Category Archives: screenwriter

Milwaukee Film Festival: Marshall Curry; Debra Granik; Wesley Morris; Zucker, Abrahams, & Zucker, In Attendance

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It makes a film festival much more enjoyable when one can listen and learn from the filmmakers. This year Milwaukee Film Fest is bringing in some fine filmmakers for panel discussions.  Marshall Curry; Debra Granik; Wesley Morris and Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker will be present to discuss some of their films. You will not want to miss out. I know I will be there.  Read on to learn more.

Two award-winning directors, a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, and Hollywood comedy legends will be in attendance!!!

The 2014 Tributes lineup: two-time Oscar-nominated documentarian, Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams, Street Fight), Oscar-nominated director and writer, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Wesley Morris, and the three Hollywood comedy kingpins who originally hail from Milwaukee, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker (also known as “ZAZ”).

The Milwaukee Film Festival’s annual tributes celebrate the work of individuals who have contributed greatly to film culture through efforts in differing areas of the film world. Each tribute includes both a live appearance from the tribute’s recipient(s) and a screening of a film. In the case of Granik and Curry, their latest film is paired with a past one, exemplifying the scope of their work.

Each honoree will participate in an extended question and answer session following their featured films(s). Granik will also lead the panel “Working with Actors” in which she will discuss and demonstrate her process for auditioning and working with actors on set.

“We have a spectacular group of diverse honorees this year: two of the greatest film storytellers of our time–Marshall Curry and Debra Granik–whose documentary and narrative films have been vastly influential, along with the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic and presenter of our State of the Cinema keynote lecture, Wesley Morris, and finally, the legendary comedy team Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker,” explains Jonathan Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director for Milwaukee Film.

Returning to the Milwaukee Film Festival this year with his outstanding new documentary Point and Shoot, is director Marshall Curry. Curry’s Racing Dreams was the Opening Night film at the first Milwaukee Film Festival in 2009. Both Curry and Granik come to Milwaukee having just received major awards at two of the nation’s best film festivals: Curry’s Point and Shoot won the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival while Granik’s Stray Dog received the jury award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Jackson continues, “It is exciting to have such a high-profile filmmaker as Marshall Curry return to our festival. We have grown quite a bit since that 2009 film festival and I can’t wait for him to come back and see what he helped inaugurate.”

2014 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL TRIBUTES

MARSHALL CURRY

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Marshall Curry is one of the most important documentary filmmakers of our time, and he is an important person to Milwaukee Film. In 2009, his film Racing Dreams was the first to grace our festival screens on Opening Night at the inaugural Milwaukee Film Festival. Curry made his directorial debut in 2005 with Street Fight, a documentary that followed the campaign of the then-unknown Cory Booker, garnering his first Oscar nomination. Since that time, Curry directed If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front which tells the story of a radical environmentalist who faced life in prison for burning two Oregon timber facilities and won Curry his second Oscar nomination. Point and Shoot, Curry’s latest offering, is a documentary about a young Baltimore native who sets off for adventure and finds himself as part of the Libyan rebel army fighting dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Of Curry’s films, S.T. VanAirsdale (Movieline) said, “From vérité campaign-trail flashes in Street Fight to intimate dinner-table powwows in Racing Dreams to the candid, point-blank interviews in If a Tree Falls, his films take keen and unique advantage of both access and timing… getting down to the business of communicating without distraction, discrimination or guile. At heart, the films seek to detail the spectrum of grace.”

Marshall Curry is scheduled to attend selected screenings.

Point and Shoot

(USA / 2014 / Director: Marshall Curry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/k8DUYyl1ods
Matthew VanDyke’s incredible personal odyssey from restless Baltimore native to Libyan rebel taking up arms against dictator Muammar Gaddafi is chronicled in the newest film from Oscar-nominated director Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams, MFF 2009). From his status as a young man diagnosed with OCD fresh out of graduate school, to his momentous international travel (a self-described “crash course in manhood”) that led him on a motorcycle trip across Northern Africa and the Middle East, to his eventual placement smack in the middle of the Arab Spring and Libyan revolution, VanDyke’s camera was always on—up until his capture and terrifying half-year spent in solitary confinement. This is a remarkable, sweeping story Curry tells in full.

Street Fight

(USA / 2005 / Director: Marshall Curry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/fNrT2utrpAA

One of the greatest political documentaries of all time, Street Fight chronicles the very first political campaign of now-U.S. Senator Cory Booker as his grassroots campaign takes on the deeply entrenched political might of four-term incumbent Sharpe James for the mayoral seat in Newark, New Jersey. With the poverty-stricken streets as their battleground, 32-year-old Rhodes scholar/Yale Law School grad/Star Trek nerd Booker remains decent and straightforward despite the intimidation tactics and dirty politics (including claims that Booker’s background somehow makes him “less black”) employed by Sharpe. An edge-of-your-seat thriller even if you’re familiar with how this race ends, Street Fight is a wildly entertaining, modern-day Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

 

DEBRA GRANIK

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Debra Granik is the Academy Award-nominated director and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was

nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Granik’s first feature film, Down to the Bone, was awarded the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She is known for her amazing work with actors, essentially launching the careers of both Vera Farmiga and Jennifer Lawrence. Her work is known for an instinctive, collaborative style that Granik describes as “late-breaking global neorealism.” Granik’s most recent offering, the documentary Stray Dog, began with a chance encounter while scouting and casting Winter’s Bone. Granik met Ron “Stray Dog” Hall in the Biker Church of Branson and cast him as the film’s estranged father, Thump Milton. Of her work she says, “The question I’ve had for most of my life is, ‘How are you coping?’ Some people have these small, positive schemes for survival, a kind of strength that I am attracted to, maybe because I’m prone to the blues.” In Hall she found a worthy subject—one whose humor and lack of self-consciousness had the potential to make the plight of Vietnam vets accessible to a broader audience.

Debra Granik is scheduled to attend selected screenings and events.

Stray Dog

(USA / 2014 / Director: Debra Granik)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/5UKrOhJ0NRw
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, Harley-Davidson biker, Vietnam veteran, husband, and father, receives a portrait every bit the equal to his substantial personality from Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone. Defying expectations at every turn, Stray Dog tells a story of rough edges that give way to an expansive and tender heart as we see Ron equally at home shooting the breeze with his battery mates as they sip moonshine as he is opening up to his therapist or traveling to military funerals to pay respect to those he never met. A welcome corrective to rural stereotypes, Stray Dog is a slice of unforgettable Americana.

Winter’s Bone

(USA / 2010 / Director: Debra Granik)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/5O8F8JtSVmI
Winter’s Bone is an Oscar-nominated pitch-black slice of Ozarks noir following a young woman’s journey to protect her family no matter the cost. Seventeen-year-old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence, in her breakout role) discovers that her father has skipped bail, threatening the house he used as collateral, and leaving them homeless. Armed only with the knowledge of his involvement in the local crystal meth trade, Ree and her Uncle Teardrop (the mesmerizing John Hawkes) aim to find him despite the ever-increasing resistance to their inquiries. Told with incredible authenticity, this tale of family loyalty features a heroine for the ages, with minimalist setting and dialogue that add to its mythic flavor.

***(I think anytime a filmmaker has the opportunity to explore the casting process and working with actors in set the filmmaker should take it. Auditioning and working WITH talent is one of the most critical aspects of a director’s job. It is equally important for others to understand and appreciate as well. I will see you there – Rex)***

Working with Actors
Access the process of one of today’s foremost directors as Oscar nominee Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Stray Dog) discusses and demonstrates her process for auditioning and working with actors on set. This is not to be missed by any filmmakers who plan to cast actors or actors who want to get into films.

 

WESLEY MORRIS

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In 2012, upon winning the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Wesley Morris explained his attraction to film as an artistic medium with the following words: “Movies are visual, aural, they involve people, and life, and ideas and art, they are so elastic. They can hold anything, withstand everything, and make you feel anything. Other arts can do that, but movies are the only ones that can incorporate other media into cinema.” With those words, one can see easily why Morris earned this award—his writing is effortless, yet whip-smart, exuberant, yet precise. He is able to write about mainstream films as well as art house cinema, always compelling the reader toward a more nuanced understanding of the work at hand. Since 2013, Morris has been a cultural critic for the website Grantland; prior to that he wrote film criticism for The Boston

Globe (where he received his Pulitzer), San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner and contributed to Slate, Ebony, NPR, and Film Comment. Milwaukee Film is honored to present this tribute to Morris for his distinctive voice and remarkable career as a critic. As part of his visit, Morris will deliver our annual keynote address on the “State of Cinema,” followed by a presentation of Michael Haneke’s film Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys.

 Wesley Morris is scheduled to attend the following:

 State of Cinema

Join us for our annual lecture on the “State of Cinema.” Each year we host a distinguished member of the cinematic community to reflect on the current position of the industry and possible futures for the medium. This year we host Wesley Morris, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism while at the Boston Globe, who now writes on film and culture at Grantland.com. The panel will conclude with a brief Q&A, after which patrons are invited to join Morris for a screening of Michael Haneke’s 2000 romantic drama, Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys.

 

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys

(France, Germany, Romania / 2000 / Director: Michael Haneke)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/lNnwk7DSKb8

One of the many masterpieces created over the course of Michael Haneke’s career (Caché, Funny Games, the Oscar-winning Amour), Code Unknown chronicles the fleeting intersection of lives on a bustling Paris street corner. We see the fallout from this brief connection through an actress (Juliette Binoche), her photojournalist boyfriend, a young teacher of African descent, and a Romanian illegal immigrant. Able to wring unbearable amounts of tension from his frequent long takes, Haneke spins an emotionally complex tale of the simple ways in which we misunderstand one another on a daily basis. He spells nothing out and challenges viewers to decode these stories for themselves. Our 2014 Critic Tribute recipient, Wesley Morris, has selected this film to screen at our festival and is scheduled to participate in a Q&A with the audience after the screening.

 

ZUCKER, ABRAHAMS, ZUCKER

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The filmmaking team Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker began their fortuitous union at Shorewood High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After college at UW-Madison, David Zucker, his brother Jerry, and their friend Jim Abrahams created the Kentucky Fried Theater in the back of a bookstore in Madison with a borrowed videotape deck and a camera. In 1972, they moved the show to Los Angeles, where the trio that would come to be known as ZAZ became the most successful small theater group in Los Angeles history. Their groundbreaking style of outrageous sketch comedy was later immortalized in their film The Kentucky Fried Movie, and a new brand of comedy was born. This style featured hairbrained dialogue delivered by dramatic actors with deadpan sincerity and would earn the trio recognition as Hollywood comedy kingpins. In their illustrious careers, the ZAZ team has worked with actors such as Lloyd Bridges,

Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen, to name a few, and cultivated a whole new genre of film. Together, they have been responsible for ‘80s comedy cult classics Airplane!, Ruthless People, and The Naked Gun. Their streak of successful movies included the secret agent spoof and now cult classic Top Secret! starring Val Kilmer. This year Milwaukee Film honors these local legends by screening this 1984 film and welcomes them home with a tribute. The trio recently returned to their native roots by creating commercials in their signature style with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in conjunction with Laughlin Constable.

Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker are scheduled to attend the following screening:

Top Secret!
(USA, United Kingdom / 1984 / Directors: David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/mKHLPtH2I30

After the wild success of their comedy classic Airplane!, the anarchic trio known as ZAZ (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker) set their sights on spy films and rock’ n’ roll musicals with the outrageous spoof Top Secret! In this film boasting the screen debut of Val Kilmer as a young secret agent tasked with crossing the Iron Curtain to rescue a scientist, ZAZ packs the proceedings with terrible puns, absurdist sight gags, and all the anachronism and political incorrectness that a breakneck 90-minute run time could contain. We proudly present this comedy classic on its 30th anniversary, in celebration of a film every bit the equal of its predecessor.

Note: All screening and panel times will be announced Saturday, September 6 at the Program Book Launch located at Cathedral Square Park from 9am-6pm.

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema. Passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival are currently available at discounted rates exclusively online at mkefilm.org/tickets.

Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting September 10 for Milwaukee Film Members and September 11 for the General Public.

 

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*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS blog.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Persistence is the key to success.

I decided to republish a blog from my other site Daily Inspiration and Gratitude here: I have included the link to my other blog and I invite you to visit there and check it out if you haven’t yet. There are a lot of blog posts applicable to anyone in filmmaking.     Persistence is the key to success..

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It is the consistent, persistent, daily actions that bring success in all things, you family, your health, your wealth and career, your life. Daily dedication to doing something positive that moves you closer to your goal makes all the difference.

You start with a clearly, well stated ‘burning desire’, the mental images of your ultimate goal. You envision it daily (as often as possible, but at least for sometime in the morning and before going to sleep) and infuse it with positive energy and enthusiasm. You keep at it no matter what. You do not give up! You keep at it until you get it. This IS your daily regime. Your mental nutrition.

Keep your goal alive and in sight. Keep it burning and stay passionate about it. Believe in your heart and know in your mind that you will have it, YOU will ATTAIN it, as long as you never give up. Once you quit it is over, so you must not stop. You keep the faith and keep going no matter what is going on or not going on around you. You do not let present circumstances distract you from getting the end game that you want.

Keep this goal burning hot in your mind each moment. Focus on things to be grateful for and feel good about because when you do you are opening up your mind to discovering greater opportunities, events, situations and people that can help you reach your goal.

Your mind awakens and you can think more clearly and easily about how you will make it happen. You form plans using your creativity, your intuition and you smarts. You may have to adjust the plan as you go along that is just part of the process. Each day you move forward and you make adjustments as necessary but no matter what you keep moving forward toward your ultimate destination.

YOU WILL GET THERE as long as you keep going toward it. No matter how long it takes or how many detours there happen to be you will get there if you just never stop.

Persistence means you keep going even when you may not feel like going.

That is why it is important to find things you appreciate, small and large miracles and good and new discoveries, and the best thoughts and feelings along the way, so that you stay inspired and dedicated.

The person who succeeds is the person who ‘wills’ it to happen not who wishes it to happen. You make all the changes inside of you to be better equipped to handle all those aspects outside you you, the challenges and opportunities that come your way. You make all the changes inside of you to better manage the inside of you so you are optimistic, positive, powerful and committed to your outcome. You won’t do it if you wimp out.

Yes, occasionally someone lucks into it but frankly, most people who ‘make it’, who succeed in their personal or professional lives do so because the go after it relentlessly until they succeed. These people pursue health, wealth and well being because it is the most important thing to them. They don’t let circumstances dictate or prevent them from prevailing. ‘When the going gets tough the tough get going’.

You must stick with it no matter how impossible it seems. Whatever hardship comes your way learn to overcome it. Go through it. You will find a way if you are determined to find a way.

Manage you mind and you emotions. Manage your time and your efforts. You will do it, when you believe you can. As Napoleon Hill stated, ‘If you can conceive it and believe it you can achieve it’. Just don’t stop.

If it is truly worth it and it makes your life better and the lives of those around you better and it does not harm anyone of prevent others from fulfilling themselves, go for it. Get on course, stay the course and find out how to make the journey most delightful. Whether you get closer by leaps and bounds or inch by inch you are getting closer. Stay positive and stay focused. It is completely UP TO YOU! So do it! Just do it!

What can you do today to keep yourself on track? How many marvelous feelings might you discover as you look into finding these within you frequently during this day? How much fun can you stand as you continue to pursue your dream? Hmmmm, I wonder… ” Rex Sikes

Find those special moments in this day and have an incredible one!

via Persistence is the key to success.. at Daily Inspiration and Gratitude. Subscribe to both blogs and enjoy.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Brian Herskowitz Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Author ‘Process To Product’

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For the last twenty years Brian Herskowitz has taught screenwriting, first with WRITER’S BOOT CAMP, then with UCLA EXTENSIONS, and for the last five years he has held the post of Lead Faculty for the prestigious BOSTON UNIVERSITY in LOS ANGELES WRITER IN HOLLYWOOD graduate degree program.  His script writing textbook, PROCESS TO PRODUCT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SCREENWRITING, is available on Amazon.com and in bookstores.

As a writer, Brian has completed well over a dozen feature films. His first screenplay KAMI HITO E (THE THIN LINE) was based on his experience as an international Judo champion training in Tokyo.

TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer, Screenwriter, Director Brian Herskowitz

UPCOMING LIVE: TBA 11aE 10aC 8aP TO LISTEN LIVE CLICK THE BOLDED link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer, Screenwriter, Director Brian Herskowitz PT 2

From there he continued to write and his first produced feature was a low budget slasher titled DARKROOM. He wrote and directed the award winning short film ODESSA OR BUST starring SEINFELD’S Jason Alexander, ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Red Buttons, and RUSHMORE’S Jason Schwartzman. Brian wrote, directed, and produced the documentary 1736: SOMEWHERE TO TURN – about a family crisis center for domestic abuse victims, and the short film JOANNE – the story of a woman going through hard economic times and a mid-life crisis.

As a voice over artist he’s been heard in hundreds of films, games, and commercials including, FORREST GUMP, TOTAL RECALL (with Colin Ferrell), X-2, WOLVERINE, the hit video games DILBERTS DESKTOP GAMES, and MEDAL OF HONOR:AIRBORNE, as well as national commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Beringer Wine.

His voice has been heard in hundreds of hours of TV including the classic horror shows BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and TRUE BLOOD.  Brian recently took on the duties of Voice Director for the new Animated Children’s series ANNIE SUNBEAM produced by Debbie Margolis-Horwitz.

Brian’s theatrical directing credits include the world premieres of I.A.N. (THE ITALIAN AMERICAN NETWORK), CONFESSION AND AVOIDANCE (based on the book of the same name written by his father, prolific biographer Mickey Herskowitz), JESSICA AND THE COUCH POTATO, the west coast premiere of  SHUFFLE OFF THIS MORTAL BUFFALO, and the recent hit CIRCLE OF WILL.

As a writer in TV his credits include a staff writing position on the NBC sit-com BLOSSOM, multiple episodes of the syndicated series HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, and ACAPULCO HEAT, the HBO hit comedy DREAM ON, CBS’s RENEGADE, THE EXILE, MURDER, SHE WROTE, the TV movie MURDER OF MY AUNT, the FOX Network’s YOUNG HERCULES, and CBS’s critically acclaimed was series TOUR OF DUTY (associate producer).

Brian co-wrote the FOX pilot MANTIC with Jason Alexander. In addition, he worked as a punch-up writer on BOB PATTERSON, and LISTEN UP.

Working with Co-Op Productions in New York (THE GUITAR, THIS REVOLUTION), Brian line produced Candace Bushnell’s web series THE BROADROOM, which starred JENNY GARTH, JENNIFER ESPOSITO, and TALIA BALSAM.

As a feature film producer Brian just finished principal photography on UNTIL SOMEONE GETS HURT (co-writer), and BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS a comedy from director-writer Allan Katz (M*A*S*H*, BIG MAN ON CAMPUS),  MUSICAL CHAIRS, directed by Susan Seidelman (DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN), TIO PAPI directed by Fro Rojas, which he co-wrote.  He will producing the feature films SUSPENDED and AN INVISIBLE MAN for Scatterbrained Media.

In addition, Brian has several producing/directing duties on the boards including the slacker comedy MARTY AND VAHE TAKE A RIDE, and the HEF supported projects SHE FEEDS, THE WHANGDOODLE, and CREATURE FEATURE:THE MOVIE MUSICAL.

In his personal life, Brian is married to actress Gina Hecht (Mork and Mindy, Seven Pounds), and has two amazing daughters.  A fourth degree black belt in Judo, Brian continues to compete in the martial arts and is the 2014 U.S. National Masters Champion in Judo and 2013 Pan American Champion in Jujitsu.  Brian is thrilled to be a part of the HEF team.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Hollywood Is A Meritocracy

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I have been writing about the need for people to become a rare, sought after, desired person in Hollywood, in ‘the industry’. You know the kind of person we need  a genuine person, a nice, honest, decent, hard working co-contributor who works well with others. When it comes to advancing one’s career there is no better means that to add value to others first.

The entertainment business, like any business, is driven by dollars. It seeks profits and is concerned with bottom line. It catapults into stardom anyone who can fill theater seats or pitch and sell products in media because of who they are and how they look. Make no mistake about it the movie business is a commercial endeavor. It spends money to make money and it is concerned with every last dime.

So adding value means you don’t cost them you help them. It means you are not a liability but an asset. If you can help them save money by being professional, by being dedicated and going the extra mile, by adding value then you are sought after and put to work doing that. If you can help make them money by your actions you are a godsend.

Make no mistake, it is about business after all.

At the same time I share with you how to get inside the business there are other things to do simultaneous. Some do these without regard to what I have already shared about how to get in. I believe you need to do both. Here is what you need to be and do.

First and foremost you have to be the kind of person people like and want to be around. You DO need to add value first to everyone and develop the reputation for helping others and solving problems. You want to become the nice go to person everyone wants on their team.

Second you have to make films, movies, television. act. write. edit, shoot, compose or do whatever it is you do. NO YOU DO NOT have to do them all. Probably far better if you don’t try all of them anyway. You have to produce product for the business. It should be quality product, great story, great acting, unique, novel or original. You want to have an original voice and not be a copy cat. Still, you can model success from others, build on what has gone before you without looking the same.

What Hollywood doesn’t want is to do any of the work. They don’t want to have to say yes to you or your projects that is too risky. Invest in you or your movie WOW really risky! Better to say no and wait and see if you come through anyway. THAT is exactly what the business does these days.

You find it tough because they say no. They say no because they don’t want to loose their jobs. They will anyway if they never say yes, but at least they think they can squeeze a few more days, weeks or months out of the current tenuous position. So they say no.

If you are the kind of person who takes rejection personally and it hurts you and crushes you and you give up Hollywood beat you. Because there is no failure until you quit but once you throw in the towel it is definitely over. So move on. If on the other hand you don’t let it bother you but you allow it to motivate you to work smarter and harder then you can improve your chances.

If, instead of quitting, you make your movie, your show, your web content, and you do it well, you have something to offer you have a tangible money making product. While it is true that it is difficult to get movies made and released, it is equally true that it is difficult to get people to read your screenplays, and watch the product you have made. Everyone is too busy and too lazy to be bothered. They just don’t want to have to work to make things happen.

But they are more likely to watch something of your work or latch on to your idea when they see that it is fully developed, quality produced and acted and that there is merit behind your thoughts and you actions. Proof of concept or sizzle reels seems to be a way to go. You have to prove your project has wings.

The bottom line in this day is anyone can make a movie. Anyone can make a full feature film the technology exists and the costs, while there are costs, it is not prohibitive as it once was. So if you write, produce, direct, act, shoot or edit you have no excuse not to be making content.

It had better be awesome though. Because anyone can make movies everyone seems to want to and many make really bad ones. There is so much noise to signal these days because it is cheap and available. If you want to get recognized as a talent then you have to be talented and make good projects.

Let me stop here and say this because it is important. DO NOT do every thing yourself. These are thought of as vanity productions whether they actually are or because you don’t have the people to fill the positions. Movie making is collaborative. If you want to produce or direct you have to be able to lead and manage a team, in some cases a very large team. The more people you have to manage the more your import skyrockets. There is great value in finding those talented producers and directors who understand people skills and are able to get things done effectively.

For directors watch your actors make sure you cast well and get stellar performances. After all that is what a director does. The director brings the story to life. First the story must be incredible no one wants to waste their time watching something that is boring, implausible, and poorly constructed. We all want to be entertained. We want to lose ourselves in the story, in the characters, we want to love them, fight along side them, be them, bed them or hate and revile them. We don’t want to not care. We don’t want to think this story or this person sucks. We want to be lost in your movie and your characters not pulled out of it by silly plot contrivances and weak or overacted performances. Directors this is your domain. THIS IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT DOMAIN.

Yes, you work with the cinematographer to get the right shots and pretty pictures, but no one cares about your shots if the story and the acting is poor. Then we could go look at a travel video or a photograph. You use the camera and its placement and movement TO TELL THE STORY and CAPTURE THE PERFORMANCES not as an end to itself. By far this is to prevalent in today’s film endeavors. People spend all sorts of time and energy lighting and setting the camera at the expense of what goes on in front of it. Let your cinematographer light the set, deal with the shot while you work with the actors. Confer with them yes, but spend the lion share of your time on the story, character and performance and less on style. Focus on substance over style. Consider this if your story is riveting and the performances captivating 95% of everything is accomplished, maybe 99%. When you have intriguing story and compelling characters the audience lives through, it doesn’t matter so much how it looks.about  I am not saying it isn’t important at all, but it really isn’t. What I am saying is put your energy and talent in what matters the most to everyone who will watch your work.

You are not going to get hired as a director if your film is gorgeous and the story and acting suck.

Writers do everything you can to make in capture our hearts and minds. We have to believe every second, we need to live it as the characters do. Or as an audience we live it a moment in front of them anticipating the next moment, the suspense, or a minute after when some poignant moment is revealed. We should be caught up in the story and moved along on a roller coaster. While the ups and downs and violent turns of the ride don’t have to be such in each story all stories have a pace, have high moments, drama and conflict, overwhelming odds whereby the hero may lose all and moments of accomplishment and learning. It can not be the same pace, the same level, story cannot only be revealed through dialogue. We have to see what is going on and feel what is going on with these characters. You need to write it as the best written screenplay ever. Will you most likely not right out of the gate but you have to stick with it, re-write it, polish it and develop it and make it production worthy. Besides it being important to you, the writer (or the writer, director or producer and sometimes one person is all three) it must be important to others. It has to speak to the audience so that when they are done with the experience they feel better off for having been a part of it. If they feel they have wasted their time then they have and so have you.

Directors and producers must be choosy about what they make. Just because you have an idea doesn’t make it worthy of a short film or feature film. Just shooting for the sake of doing it isn’t going to help you.Strive to do the best with the resources you have. You may not have great equipment or enough people, money, food, time or energy but you should have an incredible story and an incredible cast. WHY? Because before movies came along these were plays and plays need to be great too. This is an important point I am not saying you have to write for theater that is a different form but you have to write and produce and direct and act so that humans that would watch it, whether on film or on a stage, want to see more come from you.

You always only make a first impression once. It is nearly indelible, and while this first impression may be overcome later with better future work, why shoot yourself in the foot to begin with. Start out right by making the best impression you are able to.

Make the best short or feature or web series you can. Wether comedy, drama, science fiction, western action or horror, there is one thing it absolutely be and that is ENTERTAINING!!! IT MUST be worth watching from the very first frame because if not, a few frames later, they will turn it off. If you give them crap the first time do you think they will accept anything from you the second time? Why make your job more difficult make it easy.

Become the best filmmaker you can be. Do it all the time but don’t put it out there unless it is worth it. Know the difference between something worth showing and something you cut your teeth on. As you grow in experience and get better and better you will make the project you want to show, just make sure it is the best you can do.

Actors the same applies to you. There is no reason why you can’t act on camera and put content out there worth seeing if no one is hiring you. You increase your chances of getting hired when you do BUT it must be wonderful. Again business smarts is crucial. Don’t put things up and out that are not your best. It is more important for actors and filmmakers to develop quality over quantity especially to get in the door. Once inside you want to follow up your work with more better work, This is a quest that frustrates many, how to top an earlier success.

I don’t think you have to top it but you have to consistently deliver the goods. If it is business you may have a flop now and then but ultimately you need to make people more money than you loose if you want to stay in any business.

So Hollywood doesn’t want to develop you instead they want you to come to them ready made. They want to claim to have discovered you, the next new great talent. They want to exploit you and make money from you but they don’t want to pay anything to start it. It does make sense because they are currently busy keeping those already ‘there’ busy making movies and projects. They are nurturing and milking their cash cows until the cows have nothing left to give.

SO understanding how things work in a business helps us move forward in the business, It may seem daunting but you can’t give in to that type of thinking. You do need to be positive in your thoughts and actions. You should also be realistic about your knowledge and your skills and talent. Be accurate in your assessment where are you strong and where do you need to develop?

Stay positive in thought and feeling and attitude because you can develop your abilities and talents as you pursue your career. You will especially if you believe in yourself, stay optimistic and continue to work on it. Develop your mind set and never give up. Become a person other people want to work and be with. Megalomaniacs occasionally get in but not as a rule. Usually the nicest people have lasting careers.

Producers and directors remember people keep an eye on how you inspire people to work hard and to be better not how well you whip them into doing things. People management. time management, management of resources are all important. They want to know you can manage money too. If your film cost nothing that is admirable because you did a lot with little BUT you did not actually have to spend money and that is precisely what you do in business. Doing something with nothing may impress some but at the same time it does not lend any credibility to your business skills. Rather it speaks to you creativity to figure out how to pull it off with nothing and I believe this is very valuable. It is just spending money wisely is a different skill set.

The bottom line is today you can make product. Whether that product is one you are able to take to market or not depends on many other factors. What you can and should make is incredible stories whether shorts, serials, or features. You should seek to entertain and fascinate the viewer.

Strive to do your very best in whatever capacity you function and I hope you love doing it. Have fun, enjoy it, strive for quality and keep doing it and you will get better and better. Be wise about what you show and when. Be prudent, in some ways better to err on the side of caution them blow a contact with work not ready. Keep at it and don’t quit.

Be the person other people want to work with. Learn to inspire and motivate and appreciate others. Value them first, add value to them, respect them and they will value you.

The best possible combination. The best of both worlds is an incredibly wonderful person who is also talented, creative and smart about business. It makes it easier to get ahead so be one. If you are not already, I believe you may become one, you just have to spend time doing what it takes. Whenever something is worth having, when something is a must, then it is worth putting in the appropriate effort.

I will discuss many topics as we progress. No single blog post of mine stands in isolation as there are numerous considerations. I consider it a flash light illuminating an aspect of it to give our attention to and explore, not as the final word.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Michael Frost Beckner (RSMB Screenwriter Series)

Michael Beckner jpeg

Michael Frost Beckner launched his writing career in the early 1990’s with three record-making “spec” script sales: “Texas Lead & Gold,” “Cutthroat Island,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Today, with dozens of screenplays and rewrites for major studios, twenty pilots for commercial and cable networks, numerous episodes for network television, Beckner has—from his first original film, “Sniper,” that introduced the phrase “One shot, one kill” to the public vernacular and spawned three sequels—built a reputation as a film and television writer of realistic, character-based historical, military and espionage dramas.

The Screenwriter Series on Movie Beat with Michael Frost Beckner IS BELOW!

UPCOMING LIVE: Wednesday October 8, 2014 11aET, 10aCT, 8aPT TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK Below

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS7

Discussions with Michael on Mini-series he is producing To Appomattox. TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK Below

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner PT 2

****NEWS!!!  Michael and I are conducting a writer’s series. Tips, suggestions, secrets, on writing, selling and getting your screenplay made. Stay tuned!!! More to come!

***** THE SCREENWRITER SERIES with Michael Frost Beckner & Rex. How to write, pitch, sell and produce your screenplay. SCROLL DOWN FOR UPCOMING EPISODES *****

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS1

Episode 1. We discuss – idea, generating ideas, plot, how to develop plot, story and what makes it important. The importance of Characters to the story and how these all relate to creating a strong project and selling it. (Show Note – cable company cut cable 3 minutes from end of show – ends abruptly but we will continue the conversation topic in Episode 2.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS2

Episode 2 We picked up where we left off and continued to explore story and character development. Michael talked about creating character backstory and how you screenplay story emanates from the character not the other way around. We discussed rewriting to keep it a page turner and began discussing crafting your opening, and how important theme is, plus much more.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS3

Episode 3 We continue the discussion where we left off and began to significantly the notion of THEME in your writing. Why and how  it is important and what it means to the reader and audience.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS4

Episode 4 We will pick up where we left off and continue to explore these and new topics. How to Pitch Studio executives and producers. Michael provided valuable tips and suggestions for how to pitch and what to do.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS5

Episode 5 Continues the exploration and discussion on pitching and selling your screenplay. The conversation includes studio, independent production, television and features. Incredible information you can use is in each episode.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with screenwriter producer Michael Frost Beckner WS6

Episode 6 Michael and I discuss pitching your feature or spec film and how it differs from pitching Television executives. We discuss the necessity of networking and career success.

ENJOY THE SCREENWRITER SERIES

Beckner’s major big-screen success came with the Universal Pictures, Tony Scott directed film of Beckner’s spec script, “Spy Game” (2001) starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt.  The release of that film coincided with the debut Beckner’s CBS series, “The Agency” (Creator, Executive Producer, Writer; 2001-2003).  This pilot holds the distinction of being the only dramatic series ever allowed to film at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Beckner began his career as Academy Award winning director, Barry Levinson’s Writing Assistant working with the director on “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “Rain Man.”  From 1997 to 2008, he worked extensively with Academy Award winning director, Sydney Pollack, adapting John Le Carre’s “The Night Manager” and writing two more films and developing two television series; Beckner considers Mr. Pollack his mentor and the greatest influence on his writing and his career.

Recent writing credits include: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigators” (CBS) and “Gold Fever” (Discovery), and is preparing the “Spy Game” prequel “Muir’s Gambit” for production and has adapted his novel “Berlin Mesa” into a 4 hour mini-series for AMC.

Beckner has also developed a working profile in European television writing the miniseries “The Plan” (UK; Purecom Entertainment and Freemantle) based on Alex Dryden’s bestsellers “Red to Black” and “Moscow Sting,” as well as “The Sleepwalkers” based on Christopher Clark’s international bestseller of the same title (Germany;Odeon/H&V Productions).  Beckner is currently working on “City of Lies” which continues his creative partnership with director Wolfgang Petersen they began with “The Agency” (Radiant Productions/Endemol).

As a personality and commentator on American espionage he has appeared on CNN, Fox New, TF1 in France, and was a featured guest on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect.”  As a Civil War speaker, he has spoken at universities and to private organizations on the history behind his upcoming Civil War Event Mini-Series “To Appomattox.”

He is one of three children of Olympic gymnast, coach and judge, and NCAA champion (University of Southern California) Jack Beckner and Barbara Beckner; he attended USC and received a degree in novel writing under the tutelage of award-winning novelist T.C. Boyle; the father of five children, Beckner makes his home in Montrose, California.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

 

Making Movies Is Not a Hollywood Private Party It Is Pot Luck!

 

behind the hollywood sign

“Have you ever noticed how hopeful show biz people are?  Actors want to act and star in movies, writers want to hit it big, directors desire to get their movie made and distributed. The list of hopefuls in film goes on and on. Some of these people will do nearly anything to make a connection and get ahead.

They want to make it in Hollywood. They want to be star actors, directors, writers, whatever their department they want big success. They know they have talent and a lot to offer and they are not ashamed to tell everyone. They will state, they are “only working this job until they get their break”.

They wonder at times why the rest of the “Industry”, “The Business” doesn’t recognize how talented they are. They exclaim, “If I only had a shot, got a break, then everyone would see”. They believe in themselves, they are sold on themselves and they think everyone else should be too.

These hopefuls think getting ahead means making the right connections. It does.

They think if they only connect with and get to know the right people they will be welcomed into Hollywood with open arms. Yes, most likely.

To connect with industry leaders they eagerly hand out head shots and their resume to those important people they meet. They lug out their script or demo reel on DVD and ask others to look at, to read or to watch their talent. It doesn’t matter where they are when they meet this ‘industry mogul’ they want to connect and make an impression on them. They clamor to get their materials into the hands of those who might be able to help them whether they are at a car wash, restaurant, gas station, party, on the street, anywhere and everywhere.

Sometimes they may be rebuffed, the person they approach doesn’t want their materials.  Instantly, that big name producer, director, writer or star suddenly becomes an ‘U93e0)@(EU@#’ to them. They complain that the person didn’t take their materials and brushed them off. ‘Don’t they know I am going to be big someday?’ their thinking goes. Yes, they may.

Sometimes, they are resentful when their friends or others get an opportunity or a break that they didn’t. Then they secretly, or not so secretly, hope or wish bad things upon the person who “got lucky”, or “slept their way up” or “bought their way in” or “we born into a showbiz family” or “knew somebody”.  Whatever the flavor of disparaging comments of the day are they banter them about with callous disregard.

Somehow they think if only they were understood, given a chance then everyone would know how big they were going to be.

Not all people are like this. But some are. You may even know some. You may be even one but let’s hope not.

The problem with this person is not, that they may not be talented. They may be extremely talented. Talent is not the issue. Business smarts and wisdom is what is lacking, the ability to know and understand people is what is missing.

Talent may be there. What is missing is critical.

The necessary people skills that help people connect with others needs improvement. The focus of this person is in the wrong place. While it is great, even necessary, to believe in oneself, how you go about connecting with others is more important in many ways.

These hopefuls, these wanna be’s on the ladder of success just don’t understand why no one “gets them”, sees their talent or opens the doors for them. I’ll tell you why.

I think these hopefuls imagine succeeding as going to a private Hollywood ‘big name’ party.

Here is what I mean.  You are invited to a private party. You go there to be seen, to connect, to meet up, to have fun, to get laid, to eat and drink the food and beverages the host supplies. You primp, you peacock, you expect others to take notice. It is a big spread and a big deal and you are invited in. Everything is supplied. The place, the people, the food, the drink, the entertainment. All you have to do is eat, drink and be merry. Lap it up.

In your head you imagine  that someone looks at you and states, ‘Of all the parties, in all the private mansions, in all of Beverly Hills YOU walked into mine… I have been waiting for this moment, My god there is no one like you, you are going to be a big star. Let me help you’. And it happens you are discovered! You are in for the big ride to stardom and success. WOW!

Okay, it could happen but it is so rare that it will you would be better off having another plan of action.

I get it, we get it, in fact everyone in show business gets it – you want to work, you want to be somebody, a contender, you want to make it.

We all do. We all think the same way. That is the issue.

So how does one make it? How might you open the doors for greater and easier success?  Begin by considering this:

Everyone is in it for themselves. ‘WIIFM’. You know what those letters stand for! ‘WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME?’ Since this is in the forefront of all of our minds,  when you approach someone else their first thought, or one soon after is, ‘What is in it for me?’

Let’s return to the party analogy for a moment. It is a gathering, you don’t have to do anything but show up, you are welcomed in, you eat someone else’s food, drink their drinks, spend time in their abode and you enjoy yourself. You might dress or be flashy, but you meet people who can further your career or your interests. You have your elevator pitch for each person you meet. Your attention, for the most part, is on you, your needs, your desires, your breaks and how others can benefit you. Well, it’s true isn’t it? Your concern is your career, right?

Well, that is everyone else’s concern as well.

If you want to succeed in show business, ‘the industry’ or ‘Hollywood’ you have to change your thinking.

Do not think of it not as going to a private Hollywood celebrity party think of it as going to a Pot Luck Event.

That’s right Hollywood Success is Pot Luck!

Here is what I mean. What IS a pot luck event is all about?

It is about everyone else. It is about the other people! At a Pot Luck EVERYONE brings something to contribute to the well being of all involved.  At a Pot Luck you bring something of value to share with others.

Whatever your motives are for bringing a dish you do not show up empty handed. You bring something to share.

Perhaps, your reason for bringing the dish is that you  want to ‘blow everyone’s mind’s with your amazing Tiramisu’ or your 5 Bean Salad.  Maybe, you just hope everyone likes your cheesecake. Perhaps, you bring your favorite beer because that is what you want to make sure they have on hand or maybe you want others to discover it too.

Whether secretly hoping to make a memorable impression or simply happy to share a dish bought from the deli you bring something for all.

Movie making, television, filming of any kind is collaborative. Everyone person is a valuable member of a team. Each team member performs specific tasks to help get the movie made. Everyone is in it together.

A saying I learned early in the film business is,  ‘ be nice to others on the way up because you will again pass them on the way down’. While this is a nice reminder for at least one reason why you should be nice I think there is a more important reason.

The real reason is that birds of a feather flock together. Like minded people gravitate towards each other. Successful people hang together. Friends seek each others companionship and company. Like attracts like.

The people who like each other and hold each other in high regard and find value in each other and their projects, wish each other  well. They want to work with each other as often as possible because they enjoy it. They benefit from the experience and the project benefits.

The people who complain ‘I can’t break in, I can’t break in’ are part of the very reason they can’t break in.

As I have been pointing out, if all the attention is only on you and your career you will have a much tougher time of it. The focus needs to be on other people and it needs to be genuine.

The fact  of the matter is, those successful people who work together and maintain a tight core group that is difficult to get into,  are busy working together with people they value. They have developed relationships of friendship and mutual respect. Their core group is tight for these reasons.  They want to work with the same people again because they contribute to each other and the projects and they have fun together. They have good relationships.

You will find your core people and you will make inroads as you pursue your career. There is always hope that you can penetrate one of these talented core groups, and you may, but you have to have something to offer them beyond your talent.

You have to learn how to make everything a win/win for people. They have to win while you win. It can be no other way. If it is only good for you  then there is nothing in it for the other person. You must first address their ‘What is in it for me?’ concern.

Do you see that t has to be about the other person first? It cannot be about you first. No one likes someone who blows their own horn and who is only focused on self.  They will potentially like someone who is interested in them and asks questions sincerely.

You need to explore how you can help other person and you win in this relationship. You have to have a collaborative frame of mind. You need to consider, how do you work together, how can you contribute to other person first?,

Those who know me  know that one of Rex’s Rules is to GO FIRST. That means you need to do it before anyone else does it. Your reputation will precede you if you focus on helping the other person win first. You will become known near and far as the person to know and include on the team if they perceive you as someone who adds value to them before ever asking anything from them.

You see you have to bring something to the party. When you bring it in this manner you will blow their minds because most people seeking a career do not think this way. They only think about their career goals.

Someone once said ‘ You can get anything in this life if you help enough people get what they want’. This is true.

People respond positively to people who provide value and they don’t respond to or they respond less than gloriously to people who don’t so get known as some one who does.  Get known as a true team player, a collaborator, someone who knows how to fit in and who contributes.

It comes down to this:  If you hand me your picture and resume I know what you want. You want me to hire you or refer you.

Okay, so I think what is in it for me if I hire you?  If you state “I am talented and your project will be better off because you hired me’, then your answer is still only about you.  Your answer has nothing  to do with me or my concerns for the project. All you have done is pitched you.  Do you understand this? It is all about where the focus is.

You gave me your resume for me to give you a job.

People thin,k ‘you have to do something for me, here is my screenplay, my headshot, my reel.’  They don’t consider that out of a 24 hour period with 8 to 16 hours dedicated to work, family, friends, that taking a couple hours to read your screenplay or watch your movie means less time for themselves, their business concerns, their friends scripts and movies or their family. It is a big chunk of their time. You have just asked someone to give you value, to invest their time, energy, interest, potentially money in checking you out with absolutely NO GUARANTEE of RETURN ON INVESTMENT!

Do you get that? You ask someone to give up their time, or carry around your materials because they are important to you, but the person, at that moment has no way of knowing whether these materials will be important to them. How could they know this?

It is the equivalent of someone knocking on your door while you are at home asking for your time or money. It is like getting a sales call during dinner time it is not wanted. When you do this to another without providing value at the very least you are a pest.

At a pot luck everyone brings something to serve everyone else. It is about contributing and sharing. It is about coming together and giving. IF you want to succeed don’t ask first, give first. Help out first. Provide value first. Solve a problem for the person first. Refer a resource,  provide some needed information or timely assistance just because it is the right thing to do not because you want to get ahead.

When your heart is in the right place, when you are genuine and your interest is in serving or helping the other person they will recognize it. When the other person gets the feeling that their interests are in your heart then they are more apt to respond in kind.

When you want someone to listen to you be the first to listen to them. Take all the time necessary to really hear and listen to what they say, what they are about, give your time and energy and attention to them first and then they are more likely to respond in kind.

When you behave like this, most probably at some point, they will ask for you head shot and resume. They will ask to read your screenplay or watch your movie. People like to say yes to people they like. When the ‘industry leader’ asks you for your materials that is far better than you asking them.

The principle of the ‘Golden Rule’ is ‘treat or do to or for others as you would have others treat or do to or for you’.

If you want people to wish you success begin by wishing them success first. If you want them to value you value them first. Wish them well, celebrate their successes, understand, sympathize or empathize with their problems, difficulties and disappointments. How do you want people to treat you? If you want them to recognize you as a person of value recognize them as valuable first.

Keep a couple of principles in mind to guide you.

The first is ‘People like people who are like themselves’. This means it is important to have something in common. You should  have something you share between you.  It could be values, mutual respect, your station in life, interests, sports, fishing, cars, came from same neighborhood and more. There can be a bridge, a common ground, something mutual you have interests in or are able to discuss.

Second, ‘People tend to say yes to people they like’. So, if you want people to say yes to you and remember you and to possibly hire you they need to like you. They need to want to be with you and hang around you. So are you the kind of person another can easily like?

The consideration for them is:  Would they want to go camping with you? Would they want to be working somewhere with you? Are you the kind of person they would want to have around in an isolated area with the rest of the people?

This is a big concern casting directors have. Their job is to find and recommend talent for hire. They need know that the director, the producer or the star would enjoy your company and would want to be around you on location for a significant amount of time?’

They may think of you as the most talented actor they have seen in decades BUT is not just about whether you are talented. It is ABOUT can they TRUST YOU to get along well with everyone.

Yes, they want to know you are a pro, that you can deliver, that you are not intimidated by who you work with, that you can carry your own, that you are confident and positive, that you can hit your mark, know your key light and your lines. Yes they want you to be able to act and navigate a set and in front of the camera.

Most importantly they want to know you aren’t going to be someone who the ‘powers that be’ regret bringing along. When they send you up for a job their reputation is on the line.

What is in it for them? You make them look good and the producers and director and star thank them for such a wonderful find. Their future jobs and relationships are determined by how well they people read you. Their concerns are beyond  just the acting ability.

The same is true for anyone in the business. The same concerns apply whenever hiring. Can you do the job is a given. Do they want you around to do the job is a great concern? Do you add to them and the project or do you detract?

Which do you think is more important when thousands of dollars per minute are being spent: the acting ability or what kind of person the actor actually is?

Frankly, they could put any competent player in front of the camera and get decent results. We have all seen people on TV and in movies and we wonder ‘why were they cast?’ So remember, this  it is not just about how great an actor, writer, director, musician (or whatever you skill is) it is about who you are and the kind of person you are.

Are you a team player? Do you contribute? Is your first concern about yourself or the well being of your teammates and the project? Do you know where you fit in? Are you high maintenance? Can they absolutely trust you?

You need to bring quality to the networking. It is all about the relationships you form.

Don’t ask people to go to bat for you before you have demonstrated your worth and what kind of person you are.

Be genuine, no one likes a phony. Be sincere, be honest, be friendly, be positive. Be interested in the other person and find a way to contribute to them.

When you have these qualities, when you ARE this kind of person, you can be confident that you will begin to make quality connections with the people you meet.

You will get further faster when you are the kind of person people naturally gravitate to. Be likable and enjoyable. Be kind and don’t gossip, don’t spread ill-will. Spread positive ‘vibes’ and get known for these things.

Treat all assistants, casting assistants, producer assistants, like gold. Someday they will be producing or directing or starring in large projects, so be respectful of everyone regardless of where they are in the business ladder. Be nice and respectful to everyone!

If you are known for being friendly, thoughtful and kind people will want to see your other talents as well. If you are truly talented in the acting, writing, directing, other areas, then you have a winning combination.

The true talent comes in being a fine human being. Be the kind of human being we need more of. Be the type of human being we all want to become friends with and hang out with. I want to spend time with the best of the best, don’t you? When you are know as a great person and a talented actor (or whatever) that truly is a winning combination.

It is considered in poor taste to show up to a pot luck empty handed. So offer everyone else the best you that you have to give. When you do these things you will get known as  a great person to be around. You will connect up with the right people and you will move your career ahead easier and more quickly.

It is never about what you have – it is always about WHO YOU ARE!” Rex Sikes

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

 

Must Listen To Show With Lenore Andriel producer, writer, actor

LENORE ANDRIEL & STEVE DOUCETTE

Lenore Andriel (pictured with producing partner Steve Doucette) is one of those rare spirits who, if you are lucky enough, you get to encounter at least once in a life time. Creative, talented, hard working, dedicated, inspirational, optimistic and a good loyal ‘do unto others’ friend. I am lucky enough to count her as a friend, as well as a guest on my show.

If you have not already listened to her on my show you will want to. I adore Lenore, and I know you will too!  Use the link below to listen to our most recent discussion together:

Lenore Andriel Episode 3 on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

We began the exploration about her movie ‘Yellow Rock’ due to our mutual friend Director, Musician, Peter Foldy who provided us  an introduction.

Lenore wrote with co-writer Steve Doucette. She produced, Steve and Anthony Lawrence were executive producers,  along with Nick Vallelonga, who also directed, Daniel Veluzat and others a fascinating feature film. The movie stars Michael Bien, James Russo, Lenore, and Michael and Eddie Spears among others.

Visit her bio page with co-writer, Executive Producer Steve Doucette using green link below:

Click Here Official Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat site: Lenore Andriel Episodes & Bio

The film has been distributed Worldwide and won 18 Awards, including the prestigious “Wrangler Awards”, in every category from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, in Oklahoma. Lenore personally won her bronze “Wrangler” for Producing and “Best Picture” with her partners Steve Doucette, Daniel Veluzat, & Nick Vallelonga, as well the “Best Screenplay” with her partner Steve Douctte. She also won “Best Actress” Starring in the film, alongside her Co-Stars Michael Biehn, James Russo, and Michael & Eddie Spears.

She is in good company, since “Wranglers” have been awarded in the same categories, to Clint Eastwood (for “Forgiven”), Kevin Costner (for “Dances With Wolves”), and Annette Benning for “Open Range”. She also won in the same categories from many film festivals across the country, including the Red Nation Film Festival, Lake Arrowhead Film Fest, and the Native American Film & Video Fest of the Southeast, to name just a few.

The show on Thursday 8/7 with Lenore is one of many shows we have done on ‘Yellow Rock’. I’ve discussed the movie with Nick the director, Lenore and Steve, Daniel Veluzat of Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch, producer and location liaison, Catherine Ellhoffer producer and wardrobe supervisor, Peter Sherayko, props and Western consultant, Randy Miller, composer and orchestra leader, and both Michael and Eddie Spears, Native American actors and consultants.

I was so pleased when Lenore agreed that we could explore making and marketing Yellow Rock from a variety of vantage points so listeners could learn from each what goes into producing and releasing a independent feature film. We continue this exploration with Lenore and will also have other quests coming up who are new as well as returning quests.

All of the previous interviews are available at the archives in the INTERVIEW blog at Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat any time 24/7. Use this link to go to the archives  http://www.rexsikes.com . They are also available at blogtalkradio and at Itunes as podcasts for free.

Listen and enjoy all the discussion I have with professional filmmakers, there are over 400 hours recorded, especially these discussions with the fine people on ‘Yellow Rock’.

When shows record live you can join other listeners in the chat and ask questions of my guests.

Lenore is a fountain of energy and information. You are going to want to listen to the show whenever you can. Listen to all the shows on ‘Yellow Rock’. AND Stay with us as we continue to discuss important topics in the future. Lenore will be returning and there will be visits from past guests and new guests too.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

 

Lenore Andriel Records Live Aug 7th Producer, Writer, Actress on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

LENORE ANDRIEL & STEVE DOUCETTE

LENORE ANDRIEL & STEVE DOUCETTE

Lenore Andriel

It was Rodney Dangerfield, who first discovered Lenore Andriel, the award winning actress who stars in the just released western film “Yellow Rock”, while she was addressing an audience of 3,000 at the Ritz Theatre, in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Astonishingly, at the ripe age of 21, Andriel owned and ran the Ritz, where Dangerfield was performing that night. Having come up with the idea of owning a gorgeous showplace, replete with nightly star performers, Andriel set out to own it and found the funding to do it. She then successfully produced there, the likes of: The Oakridge Boys, Waylon Jennings, The Marshall Tucker Band, Spyro Gyra, Jeff Lorber, Mickey Gilley, George Carlin, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Chic Corea, Ray Charles, and many others.

TO LISTEN CLICK BOLDED LINK Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer Writers Lenore Andriel and Steven Doucette

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer Writer Lenore Andriel EP2

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday August 7, 11aE 10aC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK BOLDED LINK Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer Writer Lenore Andriel EP3

But it was Dangerfield who saw her at such a young age, be able to mesmerize and hold a huge audience captive. When she later met him backstage, he exclaimed “kid, you got it – you got stage presence. You belong in Hollywood.”  She took his sage advice and became an actress, changing her path forever. His words were more fortuitous, than either of them ever could have imagined.

Therefore it is no surprise to learn of Andriel’s recent success for her eighteen award winnings (and still counting) for her feature film – “Yellow Rock”, in which she starred, wrote, and produced!

Andriel grew up on the east coast, where she studied at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. After her successful endeavor with the Ritz Theatre and upon taking Dangerfield’s advice, she then moved to New York City to begin her studies in stagecraft with many award-winning teachers. Once completed, her theatre work was instantly successful with lead roles from Off-Broadway to Lincoln Center.

Her first starring film role was opposite Bo Svenson in “Blood Brothers”, which led to her continuing to being cast as the “strong female lead”. She then played leads in award-winning independent films in both the u.s. and abroad, including “Childhood” opposite Tara Fitzgerald, which filmed throughout eastern europe, “Midnight Witness”, that gave her, her entree to the Cannes Film Festival with Maxwell Caulfield, and the tear-jerker indie “Desperate Measures”,  that gave her one of her first award nominations for “Best Supporting Actress”. She has additionally starred opposite Paul Rudd, Dennis Haysbert, Paul Johansson, and Miguel Ferrer, to name a few in both film and television.

Additionally, as a voice-over actress she portrays several lead characters in “World Of Warcraft”. Her list of gaming characters for Blizzard includes: ‘Ysera’, ‘Mothership’, ‘Archival System’, and many more.

An avid world traveler, passionate about the environment, and a consummate horsewoman, Andriel is a ‘cowgirl’ for real, proving that whatever sets her mind to do, she gets it done.

That is probably the reason why the next phase of her career, was to write, produce and star in her own feature, “Yellow Rock”, a western with a message. She portrayed the strong female lead as ‘Doctor Sarah Taylor’, who embraces and supports the failing “Black Paw Tribe” in the dangerous days of 1880 California. Andriel’s first venture as a filmmaker paid off, winning her a coveted “Best Actress” Award, “Best Screenplay” – Shared with Co-Writer Steve Doucette, “Best Picture” multiple times, And “Best Producer” before the film had even been released.

“Yellow rock” starring Michael Biehn (Tombstone), James Russo (Django:Unchained), Lenore Andriel (Midnight Witness), Michael Spears (Into The West), &  Eddie Spears (Hell On Wheels), has world-wide distribution and is currently making the film festival circuit. It has garnered eighteen awards ranging from the prestigious Western Heritage Awards 2012 to the Red Nation Film Awards, with many in between.

“Yellow Rock” won the coveted Bronze Wrangler Award from The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for “Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture”, “Best Director”, “Best Screenplay”, and “Best Actors” – Michael Biehn, James Russo, Lenore Andriel, Michael Spears, and Eddie Spears. Andriel personally won in three categories: Writer, Producer, and Actress.

The ‘Wrangler’ is not awarded every year, but only presented to those deserving films and individuals. Previous winning films include “Unforgiven”; “True Grit”; “Dances With Wolves” and “3:10 To Yuma”. Individuals include John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, and Annette Bening, which indicates the high level of successful films and stars that have been awarded for the past 50 years.

With the success of “Yellow Rock”, and due to Andriel receiving the ‘best actress’ wrangler for her role as ‘Dr. Sarah Taylor’, she has truly been launched into the stratosphere. She additionally plans to create other film projects with her producing partner Steve Doucette, under their banner of Enlightenment Films, Inc. , in which she will continue to star, write, and produce. This is one “cowgirl” who dared to shoot for the stars and now has become one of them.

STEVE DOUCETTE

A huge sports fan and animal-lover, Doucette can now add the title of executive producer; westerns to his credits.

The one time stand up comedian had paired up with his little brother Joey to form the ”Other Brothers” comedy team years ago. starring as a feature act, they worked with the likes of Drew Carey, Soupy Sales, and the Unknown Comic at some of the best comedy clubs in the country.

His life-long friendship with actor Lenore Andriel, has opened a world of opportunities and an opportunity to re-enter the world of entertainment, as a co-writer and executive producer of his first feature multiple award winning western – Yellow Rock!

This is no small feat for a kid growing up in Florida with little background to the industry, other than enjoying the westerns such as Gunsmoke on the little screen.

This independent film with huge production value, musical score, and top notch acting makes “Yellow Rock” look and feel like a big studio picture.  however, the telling of how callously white men destroyed Native American communities, are the real passion and inspiration behind the script. a real message to the story is what “Yellow Rock” is all about, and serves as a refreshing example of how to tell a great story, without having to rely on special effects and eye candy.

Since Doucette ventured on this journey a few short years ago and while writing the script as a western, it was obvious to him and Andriel that the plight of the Indians needed to be told. What is even more instrumental to this plot line is that Doucette’s former industry was selling commodities and gold in particular.

By today’s standards the running of gold is less wild west, and wilder stock exchange, however, his creative writing style allowed him to forge back in time to the real wild, wild west.

The script has been expressed exquisitely and bravely on-screen. the heat was real, shooting in 110-120 degrees made the scenes more real than even the actors could imagine. The expanse of the Veluzat ranch location filled all of their scene requirements and was very instrumental to the look and feel of the 1800’s.

With Doucette’s behind the scenes business acumen, he and Andriel were able to attract the prestigious entertainment law firm of Reder & Feig, llp in Beverly Hills. Their producer’s rep at the firm Noor Ahmed, brokered the world-wide distribution deals for them, with screen media films and epic pictures, right out of the gate.”

With his first feature completed and numerous awards won, the most prestigious of them all is the bronze wrangler which was presented to them at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum this past April.

Steve and his writing partner Andriel are now back at it, working on their next project. with their vision to make story driven movies, and their ability of creating and developing influential characters, one can hardly wait for the next Andriel/Doucette film, and with the development of their new company Enlightenment Films, inc. we can expect more award winning feature films in his future.

Yellow Rock Official Website

Director Nick Vallelonga Yellow Rock interview on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Yellow Rock Co-stars Eddie & Michael Spears Interview on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer Daniel Veluzat

Hope you subscribe to this blog and feel free to share and comment!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site