Breaking into the movie business - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Breaking into the movie business

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Want to break into the movie business? Casting director Bill Marinella stopped by Good Day Atlanta on Monday with a few do's and don't's to get you started down the right path to the silver screen!


Bill Marinella on Facebook -
Bill Marinella on Twitter - @MarinellaCast
Bill Marinella on the web -


1.  You don't need professional headshots when first starting out. Be wary of the so-called talent agents that are trying to only sign you if you get their expensive headshot packages and classes. A true, franchised agent will not force you to take their classes and purchase their headshots. SAG and AFTRA rules govern true agencies.

2. It's important to remember that agents will "vet" you before they sign you. It is a mutual agreement, and you are both bringing something to the table. This generally takes years of experience on the actor's end.

3. As a casting director, I don't generally use any Internet agencies, specifically those that have charged a fee for actors to sign up. I use my own database, and we use the Internet for putting the word out there and to gather submissions.

4. The word agent implies commission. I am not an agent. I get paid by production to find extras. I never charge a fee. All extras get paid for their day of work. Pay rate is generally minimum wage. Anyone that claims to be working a show as a casting agent probably is trying to get commissions from being a middleman, and has nothing to do with the actual show.

5. Parents should be very careful when going to expos. There is a value and a worthiness to them, but be realistic of what you are getting out of it.

6. The chances of becoming a big Hollywood star without taking acting classes and training are almost zero.

7. Use simple cellphone pics that are clearly lit and representative of what your child or yourself look like everyday. It will start to get your foot in the door.

8. Photoshop should not be used to change your appearance but rather for framing lighting and simple things like stray hairs. Instead, hire a professional hair and make up artist to cover your blemishes.

9. Use every resource and be prepared to have thick skin. It's such a disappointing business. It's a very "urgent need this yesterday" type of business and sometimes things come off as rude when in reality things need to be fine so quickly, we can't respond to every submission.

10. When auditioning for speaking roles, many actors have so-so headshots. It's a catch 22 situation because you really have to have a reputable agent, and you can't get an agent without training or headshots. So, research schools and instructors and take multiple overlapping classes, and know the terminology and camera technique. Practice with friends, groups and real life techniques like public speaking, and writing will always be helpful.

11. Repetition is knowledge and knowledge is power. So make your own power. Record yourself play it back. Listen to what you sound like. Speak out loud to ten different imaginary people a single sentence. You won't speak to a child the same way as an adult. Practice! Practice! Practice!

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