View Full Version : actors and experimental films

06-25-2004, 05:11 AM
Is it incredibly difficult to find actors to work on "experimental" films? I'm in the early stages of planning my first project and noticed a comment in the "free actors" thread about people not wanting to work on a project that "goes nowhere." I'm confident that my project will not get any kind of distribution, and I'll be lucky if it's even chosen for a film festival. Just trust me on this.

Are there individuals who will act for the sake of acting (like I am creating the film for the sake of creating it, at considerable expense with no financial return)? I can understand why they wouldn't, I'm just looking for a heads-up on what to expect when I start looking.

06-25-2004, 06:46 AM
Perhaps my comment was taken to an extreme ... we actors act because we love acting; something inside drives us into this insane way of life (there is nothing logical about wanting to be an actor, trust me, but we can't not do it). *

Why are you doing the project? *On a whim? *Or to further your career? *If just on a whim, you don't need to use qualified actors, you can use anyone. *If you're doing this, however, as a serious exercise in order to move your skills (and therefore your career) forward, of course you should use the best actors you can get. *

Just remember you're asking for a person's time, and that time is valuable. *At this stage you may not be able to pay actors, so "pay" them by completing the project and giving them a copy so they can put it on their reel. *Does this make sense? *I've worked on projects that, in the end, turned out to be experimental, but I do still have footage to show for my efforts off (where most of the actor's work takes place) and on set.

If you do get professional actors to work on your project (and you just may if it's really cool), you should be very flexible with their time. *When I work on "freebies" I always let the director know up front that if I book paying job that must take priority. No director has every hassled me over this, and I've always been able to juggle free and paying projects.

As has been stated in many threads, if you're organized and prepared, a good communicator, and you treat your cast and crew well, your project will be fine. *Who knows, it may go further than you think. *Being a cheesy guy, I love cheesy sayings. *One of my favorites is: "You can't hit eagles unless you throw rocks at the moon." *Why not go for the moon? *You may hit an eagle and that just might mean great things for your project and all that helped you with it. ;)

06-25-2004, 08:09 AM
Thanks for your perspective. Sounds encouraging.

For me, this is more than a whim but different from a career (I've never been terribly interested in working in the industry). I was a film student long ago, but only now, as a relatively old person, do I feel ready to take on a project in earnest. Maybe it's a calling? A compulsion?

This doesn't mean I'd throw it in a drawer upon completion. I'll try to get it into every film festival possible, but I have no illusions about making money from it or getting distribution.

I'll give the actors everything I have to give.