Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crazy Hollywood agents stories ....

Will have to wait for now - but do I have some very interesting tales to tell when our film is in the can about agents whose first duty appears to be their own bottom line, rather than their clients' best interest -- or any interest in them at all.

Fortunately, not all of them are like that, and I'll also share the 4-1-1 about those agents who seem to genuinely care about their clients and their best interest -- or at least tell the truth.

According to jaded long-timers in the industry, these good people are in the minority. Which is why it will be great to write about them.

Obviously, we're going through the casting process in LA for our four lead characters, and I will say this: at least two agents who *said* they showed our script to their clients -- did not. Which cost us time we would have rather spent having their client actually reading the script - or at least know we were free to send it to the next actress on our starring wish list.

We found out by contacting one of the actress's managers, who told us her client is on a self-imposed vacation to spend time with her family; she's not even reading scripts because she doesn't want to be distracted from her husband and kids.

Good for her - we're all for family time. But it would have been nice if her agents told us that's what she's doing instead of pretending to show her the script and telling us she "passed."

See, with indie films, actors don't get paid as much as they do from studio films, but they generally love indies because while they can still get paid *way* more than 90% of the population, indie roles tend to be more demanding or unusual so they get to show off how genuinely talented and skilled they are.

When actors don't get millions, their agents don't get paid mega-megabucks, either. These agents would rather receive nothing, apparently, than take a 5-figure fee from an indie gig for their client, preferring to wait for that six-figure (or seven) paycheck from their client when they arrange a studio project.

If'when I meet their clients .. I'll be sure to share my experience with them.

On the very plus side, information about the script is getting out now so there's "buzz" and we'll be auditioning some super talent next week in person with our sharp LA casting director. I'm looking forward to meeting some terrific, skilled, impressive actors who are looking forward to practicing their art and craft fearlessly in our project.

Screwball comedies like The Whole Truth are a boat load of work for the leading lady and villain; the leading men also face a lot of challenges to nail the roles. But this hard work pays off with appreciative audiences and folks within the industry because insiders know just how much toil and skill are involved to make it all work.

More on the fantastic talent as soon as our full cast is aboard; that goes for our outstanding crew as well.

Meanwhile, I continue the painfully detailed work of creating shot sheets (every picture taken for the film) and overheads (overhead maps - floor plans - of the sets that show where the camera and talent should be placed and move amidst furniture, props, etc).

In LA, I'll also be meeting with our editor to show him everything I have in mind for the shoot so he can make suggestions for specific shots and "coverage" (additional shots that cover the scene to capture specific things I may need working with him in the editing room). I'm pretty thorough, but always open to opinions from such comedy editing veterans as our editor, who has worked with comedy film folks like Carl Reiner and more.

Incredibly he asked to be our editor at indie rates when he was asked to read the script as a favor to our producer.

That is a very good sign.

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  • At 11:13 AM, Blogger ryan dot cooper at gmail dot com said…

    I hope you don't have the same casting problems in Seattle. Gut tells me you won't.

  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger cp said…

    We won't have any of those problems in Seattle, ryan dot. Our casting will be smooth sailing in the Emerald City because we're with a great casting director at Complete Casting; our week actually being in LA casting lead roles will also be a great experience, again because we're working with a terrific casting director there. I think being in the city where the agents work can make a huge difference - it means we stand a real chance of actually encountering the clients of the agents who pretended to show the script to them. I love karma.


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