Friday, June 25, 2010

Michigan Live Events Bring Fun To Local Economies

How many times have you heard people say, what is there to do around here? I couldn't say that a live event isn't in the same level as live theatre because choreographed actions like dancing are indeed an art. Thinking in that mindset, so could dancing monster trucks? The Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival this year will also feature monster trucks alongside a 1200 foot wall of fire. At modest admission and parking prices on July 3rd and July 4th, I can say that is a local bargain that will hopefully bring many from out of state to Michigan. In addition events like this can answer the "what is there to do around here?" question. As a matter of fact, Michigan needs more sponsors to participate in live events that are inexpensive and stimulating to local economies, because all parties can benefit.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Red Dawn - Release Postponed..Indefinite?

The high profile film project that filmed in Detroit late last year, "Red Dawn" has been placed on indefinite hold due to lack of funds to distribute a film of it's size by MGM. Naturally this may effect actors in Michigan who are awaiting their screen appearance.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How Do I?

I often get asked, how can I work on a big budget movie in town or get educated to prepare to? So I will reply with the best advice I can give. To the out of work men and women who are thinking about using the Michigan Works program to finance an education that teaches you how to be a best boy grip or gaffer, think again before you do. As I currently understand it the Michigan Works program that is designed to help the unemployed get re-educated is a one time shot (meaning after you are approved you can't do it again and again and again). So if that is the case, educate yourself in the best possible way to get work "in general" and perhaps navigate somehow toward film. If you want to be an on set production accountant, production manager, producer or development executive then look into getting degrees that assist in that such as programs in business administration; concentrating in finance or accounting - perhaps an BBA or MBA? If you want to be an electrician, camera assistant or grip...then get in touch with someone who is already working in a professional capacity in that position by looking through the Michigan Film Office production booklet - If you can or are allowed to, ask the experienced professional the "how do I" questions that you have. If they are so gracious to give you time and answers, then appreciate it; furthermore inquire about union status and how one can join. Yes, there is a union for electricians, cameramen and lighting technicians that protects professional workers on these large scale studio film projects that everyone wants to work on so badly. Get educated about that, research it. So in final note. getting a certificate from a small, unheard of, and recently popped up school in film lighting won't help guarantee anything, and very rarely will it impress any professional. Set yourself up for success, get a real education from an accredited college or university and get a second opinion from a professional always. Think about it this way, you wouldn't want to go to a doctor or car mechanic who just has a certificate in some small area from a newly arrived unaccredited school would you? If you want to study the creative ends of the film business or the technical ends while attempting to achieve a real degree, look into programs at USC, UCLA, NYU, Columbia, Chapman, Florida State, Northwestern...the list goes on! On the other hand, If you are looking to put yourself in a positive position to get back to work then get a real education in a real subject that can be transferable to the film business in some way. You'll thank yourself for it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To Work Unpaid or Not To Work Unpaid...That Is The Question

In some cases, I believe working for free or pro-bono is a great start for the novice with the blank sheet resume. So, my answer to this common question that I am asked by fellow artists, musicians, filmmakers and actors - Yes! Do it if you feel it's the right project at the right time. As an actor for example, many people pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for acting workshops in the metro-Detroit area being taught by a teacher that no one is Los Angeles or New York knows of or will ever know of. The interesting thing is that these same people then tell me they don't work for free. Put it in perspective, it can't be any worse than paying someone else for a similar experience. Working on a student film project for example is a great way to network and study your craft. Maybe your not getting paid, but your not paying anyone else either. On top of that you can possibly get material for the ever so honored "demo reel"; However like anything else in this world, don't do it if you don't want to do it...if your prior experiences with a particular process has shown to be less materialized in results, then switch your process. If you want to do this business and your not a $20 million dollar actor then get out there and do this business. Hopefully you have a side job that can pay the bills while you work yourself up. Life is participation, so participate.