Why Stage And Screen Actors Become Filmmakers

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Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, Raindance Canada in 2004, Raindance.TV(co-founder) 2007 and Raindance NYC in 2010. He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films.

Can you imagine facing the same problem professional stage and screen actors face every single day of their career? First they have to attract the attention of a casting director (HR department), Then they have to get an audition (job interview). And then they put their destiny in the hands of others. It’s a process in which an actor’s talent and ability has absolutely nothing to do with their success of getting a job.

Stop waiting for the phone to ring! Actors seeking to gain control of their careers are increasingly deciding to become filmmakers, producers or directors. Stage and Screen actors who make their own films and stage their own plays never need to wait for an agents call to an audition ever again.

5 Reasons Why Stage And Screen Actors Become Filmmakers 

1.Actors already have filmmaking skills

The skills needed by a director, producer or filmmaker are already skills shared by stage and screen actors. Many famous stage and screen actors broke in through filmmaking.  Remember Ben Affleck and Matt Damon? How about Vin Diesel? Or Billy Bob Thornton? They made their own films and used that success to leverage work. Making your own content is something that makes total sense and demands that you as an actor become a better filmmaker.

Actors could view filmmaking as a career transition. Working behind the camera is totally different from working in front of the camera. The benefits of understanding the filmmakers side of the lens it too great to ignore.

2. There’ll be loads and loads of work

Launching a filmmaking career is a bit like starting your own theatre or dance company. You should never ever be out of work. Your challenge will be to find enough scripts!

Ballet dancer Desiree Ballantyne left English National Ballet after a stellar career where she performed in over 2200 shows. She met two filmmakers whose nascent company All We Can Do Is Dance make short two minute dance films in public places. They make content that could be shared, could create an audience and more importantly, attract attention of casting directors. These films literally cost nothing to create. The better ones travel film festivals too where the performers catch the eyes of producers and financiers scouting for hot new talent.

3. Casting will never be a problem

Actors always know fellow actors. There should never ever be a panic when it comes to casting a film made by an actor-turned-filmmaker.

4. Actors know how important acting is

Actors know great acting when they see it. They also know how badly actors are treated by some filmmakers. and an actor/filmmaker will know how to treat actors on the set. An actor as filmmaker will know how to make the actors feel like valued units of the film and will be able to elicit better performances.

5. Actors know how to read a script

Actors are always reading scripts. Their reading has taught them to look for two really important elements: character development and story. These are the single two most important elements of a script. I teach these points in my screenwriting classes. Kim Hudson, America’s leading expert in stories of personal growth agrees that character development is paramount to a good story.

Here is the amazing truth about filmmakers. They don’t really read scripts. Here is where stage and screen actors can really shine.

6. Stage and screen actors possess ambition

Actors know that the two essential qualities are persistence and stamina. Actors are prepared to go to 50 auditions and get turned down for every single one. the also know how hard it is to keep in shape. Actors also know they need a second job to earn money to pay the bills until the acting money comes in.

The drive and passion an actor has for their acting career is exactly the drive and ambition they can use to succeed in their filmmaking career – but with the added benefits of creating a portfolio of work they have produced themselves.

Fade Out

Are you a self-controlling destiny freak? Give filmmaking a go. It could provide you with the career you crave. Auditions and call-backs will become a thing of the past. and never again will you get a rejection letter.

Actors make excellent filmmakers. Filmmaking is the perfect choice for actors and it’s definitely worth taking the chance.

 

This article was originally published on Raindance. Featured image sourced from same link.

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Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, Raindance Canada in 2004, Raindance.TV(co-founder) 2007 and Raindance NYC in 2010. He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films.

Why Stage And Screen Acto…

by Elliot Grove time to read: 3 min
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