Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Where has all the feature films gone; have they moved to other cities, if so why?

If it seems like the industry or Hollywood has changed in recent years, that’s because it has.

Most new actors, especially young, come to Los Angeles wide–eyed and anxious. They believe the stories and movies they’ve seen on TV & the big screen and jump in, feet first, hoping for the big break. Many move out here with little in their pockets and the lack of a game plan.

A life as an actor requires research no different than any other career one chooses to pursue. First and foremost, research what is going on in the industry. With the all-knowing World Wide Web, searching just about any question you may have will deliver you answers. Find out what types of shows are filming or taping in Los Angeles.  Study the SAG & AFTRA merger of 2012; that alone changed the landscape of work (or lack of) for UNION actors everywhere. Here's a link that will offer you more info: 

If your question is “Why is there less feature films filming in Los Angeles?” then you may want to research and study the state tax credits for California and how they compare to other popular states where productions are now filming: Georgia, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Louisiana to name a few. Here is a link I found that offers a breakdown and comparison for many states: http://www.mpaa.org/policy/state-by-stateProductions are going to go where the landscapes & weather work for their projects and where they can save the most money. Makes perfectly good sense.

And then there is the endless amount of reality TV, don’t even get me started, right?!

Yes, a lot has changed, but there are still projects happening all the time in the greater Los Angeles area. The new social media has birthed new types of productions such as: webisodes, viral videos, on line commercials and more. 
We at Cut Above Casting Services work on many types of productions: TV, we still see some feature films, commercials, music videos, print campaigns, re-enactments, audience jobs, PSA, Indie Films and even paying student and college films. Personally, that is why I would recommend every non-union actor to research and join a calling or booking service. It serves as a valuable avenue to have another set of eyes and ears looking for work for you. To receive more info on what a booking service provides click here: Explanation of a calling or booking service

In closing, realistically if you want to be an actor you must understand that half of you is the talent, looks & passion, and the other half is a business that requires aggressive and constant work to find jobs, auditions, acting classes, connections, head shots and more. 

Although there are no guarantees, we at Cut Above Casting, has seen many GREAT breaks come out of our booking service. We have had many SAG vouchers handed out over the years, we have seen many of our back ground actors receive residual checks in upwards of $6,000.00 and recently we are proud to have a veteran, non-union gone union, actor receive an upgrade to a speaking role on the 2013 Academy Award Winning “Argo”!

We hope this has helped you with some general information on work in Hollywood, California. Stay focus, work hard, take a risk and continue your passion!


Monday, April 15, 2013

"Why haven't I been booked on a TV show, commercial or movie set lately?"

"I have decided to write a very clear cut and factual posting with the hopes of answering a frequently asked question received almost daily as a booking or calling service"  

The equation is simple. If you have not been booked, whether it has been in the last few days, weeks or the last month, simply put: you just were not chosen for anything you were submitted for. It is NOTHING personal.

If the casting director chooses, after they receive their breakdown, they have the option to call a booking service to review submissions and book what they may need for their specific media. A booking or calling service is not the casting director, therefore they cannot override what casting does or does not want to do. Booking or calling service’s do not work or report to the productions, nor do they receive the break down of ethnic counts, age ranges, specialty look’s, height requirements, additional specifics etc., all of what a casting director does receive to cast and book a production.

"Cut Above" Casting is the middleman, a respected position within the background-casting world.  

If you like to find out more about what a booking or call in service is click here: http://cutabovecasting.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-is-extras-calling-service.html

Unfortunately, there is no rhyme or reason in this industry. Some people work more than others, some people work a lot, and then for no reason at all stop getting booked while others don't work for a while, and then start to see an influx of work. I've seen it all, really I have... more success stories then not thank goodness!

I can speak for most booking services when I say we hope everyone gets booked. Since we are a free service to casting directors, they is no additional gain for how many bookings we may produce- once again that is the job of the casting director. But as far as having another set of eyes and ears out there helping you, well heck yeah it’s worth it!

Much success to all and we hope this helps answer that nagging question.