20 April

How to get acting jobs in commercials, training videos, and film & television, without moving to Hollywood!

Learn the strategies and actual systems to get paid acting gigs. Discover exactly how I’ve helped hundreds of actors get great bookings, including the different types of work available to actors, exactly what you need to get that work, and how to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible for your work.

Are you frustrated running around from audition to audition, only to get rejected or to get booked as a low-paid, non-speaking extra?

If you knew how to find the best acting jobs and knew exactly how to get booked on those jobs, you’d be able to spend more time acting and less time being disappointed.

What if you had connections with someone inside the industry?

bad auditions
02 March

Why you bombed that audition before it began

One of my biggest pet peeves as an agent was how clueless many actors were about auditions. Or specifically, that they had no idea about the kinds of roles they should or shouldn’t be auditioning for.

Actors would come in with a copy of the breakdown for a big studio film shooting in the area and point out a role they thought they were “perfect” for. Then would come fifty questions wondering if we had submitted them for the job, how could they get the casting director to meet with them (because of course if the casting director saw them in person they would KNOW that they were right for the role), and what sort of money they would get from the gig.

scam warning
10 February

Beware of the Scammy McScamScams

Over the past 7-8 years I’ve fielded questions and given advice to hundreds of aspiring actors and actresses. It never ceases to amaze me how many scams are out there targeting actors, and how many actors actually get sucked into these scams. I spend a lot of time giving really specific advice on what they needed to do to really break into the business. But for whatever reason, many people would turn around and do the complete opposite of what I told them. Years later, those actors are still not getting good bookings. They get frustrated and burn out and decide to chuck their whole acting dream out the window. Some of them are actually even worse off than they were before they started!

color grading before and after
07 February

Intro to color grading

Do your shot in your films look very flat, or washed out? Do your actors come across looking like they have a bad spray-on tan, or blue tinted skin? Have you ever wondered how some digital films have consistently beautiful colors, look beautifully sculpted, and almost look like they were shot on film stock? The secret to great-looking films is usually achieved by color grading.

03 February

The talent agent: what is your job, anyway?

When I worked as an agent and spoke with people who had never worked with one, it became quite clear that most people have no idea what an agent does or why they should have one. The Dictionary.com definition of a talent agent is simply, “one who represents performers.” This is pretty vague and doesn’t say a lot. If you look up the definition of agent, the first entry is “a person or business authorized to act on another’s behalf.” This comes much closer to describing what an agent actually does. A talent agent has two main functions-to negotiate contracts, and to solicit clients on your behalf.

film festival networking
08 November

Using film festivals to do some real networking

Attending film festivals can be an awesome experience–seeing great new films on the big screen, walking the red carpet, and feeling the energy in the air can be inspirational to new and experienced filmmakers alike. But festivals serve another very important function for anyone in the industry–the networking opportunities at film festivals can make or break a career. In the fast-paced world of Hollywood, you never know who can help your career in the future. That fresh, new director you met at a small festival–she could turn out to be the next Scorsese, or the guy you were shooting the breeze with in the lobby could be the buyer for an international distributor or the casting director for one of the major studios.  Film festivals may be the one opportunity you have to connect with the person that will give you your big break in the film industry.

15 October

Perfecting your elevator pitch

“Well, um…see it’s about hand fishing, but it’s kind of also about these two guys…” It was clear the man was getting nervous as he stammered his explanation to me. I listened politely for the following two minutes as the older gentleman finished his epic narrative, before excusing myself and moving on to the next booth, silently cursing myself for starting up the conversation to begin with. I was at a film festival, and had asked a seemingly innocent and (I thought) straightforward question: “What is your film about?” Based on the earful I had just received, it seemed as if the director to whom I had been speaking with didn’t really know.

hacking kickstarter
09 September

Hack Kickstarter To Raise Money And Build An Audience

Film financing: the seemingly elusive holy grail of independent filmmaking that we all know we need but nobody seems to know how to get. In the old days financing meant hitting up the film markets in hopes that a distributor would find some potential in your project among the thousands of others out there, or begging for funds from private investors or equity firms. The last decade has brought some new advances that make raising funds for projects much more accessible to the average independent filmmaker, and one of the most valuable of these newer methods has been crowdfunding. Minneapolis  Producer Ryan Strandjord is no stranger to the topic–in the past two and a half years he has managed crowdfunding campaigns for two different film projects and several food-industry related projects, raising a total of over $270,000 primarily through Kickstarter. In fact, one of his most recent projects, the Herbivorous Butcher, was featured in the New York Times. We talked to Ryan and he shared some of his best tips on how independent filmmakers can hack Kickstarter to raise funds and build an audience for their projects.

04 September

4 tips to make your film mobile-friendly

It’s not enough in our fast paced, modern world to expect that your film will be watched solely on a television or PC. Studies report that 35% of all smartphone users and watching more video on mobile devices than they did last year, and over a third of viewers are watching longer form video content (videos longer than five minutes) on their phones, iPads, or other devices. It’s important to make sure that you create mobile-friendly versions of your video to cater to this growing trend. Here are some tips to make sure your video can be enjoyed by mobile users on the go.

creative commons logo
08 August

What is Creative Commons?

Copyright law has been protecting the rights of writers, filmmakers, and creators since even before the birth of the US. For years, copyright holders have had all rights reserved on any original work that they created, which means they had the ability to charge money and license their original work to others without fear of anyone stealing or copying their work.