas if you will. The idea being casting folk will have the creativity to see you in many ways. I am not of that school of thought. I feel the actor's headshot should have the look of an artist who has arrived. Don't forget most casting people and agents have business and law degrees. They are not creatives or artists so don't expect them to think like one. They most probably will not try to imagine anything at all so it's up to you to show it to them.Timothi Jane Graham is a bicoastal Los Angeles and New York based photographer specialising in actor headshots and portraits. She has worn many hats. As a former actress, model and classical dancer she has a very unique approach to the art of headshot photography.