Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Tips for your Next Audition

So... You've booked that audition. Congrats! Now take in these tips. After doing 20+ years of auditions, these are some of the five things we find that actors tend to do or don't do that can keep them from getting the part.

Tip 1 - Bring a Hard Copy of your Headshot and Resume

It's amazing how many actors forget to bring this. When we're casting, we need to see your photo. Sure you sent us your headshot by email, but we like to sort things out in piles. If your headshot isn't there, we might forget you. That's never a good thing. So, always have that headshot on hand, just in case!

Tip 2 - Your Headshot needs to be Current

We casting people rely on headshots to know what you look like today. Do not give us a headshot that was taken ten years ago where you have a completely different hair style and color. We need to recognize you. Even if the headshot was taken last month, but you have since shaved your head, is no good. Again, we rely on these photos to remember you and your awesome audition.

Tip 3 - Know your Age-Range

Even before you apply for the audition, know the character description and the age-range. Make sure you're submitting for a part you could feasibly play. If you're 18 years old, you are probably not right for a 40-something medical doctor on the verge of curing cancer. If you're 50, you probably have to give up the dream of playing a troubled teen on the wrong side of the law.

Be realistic. Ask friends and family what they think is your age-range. Some people can look older than they are. Some can look younger.

Tip 4 - Dress for the Part

Wear something to the audition that you think your character would wear. Although, stay far away from anything that might be considered a costume. (Eg: Say you're auditioning a police officer. Do NOT come in a uniform. You come off as appearing desperate. Instead choose something that maybe mimics the colors of a police uniform.)

Also, if you are asked to a callback, wear the same thing you wore to the first audition. One more way for us to remember you!

Tip 5 - Arrive Early, But not too Early

We like people who are on time. We like it when you're early. It gives an indication of how it will be to work with you on set. 5-15 minutes early is just about right. But do not show your face any earlier than that. It may be an imposition on the casting team. And you do not want to be that actor that gets labelled as causing  extra work. (Yes, even if you're just quietly sitting there.) Show up for the time you were given.

We have some upcoming auditions in Niagara. Check out the details at our website:

[Photo by Warren R.M. Stuart]

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tell a Joke Day

Did you know that it was Tell a Joke Day yesterday? On August 16th? So, in honor of the day, here's a movie-related joke...

A man goes to see a movie. As he sits down to watch the film, his eyes get accustomed to the dark. He notices a dog sitting on the seat beside him. He is somewhat bemused but decides to ignore the dog.

As the film progresses he notices that the dog is reacting appropriately to each scene. During the comedic moments, the dog wags his tail and barks. During the sad parts, he drops his ears and whimpers. During violent section, he growls and bares his teeth. At the end of the film, the audience applauds and the dog gets up on all paws and barks and wags his tail.

The man turns to a lady who appears to be the dog's owner and says, "Wow, that was a great film, and what an intelligent dog you have there. Frankly, I'm amazed."

"So am I," replies the owner. "He thought the book was terrible."
[Photo by Roey Ahram]

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Casting a Music Video

We're going to be shooting a music video in September for hiphop artist, Just Isaac, for his new song "Quiet Tears".

The music video explores the relationship of a couple going on a series of dates.

If you are in Niagara and want a chance to be a part of it, here's your opportunity. We're holding auditions to cast the featured actors in the video at the end of August in St. Catharines. Casting breakdown is below...

List of Characters

  • The Boyfriend
    Male / 25-35 yrs. / Any Ethnicity

  • The Girlfriend
    Female / 25-35 yrs. / Any Ethnicity
For more information about how to submit your headshot and resume, check out the auditions page on our website

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Which Film World Would You Visit?

When a movie is created, so is a Film World.

Sometimes the Film World is very much like the world in which we ourselves live. People live in houses or apartments. People go to work. They shop. They go to school. They go to restaurants. It's Earth. Our time. Usually the precise location doesn't even matter. It could be your town or city. The protagonist could be your neighbor.

The genre of movie doesn't count. It could be anything. A rom-com like My Big, Fat Greek Wedding or Tootsie. Or it could the James Bond movies or The Hurt Locker. Or a sports movie like Rocky.

On the other hand, sometimes filmmakers present a world that comes straight out of history. It really existed, but doesn't quite exist in the same way now. The past could be the 1980s or 1990s. (Although you could argue that a movie made in the 80s about the 80s really belongs in the category above.) Or it could be set during World War II or the middle ages. In other words, the protagonist could be the neighbor of one of your ancestors. While it usually involves a specific event in history, it does not have to be based on 100% fact. Any period piece movie fits this: from Lincoln to Braveheart to Shakespeare in Love.

And then there are Film Worlds that don't really exist. Or future worlds that don't exist (yet). This can be split into two types of worlds, actually. The first one is pure fantasy or science fiction. The Star Wars universe comes to mind. Star Trek. The Hunger Games. Fairy tales also fall into this category. The key to this one is that we must become acquainted with a world where we may not know all the rules yet. 

The second one is where the Film World merges real world with perhaps just a touch of fantasy or sci-fi.
We will recognize own world, but soon will realize that other elements affect the people who live in the movie. Think of the magical nanny, Mary Poppins. Or The Matrix. Batman, Spiderman, etc.

So, if you could pack your bags and visit one Film World, which would you choose?

[Photo by Kat...]

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Classic Book, Classic Movie

Usually, when it comes to book/movie adaptations, it's not a bad idea to live by this advice: "Never judge a book by its movie." (attr to J. W. Eagan)

It's not often that you find a classic book that adapts into an equally classic movie. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is one such book/movie combo. There are differences between the book and movie... after all, they only had 129 minutes into which to squeeze plot and themes alike. But the movie stands very well on its own two feet. And in fact, is a classic as much in its own way and the book.

Perhaps because the movie was well-cast, especially Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus. There's a story about one of the days that Harper Lee was on set... they were filming Gregory Peck returning home while his children run to greet him. Peck went up to the author after filming was done and noticed she had been crying. She explained that he had looked just like her father (the real-life Atticus), even down to his little round pot belly. "That's not a pot belly, Harper," Peck told her, "That's great acting."

Here's a list of a few things you may not have known about the classic movie:
1. Considered Gregory Peck's favorite role and movie.

2. The pocket watch used in the film was a prop. However, Harper Lee later gave her father's actual watch to Gregory Peck because he reminded her so much of him.

3. The studios were not interested in adapting the Pulitzer Prize-winning book into a movie because it didn't have a lot of action or even a love story. It took Producer Alan Pakula to bring the book to the screen despite these "flaws".

4.  Film debut of Robert Duvall as Boo Radley. While Boo is crucial to the story, he is pretty much a silent role since he does not speak a word in the movie.

5. To prepare for the role of Boo, Robert Duvall dyed his hair blond and spent six weeks out of the sun.

6. The pennies in the cigar box in the opening sequence are from 1962. The story takes place in 1932.

7. This is Superman's favorite movie (Or, rather, Clark Kent's favorite.)

8. The final speech (a 9-minute summation) in the courthouse was delivered by Gregory Peck in only one take! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Encore Screening

It was a packed house at the Seneca Queen Theatre on Tuesday, July 7th for the Encore Screening of Lost Penny. Since the movie had sold out its Niagara Integrated Film Festival premiere in June, this special screening was organized in downtown Niagara Falls...

Time to watch the movie...

Mingling with the Cast and Crew outside the Seneca Queen Theatre...


Thanks to all who made this night a success! P.S. For more pics, check them out at our Facebook page...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lost Penny at NIFF

Some pictures from Sunday's SOLD OUT screening of Lost Penny at the Niagara Integrated Film Festival... (And by the way, since we sold out, we're going to be doing a special screening of Lost Penny at the Seneca Queen Theatre in Niagara Falls on Tue, July 7, 2015 at 7 pm. Go to our website for ticket info...)

The Q&A after the Screening...

The cast and crew pose for the cameras...

Posing with Tenshi's car from the movie...

Hanging out with cast and crew...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lost Penny at the Manhattan Film Festival

Some pictures from Saturday night's screening of Lost Penny at the Manhattan Film Festival...

Entering the Theatre...


Time for some Q&A with Robert and Miq...


Time to pose for the cameras...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Q&A with Rachael McOwen

Film: Lost Penny
Actor: Rachael McOwen
Role: Penny

Rachael McOwen as Penny
Q: What attracted you to working on this film?
A: The idea for a modern day adaptation of Alice in Wonderland really excited me. Who doesn't want to play make-believe in a crazy wonderland? The script was a style and genre that was unlike anything I had done before, so it was a fun change. I was also excited to work in Canada!

Q: Tell us about your role. How did you prepare for it?
 A: Penny is a wide-eyed girl trying to find her way in the world. She is a modern day Alice in Wonderland looking for adventure! I researched adventuresome girls and as many adaptations of Alice in Wonderland as I could find. I really liked looking at Penny through those eyes.

Q: Did you identify with Penny?
A: I actually identify with Penny more than would be expected. I am quite a bit older than her in real life, but still play and seek adventure like I'm her age. As far as differences go...I'm super scared of eyeballs and the character Penny sports a scary eyeball ring! I will never do that in real life!

Penny (Rachael McOwen) stands in the series of hallways at the back of the club.
Q: What was your favorite scene to film?
A: Hands down the alleyway scene! We shot in this epic maze like back corridor. Alleys are my favorite thing, so as soon we stepped onto this location, I was in love. It was fun to see it for the first time again and again. For this reason I also really enjoyed the scenes in the field. It was fun being able to enter that space and see so many new details each time we shot.

Q: What did you enjoy the most about working on this film?
A: I enjoyed the challenge of carrying a full length film. I'm in almost every scene and because we shot most of it out of order, it was a fun challenge to stay on top of it all. Most projects shoot out of order, but Lost Penny was unique for me in how tightly packed our shooting schedule was each day. Some days we would go back and forth and back and forth from the beginning of the film to the end, getting different shots in record time. Lots of costume and make up changes, while remembering what my character just came from in the scene before made it a go-go type of shoot.

Q: What was the most challenging scene for you?
A: One scene with my mother was particularly challenging. We were early in the shooting process and still figuring out how everyone/everything worked.

Q: Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes about working on the film?
A: One scene turned my teeth blue and they took forever to get back to normal!

Q: Who are your influences? Who inspires you as an actor?
A: Passionate hard working people, my Mom, God, Audrey Hepburn and Carol Burnett.

Q: When did the acting bug bite you?
A: I started studying to be a ballerina at a young age, so I've been in the performing arts world for quite some time. My performing path has kinda evolved from there and here I am now!

Q: What is the best advice you ever got from Mom?
A: Breathe. I'll always know what to do if I remember to just breathe.

LOST PENNY - Film Festival Info

Lost Penny will be screened at the following festivals in June 2015...
Manhattan Film Festival on Sat, June 13 » Get tickets
Niagara Integrated Film Festival on Sun, June 21 » Get Tickets

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Q&A with Andrew Roth

Film: Lost Penny
Actor: Andrew Roth
Role: Tenshi

Penny (Rachael McOwen) confronts Tenshi (Andrew Roth)
Q: What attracted you to working on this film?
A: I've always respected The Moon Brothers & their work since I first auditioned for Under Jakob's Ladder.

Q: You play the role of Tenshi. Who is he and how did you prepare for this role?
A: Tenshi is a Guardian... His main Objective is to help Penny by any means necessary. I didn't really have to [prepare], Tenshi is close to my natural state of being.

Q: Did you identify with Tenshi?
A: Yes, I just wish I could've kept the Car I had in the film!

Q: What was your favorite scene to film?
A: The final scene!

Q: The most challenging scene?
A: The final scene!

Q: What did you enjoy the most about working on this film?
A: As always, it's the people I'm blessed to meet on all of these amazing projects.

Tenshi (Andrew Roth) and his car.
Q: Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes about working on the film?
A: There are too many to tell. Working on anything you love provides you with continuous amazing memories. It's a blessing doing what you love.

Q: Who are your influences?
A: G.I. Gurdjieff/Ghandi/God & all Higher Powers are my influence and my need to continually work on myself.

Q: When did the acting bug bite you?
A: Not sure, I was always an extrovert. Now I'm an introvert.

Q: What is the best advice you ever got from Mom?
A: If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing.

LOST PENNY - Film Festival Info

Lost Penny will be screened at the following festivals in June 2015...
Manhattan Film Festival on Sat, June 13 » Get tickets
Niagara Integrated Film Festival on Sun, June 21 » Get Tickets