Monthly Archives: April 2011

My First Out of State Film Project, “The Best Of Betty”

As an actor we all must find ways to seek out work. There are many casting call websites on the internet but very few of them are actually legitimate. My next blog will be about which ones work, which ones don’t, and how to get the right information to save you a lot of money before you get caught up in the moment. But for now I’m here to discuss how I landed this project.

My favorite casting notice websites are Actors Access, Casting Networks and Mandy. Most casting directors and filmmakers I have spoken to have given me the sites they use often. I decided to go and I surfed around until I found a casting notice appropriate for me. I fell upon a casting notice by a group of college students listing parts for their film, “The Best Of Betty“. I found two possible roles that were right for me so I submitted my H & R to the director, Kristin Raimondi. I informed her that I was a union actor and if that was acceptable then I would create my own video audition and upload it to her. She agreed so I proceeded to do just that. A few days later I was cast in their film and they offered to fly me to Columbus Ohio and put me up for the night. We shot 2 scenes in 2 days and I flew back to Chicago.

First off I would like to say that I was greeted and treated like a true professional. The entire crew was extremely respectful and fun to work with. I have worked on dozens of student films over the past 2 years and I am excited to day that this was one of the best experiences I have had doing these types of projects. As a bonus, the sound studio for voice over was top notch, the camera equipment was the best, DP Jeff Kolada has an amazing eye for detail, and I am going to receive copy in 2 months where some other college projects I shot 12 months ago and I still haven’t received my promised DVD copy of my work.

Below is a blog that they keep for their website. I copied and pasted it here for your review and entertainment. If you want to learn more about their production company take a look at this film they shot last year. It is absolutely brilliant.  It’s appropriately called “The Schartz-Metterklume Method”. Enjoy.

Written by DOP Jeff Kolada. Photos by Jeff Kolada and various crew members.

Our second weekend started back in the MI community in Gahanna, OH. We shot all the scenes with Niobe (Claudia Esposito) and her husband Fed Up (David McNulty). The two played really well off each other and we got some really great scenes. It was nice and sunny outside and that helped with quite a bit of the lighting as our houses have TONS of windows. I played with the natural light and added small touches here and there with the help of my gaffer Ben Purse and the grip crew.

David, Claudia, and the crew prep for a kitchen table shot

In one scene with Niobe, we needed a close-up shot of cooking eggs and bacon. Unfortunately because we do not own the homes, we had to bring in a cooking range, and it was not functioning. So we had to figure out a different way to heat up the pan. We didn’t have any hot plates or sterno, or anything of that sort. But we did have some very powerful (and hot) production lights. We moved one of our 2000w lights into the kitchen, aimed it straight up, and Emily sat the pan on the light for a few minutes. Now we are not the first people to do this. I’m pretty sure I remember during the production of the feature film Trailerpark for a previous 419 class, our gaffer Hank cooked breakfast on one of the production lights in a similar fashion. I don’t have any BTS (behind the scenes) photos of this undertaking but expect some footage of it when BTS video comes out.