by Casting Director, Terry Berland
A tribute to all you actors and a special July 4th tribute to actor VETS. You are inspiring. Generating positive support attracts positive results.
As a casting director, I know you have to love what you do to stay in it. I know there is a lot of maneuvering around, goal setting, planning and executing. It’s interesting to talk to actors and hear about what you are doing to move your careers along. Gone are the days that you sit and wait for the text or e-mail from your agent. In addition to everything else you are doing, most actors are creating support groups and venues for themselves to keep their creative juices flowing and their pursuits moving forward. If you have your own support group or created your own project, you’ll be smiling while reading this; and if you don’t, perhaps this article will spur you on to look for one. I’ve heard many fabulous stories. These are a mere few.
Katie Hall got together with Northern Western Alum and created Letter Blue Productions which created ACT NATURAL. It got accepted in a bunch of film festivals which opened up doors for her as an actor and gave her confidence to know what she can achieve, and put a film with a great message out in the world. She ended up featured on the front page of the business section of the LA Times.
Bethany Orr established a production company stemming for her need to create original content. Her second short has been accepted in The Collaboration Filmmakers Challenge, “a killer experience that got me working with some other really talented filmmakers. The film is screening at Harmony Gold as part of the CFC Festival.”
Kyle Hester is involved with We Make Movies.
Eric Satterberg produced three shorts benefiting great exposure. “I was able to secure IMDB Credits for my cast and crew for the latter project. Combined they have attained 3000+ views on YouTube. I am very proud of what the cast and crew helped me accomplish because without them I would have been very lost. My experience on these projects has been truly informative and insightful as to the process of creating media. I have such an appreciation for lights, sound, and editing now having been a part of the process at every step. “
Eddie Gage created a web series Ernie’s Girls with a staff of producers, writers, a director, casting director (Billy DeMota), a marketing rep., assistants and actors. Two award-winning producers are currently trying to arrange a pitch meeting for the TV version of the show. The webisodes are 1-2 minutes long and he won an Outstanding Achievement award from the L.A. Web Series Festival.
Jason Horton created content on YouTube. “I’ve been seen in over 250 million viewed videos. From my work writing and performing content online, it’s lead to management at Principato Young, optioned two screenplays, wrote commercials, consulted, directed, and made a living. Traditional media now knocks on my door. I get to create what I want, and it’s seen by millions.” Jason also teaches improv and is a coach/sketch director at IO West.
Alisha Seaton got involved with Actor’s Playpen.
Pete Handleman is a member of a group called MOMs (Meeting Of The Minds) “We meet once a month to share ideas, ask for and offer advice on our projects, and screen our rough cuts or finished projects. Members have grouped up on short films and the like, and I was able to borrow a fantastic lav from one of our members for a pilot presentation I am filming.”
My July 4th tribute is to VFT. VETERANS IN FILM AND TELEVISION
[VFT] was created by a group of veterans who wanted to create a networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry. Alan Pietruszewski is chair of the acting committee, and here’s what he has to say, “We share ideas and experiences, network ideas and opportunities, and bring in interesting guest speakers for each monthly meeting. We have other committees for directing, producing, editing etc. to cover all facets of the biz and we have members who are involved in every facet of the entertainment business.
If I had to say what VFT is in one sentence, it would be… Veterans working in or interested in the entertainment biz helping other like minded veterans. Our official catch phrase as found on our website is ‘Veterans in Film and Television is a networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry.’ When VFT formed, it was first and foremost a group that I could regain some of the camaraderie that I used to have in the military, but then it started to evolve (as any group will when the members start sharing ideas) into something more. It was a forum to pass down experience and lessons learned from those of us who had been around a few years, who had learned how this thing works from the school of hard knocks, to the new guy just recently removed from serving their country and interested in the biz. VFT is creating a way for a fellow vet to avoid some of the pitfalls that many of us had already survived, to give a bit of a head start to those just starting out. I emphasize, as I do to all the new guys, that this is NOT a short cut to success, but rather an opportunity to focus one’s efforts in a more efficient way on the path to success. It will ALWAYS be about THE WORK. But, even accepting that, it sure is helpful to have the ability to share problems and issues within the group and leverage 500+ members worth of experience and subject area expertise and knowledge, rather than ‘going it alone.’”
- Goals for the group are:
- Strengthen camaraderie amongst veterans within the Film and Television industry.
- Become aware of our fellow veterans’ talents, skills, and resources.
- Promote and advance veteran involvement within the industry.
- Introduce veterans to successful working professionals by hosting guest speakers and workshops.
- Link to professional organizations within the industry (SAG, AFTRA, DGA, etc.)
- Provide a means for the community and entertainment industry to connect with, hire, and feature current and former members of the military.
- Create an awareness of veterans working within the industry.
- Provide a means and venue for mentorship
- Pool resources for all phases of film & television production
There is a lot more information on the group’s webpage at www.vftla.org
Happy creating, all you inspirational actors.
Any reproduction or usage of this article on other websites must be credited to Terry Berland, Casting Director and linked back to here.
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Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera, television, voice-over, and hosting. Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. Her former casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has lent to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development and is the co-author of the how-to industry book,”Breaking Into Commercials.”