Sunday, February 20, 2011

Objectivity Counts

Objectivity is one of the single most important qualities that an aspiring screenwriter must acquire - and we think it's the attitude that marks the real difference between the writer who has a chance to become a professional, and one who has no chance.
Because writing is ultimately about communication. And communication is a learned skill. And any skill, when assessed objectively, can be improved...
If others judge the writing as 'poor,' they are not judging you as 'poor' - they are judging this one specific attempt to communicate as 'poor.' But the good news is: since communication is a learned intellectual construct - you can learn to do it better

(from Crap-plus-One by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott). I think this also applies to actors and acting; food for thought.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Audience Decides Worth of a Performance

...audiences are the ones who determine material...It's only in their opinion that a thing is good or bad. Vaudevillians realized that one's opinion of oneself wasn't the determinant of value in entertainment.

- James Cagney

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Having a Point of View

If you don't have a point of view, you won't know what you don't stand for, and so you'll be tempted to try and do everything, because "no" won't be in your vocabulary. Trying to appeal to everyone by playing in the mushy middle not only will make you less appealing over the long haul...

(from Always Have a Strong Point of View - Metacool).

Not sure where I picked up this idea: a slogan is only useful if someone, somewhere, might say the opposite. Otherwise you're not saying anything, especially anything that sets you apart from anyone else. The point is to set oneself apart from everyone else. For example, FedEx is using "The World On Time" as their slogan, and another parcel delivery service could theoretically use "In Town, Slowly."

Johnny Depp mostly plays the "dark outcast with a gift" and another actor could play the "inept, sunny person who fits in." Matt Damon may play the "exceptionally gifted man, coming to terms with his gift" and perhaps Ray Romano plays the "normal guy who's at peace." What do you think?

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Openness of Film Industry

6 majors and 4 major indies release an average of 15 films each per year through all of their distribution arms and eat over 98% of all theatrical revenue. That is not an open door business

(from The Film Delivelution by David Poland).

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

There is No Competition

I am what I am, and either I am needed as that or I'm not suitable anyway

(from Acting in Film by Michael Caine).

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Doubts of Others

Set yourself free from Aunt Tillie's need to make you feel miserable because she's had a disappointing life

(from The Conscious Actor: When In Doubt by Bonnie Katz).

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Actor Loglines

...if you've ever found yourself feeling stuck when someone asks how they might best cast you or what you're best at, as an actor, developing that personal logline is going to do nothing but help you. It'll also drive your focus when you're submitting on breakdowns. Sure, it's fine to just go ahead and click submit EVERY time you see your gender and approximate age range mentioned in the breakdowns, but isn't it far better use of your energy, your optimism over whether you're going to hear from casting, and your FOCUS to submit only when the role is absolutely 100% within your brand?

(from The Actors Voice: Pitch Clinic by Bonnie Gillespie).

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