The French Connection

4749584 By Jason Godbey

The French Connection is the quintessential New York City cop movie. It has a gritty realism that was a signature for films made in New York in the 1970s. We shot the episode where the  movie was filmed, underneath the elevated subway track in Brooklyn. It wasn’t easy considering the difficulty of getting a clean sound take when you’re under a running train, but it was amazing to walk in the footsteps of Gene Hackman and William Friedkin.

For more episodes of Watch This Film, check out our website: BTRP.NYC

 

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5 Tips for Actors on Cultivating Your Craft During Slow Seasons

5 tips for actors

maria By Maria Aparo

It’s summer time! A time for sun, fun, and if you’re an actor…. very little happening in the work world. TV shows are on break, summer stock seasons are in full swing, and if you didn’t already get a summer gig, you may find yourself staring at the same stale list of breakdowns from earlier in the week. Long story short, there’s not a heck of a lot going on. So, how can you continue working on your craft and career during “slow seasons?” Here are 5 tips to help ward off an artistic existential crisis or, at the very least, keep you entertained in between gigs.

1:  WORKSHOPS, CLASSES, AND COACHING

Maybe now is the perfect time to try that workshop, go to that networking event, meet that casting director, or finally be able to work with that elusive coach who’s always booked. For a fairly small investment, you can spend your summer working on your craft or expanding your network. Places like Actors Launchpad and One On One are great places in NYC that provide community classes, accountability groups, and more.

2:  SUMMER READING

Remember back in high school when you were assigned summer reading? Now think about how many times as an adult you’ve said things like, “oh I wish I had more time to read…” Welcome to your summer reading program! Read anything you can get your hands on. Read anything that inspires you, that’s been recommended to you, or anything written by or about artists you admire. You may find new audition material, discover a new playwright, or gain valuable insights based on someone’s biography. Best part: no required essays!

3:  PRODUCE SOMETHING

I know, “produce” sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Especially when it doesn’t mean millions of dollars and Broadway credits. Instead, put together a monologue/short scene night with friends, or gather your filmmaker friends and create a short you all can use to showcase your talents. Do something with it, or do nothing with it! Make it big and flashy, or just a small gathering at someone’s place with friends. But get up/out/on and do something that lets you take your talents for a spin.

4:  GO MAKE FRIENDS

Because doesn’t that sound less scary than “networking?” Whatever you call it, there’s no way around it; in any business it’s good to build relationships and know what’s going on in your field. So now’s the time to do it! Say yes to your friend’s invitation to see her new show. Why not go to that industry mixer you saw on Facebook? “I won’t know anyone there…” Good. Your goal is to make at least one new friend. “I don’t have any business cards or promo material….” No problem! Tell people what you do and give them your info the old fashioned way if you hit it off. There are no excuses: Get outside your comfort zone and see what’s out there. You’ll soon find that the people you meet will quickly lead to opportunity when you share what you’re doing and what you want to be doing with the world.

5:  TAKE A VACATION

The best actors have rich life experience to draw from. So what do you have to offer a complex role from spending the summer slogging through your day job and sitting in front of the AC unit? Go on the adventure, meet new people, go see your grandparents, just get out and start living in whatever your means allow. Be open to experience what your surroundings have to offer and don’t be afraid to let yourself have fun! The time will come quickly when you’ll be wishing you had a day off to play.

Whether it’s a slow time of year for everyone, or you’re just experiencing your own lull in opportunity, there are many ways to continue your education and further your career. You’ll be able to not only keep yourself from going stir crazy, but you’ll be refreshed and ready as soon as things start to swing back into action. What will you be doing this summer for your career? Maybe you have your own tips on how you deal with slow seasons. We want to hear from you.

 

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope

4749584 By Jason Godbey

This might have been an unusual choice for an Alfred Hitchcock film to feature. Hitchcock himself thought of Rope as an experiment which is why we chose it. At the time it was made, it was a Herculean task to make a movie in long takes.  It’s an achievement as an experiment, but it also happens to be a very compelling film.  Jimmy Stewart, John Dall, and Farley Granger all give captivating performances, and the story is fraught with suspense. You can enjoy Rope as an experiment or just as an entertaining movie.

For more episodes of Watch This Film, check out our website: BTRP.NYC

Work for Hire-Communication

Anyone talk to the client today?

4749584 By Jason Godbey

Being a filmmaker for hire is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s great to get paid to write and shoot and direct. On the other hand, it’s difficult because you’re ultimately creating something that doesn’t belong to you.

Part of the difficulty is not being able to see with someone else’s eyes. How do I give them what they want when they probably won’t know what that is until they see it?

The only defense against creating something you think is great, but the client thinks is (for lack of a better word) wrong, is communication. You must update your client often, so they won’t be unpleasantly surprised by the outcome of all your hard work.

It’s essential to make sure you understand what the objectives are going into the process, but keeping them updated throughout the production is just as important. This is often where filmmaker falls down. We get so wrapped up in the business of executing our vision, we forget to tell the client about the changes that are happening during production and post-production.

For instance, perhaps you couldn’t get the location you were thinking of originally, or you found a new location that you think is better than the one you discussed with the client. It’s important to tell the client you’re using a different location than the one you pitched, so they’re not left wondering why you made the change. They could have had their hearts set on that location because they thought it said something about their company or their brand, and now you’ve changed the entire concept. If you’re going to make a change like that,  let them know why you think it’s for the better and by better I mean how it serves the film, commercial, web promo, etc..

So what does open communication ultimately do? It empowers the client and allows you to manage their expectations.  They feel like they’re involved in the process, and you can give them a realistic picture of the what the finished product will be while getting feedback from them that will help you avoid any missteps. Remember these projects cost thousands or hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Chances are your client has someone  they have to answer to as well, so it’s important they’re informed and can tell their boss just how their money is being spent.

Communicating with the client also makes you look good. You come across as a professional who understands that you’ve been entrusted with someone else’s money, and you’re keeping up your end of the deal by using that money responsibly.

If you keep your client informed with little points of contact each day of shooting and throughout the post-production process, you can avoid a big disconnect at the end that leaves you confused when they’re not happy with your great creation and leaves them wondering why they hired you. By involving them in the process, you’ll earn their trust and create a product that fits their needs. You’ll also build a relationship with your client on a foundation of communication, trust, and respect.  With a relationship like that, chances are they’ll feel confident to give you their next project.