The Video Players

The Video Players Article Cover Image

Ever since I started putting together videos for myself and not just for corporates, I’ve come across exactly the same problem. It’s a problem that people at every club that I’ve ever visited has also raised – whether it’s

Maybelline pregnant. Few for just cheap pharmacy waaay were reaching brand.

actual real-life video recording, or for use in full CG environments. That problem is one that most of you will know yourselves.

Actors.

By that I don’t mean that Actors give me a problem, but that I find it very difficult to find actors willing to participate at all. Over the last few years I’ve approached a number of sources, the most obvious being amateur dramatic societies – an obvious choice you’d imagine, seeing as both amateur film makers and amateur dramatic societies are both doing this for the love of the skill, not to make masses of money (God forbid…).

Unfortunately, the results of my attempts have tended to be far from fruitful.

When I do get replies (and this is by far the exception, I’m afraid – with most contacts actually going unanswered), I find that such societies don’t actually have a good idea of the differences between the two genres and far from looking at the approach as an opportunity to get experience in another acting discipline, there simply arises every excuse that can be imagined why not to do it. I should say that there are exceptions – one other club with which I am affiliated has connections with two drama societies, but even here the contact is tenuous with ‘rehersals’ for a play which is produced maybe twice a year often intruding against a couple of hours of shooting.

At least one amateur dramatics society of which I am aware and nearby (to me, that is, here in Medway) is very interested in film production – only not with film makers (?). They seem to think that they can pick up a camera and do it all themselves, without any training or experience. The problem is therefore not that the two sides of the coin don’t need each other, but that the communications channels between the two need to be greatly improved.

To that end, I have started ‘The Video Players’ – a tongue in cheek code-name for a virtual troup of volunteer players which I am gradually building. The aim is to build a pool of actors who are willing to participate in independant / amateur film making – whether it is as a hobby, to gain more experience in other areas of acting, or something separate from the society to which they belong, it’s all irrelevant. What it is important, is that as individiuals they are willing to be members of a core team of actors, operaing in a virtual society, and who can be approached by film makers to participate in their productions.

I’ve had a number of approaches from people on Linked In, I have had far more interest from schools and colleges where acting is taught (logical, as they want more experience for their students), but I’d like to build this further.

If you know of actors, perhaps whom you have used before, or even yourselves in an acting role, who want to be part of the troupe, then please pass on the word. We don’t need physical premesis, so our ‘theatre’ is going to be a suitably formatted website where actors and film makers can get together to arrange casting calls and participate in productions – this is under development now.

I don’t want to charge fees for membership – the point is that the whole thing should be seen as a mutual service, with payment being made in kind etc.

So please, spread the word!

Until the website is ready, please use my college email address (the place where a lot of interest is being seen from the media departments): craig.robinson@midkent.ac.uk

13 comments on “The Video Players”

  1. Craig

    The contact website for The Video Players is now up and running at http://www.thevideoplayers.org.

    It’s still in it’s early days, and has just been released today (so there will be few, if any members) registered as yet, but it is seeing interest from various parties.

    If any one is interested in joining up, please do. If anyone knows of anyone into independent / amateur acting, then please recommend the site. I have three actors from my side of Kent, along with at least one acting school who are interested. If they come along to the site, it would be nice if there were film makers on the receiving end willing and capable of utilising their talents.

  2. Craig

    Yeah, same here. I’ve spoken to several different types of club about it, and they are all raving about the idea – unfortunately, thinking it’s a good idea and actually getting involved to make it work are two different things 😉

    Hopefully as time goes on, the numbers will grow. Actually having someone get together through the site and post a project in production will probably be the first significant milestone that will determine the make-or-break.

  3. Chris Coulson

    Do you know when the cast and crew areas will be ready, as we have links with a few local amdram groups, and I’d love to tell them about it?

    • Craig

      I’m working on this right now – I was delayed for a few days preparing for an interim exhibition for my MA, but I think that at the very least the personal section (listing personal appearance, skills, past productions etc.) will be live by Friday.

      Up till now I was just posting in the forums but I want to try and get the cast & crew facility (allowing posting of parts and applications for them) finally tested and up over the weekend.

      I’ve a load of people interested, but at present just getting them to sign up with a membership account is the hard part – they all seem to be waiting for someone else to make the first move. Once a few start, and the rest see that there will actually be actors / parts available for them, it should roll along faster.

  4. Craig

    I have now made the Cast & Crew beta available to ordinary users (therefore, people still need to register to see it).

    I’m still labelling it Beta as while the profile area is fine, I’ve not released any of the actual Casting options just yet. It’s perfectly OK for people to fill in their profiles, skills and past productions however, in readiness for (hopefully) this weekend’s release of the full version.

    A short user guide is also available from the unrestricted menu option.

  5. Craig

    Small update: Been pressed this week, but the Casting Browser is now active – this gives the ability to either browse or search for members of particular skills or are active in certain roles.

    The in-production management area is a larger body of work, so it won’t be active just yet. Takes longer to test.

  6. Bob

    Craig, This is a great idea – have you seen Talent Circle (www.talentcircle.org) very similar concept and which I used to find my actors for my last film ‘Eco’. It’s not as specific, rather like an ‘ebay’ for help making films etc – which is were your idea excels as it is just focused on acting talent. Good luck and I look forward to turning to your site in the near future.

  7. Craig

    Thanks Bob, and yes I have. Unfortunately, I’m in a situation where people are going to the site, not seeing any production / filmmakers around and so not signing up, so it’s currently in a catch-22 situation.

    While there are some of mine on there, they are not serious calls for casting as I just don’t have time – they are really only manifestations of some of my scripts.

    I’m about to put up a post here at OVFM about a serious, long term one however, so hopefully that will turn things around.

    • Bob

      Cheers Craig – Eco took some organising with the actors etc. I have a new script ready for this year but finding locations is causing an issue. I can put that up if you want but can’t see it being filmed until later in the year…

      • Craig

        Well to be honest, the one I’ve just put up has a 2 year completion schedule…so no problems 😀

  8. Craig

    Now would be a good time to join up to Video Players guys, as I’ve been making the final tweaks to the website to make it a usable resource – even if you register then never go back, registration will get you the ‘newsletter’ that gets sent out highlighting the productions being promoted for cast and crew.

    An increase in numbers will also show potential acting members that there are film makers around who are actually willing to use them.

    The main page has a ‘casting’ link to take you straight to everything that is going on, and the Cast & Crew page has finally been integrated into the colour scheme of the rest of the site.

    There are two productions up there looking for involvement (both mine at present), but it would be good to get others!

Comments are closed.