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 actual real-life video recording, or for use in full CG environments. That problem is one that most of you will know yourselves.
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 ‘rehearsals’ 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 troupe of volunteer players which I am gradually building. The aim is to build a pool of actors who are willing to participate in independent / 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 individuals they are willing to be members of a core team of actors, operating 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 premises, 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): firstname.lastname@example.org