Actor-Reel Workshop

Last Tuesday, May 17th. APP-NW hosted an incredible workshop and social gathering at the Lucky Lab. Our guest speakers Erich Demerath and Robin Vada gave us very important and insightful information on how to create a reel that showcases our work as actors, and how to use it as a marketing tool to position our brand.

If you missed it, here are the highlights of the night!

What is a reel? Clips that show that you can act, what you look like, and what you sound like. Ideally, it gets you work.

Current trends – new technology makes equipment cheaper, quality higher, easier to watch it from anywhere, but shorter attention spans. More content and more convenient to watch than ever. The length of reels has shortened – now, 2 minutes at the longest. Reels are more important than ever.

Types of reels:

  • General
  • Dramatic
  • Comedic
  • Commercial
  • Stunt
    Once you have enough work, having them all together is confusing. Pay attention to the quality of both visual and audio. Lead with something in your wheelhouse.
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Where to start?

Gather Your Footage:

From the directors, producers, and editors. Maintain good standing with them. Get contact info and inform them you want scenes for your reel. Request footage once the project is complete, though many projects end up not ever being completed.

Perhaps try to get a written contract that includes that you will have access to finished footage.

You may also be able to download clips yourself if they are available. For your records and for your reel editor.

The higher the resolution the better. The larger the file the better (within reason).

HD: 1920×1080 or 1280×720

Try to avoid SD. Try to avoid letterbox.

Don’t forget about audio!!!!!!

What clips to not use?

  • Theater clips
  • Self-taped auditions
  • Clips that do not feature you
  • Home videos
  • Anything with poor production quality

The reel!

  • First shot should be you.
  • First voice should be yours.
  • Not longer than 2 minutes.
  • Do not worry about the context of the scenes.
  • Use medium and close up shots as much as possible.
  • Avoid montages.
  • Titles of productions – this is a grey area; some people like it, some don’t; just be consistent.
  • Start and end with your name and contact info.

Production Quality Matters!!!!!!

If it is a good performance, but poor quality, think twice. You’re only as good as your poorest quality clip.

Before Giving Footage to Your Editor:

  • Log your footage
  • Write timecodes of your best clips
  • Don’t just hand off a stack of films

Shooting Your Own Scenes:

There have been classes in town that are based around shooting scenes for your reel. Or people have hired crew to shoot scenes for their reel. Make sure you do it right. Make sure the quality is good, the audio is clear.

What to do with your reel?

  • Youtube channel
  • Vimeo
  • Personal website
  • Maybe also upload full scenes as supplements
  • Get feedback! Let people be honest!
  • Maintain it.

Robin Vada from Professional Acting Reels

They can rip almost anything from on-line, whether iTunes, YouTube, website… Charge $25. They also create reels and create scenes for footage for reels. 

Your reel can start to cultivate your brand as an actor. What is your essence. What is it that you do well.

The Alliance of Professional Performers – NW moves to formalize status as a 501(c)3.

At its recent Board retreat, APP-NW’s Board of Directors defined acquiring formal non-profit status as its foremost goal for 2015/16.  Armed with Board approval, Co-Chairs Chrisse Roccaro and Christopher Toyne headed to a consult with Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts,  at which Attorney Bryan Wasetis, with Aspect Law Group, LLC, laid out the steps we needed to take. Christopher began the process and, in a remarkably short time, got us 3/4 of the way to the finish line.

First, we had to incorporate as a Non-Profit through the Oregon Secretary of State.
Next, we registered for a Federal Employer Identification Number.
Third, we registered with the Oregon Department of Justice/Charitable Division.  It was necessary at this point to designate a Registered Agent, and we chose to hire the Aspect Law Group, LLC for that purpose.

The last step is to file the Federal 1023-EZ form to apply for tax exempt status.  The paperwork is filled out and all that’s needed now is the $400 filing fee!  Needless to say, we’ll be putting our noses to the grindstone to raise that money in the next few months.  We’ll have our donation jar out at the next AHH! (Mother’s Bistro, Tuesday, May 19, 6 – 9 PM!) so you can drop in a dollar to get us closer to our goal.

As you know, part of our mission is to improve and increase the level of professionalism within our industry.  We are starry-eyed with the possibilities for enhanced educational and training programs for performers that your soon-to-be-tax deductible donations will make possible.

Again, our thanks to our wonderful Board of Directors – Linda Gross, Lanie Hoyo, Lorelei Kennedy, Michele Mariana, Darius Pierce, Yolanda Porter, Priscilla Prosser, Chrisse Roccaro and Christopher Toyne; our Advisory Board leaders, Harold Phillips and Nathaniel Applefield; Oregon Volunteer Lawyers For the Arts (www.oregonvla.org); Bryan Wasetis and The Aspect Law Group, LLC; and, especially, YOU, our performer members, for your continued support and participation.  It really does take a village.  Onward and upward together!

What’s The State of YOUR Union, NW Actors? Tell Us At #ActorsHappyHour January 20 (At A New Location!)

President Barack Obama Addressing Congress At The State Of The Union Address
Photo: OregonLive.com

On Tuesday January 20 president Barack Obama will give the US Congress, and the nation, his State of the Union address.  This yearly ritual, full of pomp-and-circumstance, isn’t just a chance to report on how things have gone in the past year – it’s a chance for the president to announce bold new initiatives and goals for the future in an effort to move the country forward.

You may not have thought about it, but we professional performers have a similar ritual at the beginning of each year – we look back on what’s worked (and what hasn’t) in the previous year, and we set goals for the coming year that will move our lives and careers forward!  We don’t generally announce these goals in front of national television and a joint session of Congress – but we know that keeping these goals to ourselves can sometimes “let us off the hook…” sharing our goals with others help us to solidify them in our minds – and even helps to keep us accountable to ourselves.

So, NW performers, we’re asking you to share YOUR 2015 state of the union with us at the first #ActorsHappyHour of the year at a new location: Wine Up on Williams in at 3037 N Williams St. in North Portland.  Join us from 6 – 9 pm on Tuesday January 20 and let us know how you’re going to build on the successes you shared with us in November!

The president’s State of the Union speech will be playing on the televisions upstairs, in case you need inspiration, and Wine Up on Williams has prepared a special happy hour menu for APP-NW members (remember to wear your APP-NW pins, or get them at the door!)  After the speech, join us downstairs in Wine Up’s special event room and tell us how you plan to move your career forward in 2015!

We’ll also be raffling off some tools to help start your year off right, including

  • One hour of free tax consultation from The Bookkeeping Company – a Bookkeeping and tax service that “gets” the special needs of performers
  • An Actor’s Holdon Log – the perfect “paperware” tool from the makers of PerformerTrack to help you track your auditions, callbacks and bookings in the year to come!

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 7 for $5.00 – and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ACTORSHAPPYHOUR we will give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every actor on your list!  We’d love to give you a free raffle ticket – and we’d love to hear your goals for the coming year!

The Librarians Are Coming! The Librarians Are Coming! Join Us For A Special Viewing Party December 7 at 8:00!

TNT's New Shot-in-Portland Series The Librarians

 

In case you haven’t heard, Electric Entertainment’s The Librarians, the newest addition to the filmed-in-Portland television lineup, will premiere on Sunday, December 7 at 8 PM on TNT!

The Alliance of Professional Performers – NW, the Oregon Media Production Assocation and SAG-AFTRA are itching to party down for the occasion! Once again, as he did for Leverage, Chris Joseph of Portland’s Morrison Hotel Bar (719 SE Morrison St., 97214 – click here for a map) has graciously invited Portland’s film and TV community to a no-host viewing party!

The Librarians promises laughs, adventure and great special effects as a secret society of Librarians battle supernatural baddies to keep us all safe.  And The Morrison Hotel Bar promises good food and drink for the price of, well, good food and drink!

*** To be entered to win a door prize, bring a non-perishable food item for the Oregon Food Bank! ***

Be sure to RSVP on our Facebook page, and join us for the fun and cheer on your fellow performers.

Who knows? It might even become a regular Sunday event!

It’s Time To Give Thanks For Your Successes in 2014, NW Actors! Join Us At #ActorsHappyHour November 18!

Celebrate 2014It’s been a great year, Northwest actors – and we want to hear about the successes you’re giving thanks for at the final Actors Happy Hour of the year!

In January, we asked you what your goals for the coming year were… well, it’s time to look back at the “year that’s been” and see if 2014 matched – or surpassed – your expectations!  Join us downtown at Cassidy’s Restaurant on Tuesday, November 18 from 6 – 9 PM and share your success stories from 2014 – did you make connections with important industry players?  Did you spread the word about APP-NW‘s professional standards, and help your fellow performers do their best work on professional sets in the Northwest and elsewhere?  Did you reach a new career milestone, or help someone else build a stronger career?  Maybe your year went in an entirely unexpected direction, and you had to re-assess those goals you made back in January – what ever happened, we want to hear all about it!

Be sure to wear your APP-NW pins (or get them at the door) and expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion… and do remember to bring a few extra dollars for our monthly raffle, where we give you the chance to win prizes that can help build your professional career like:

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 7 for $5.00 – and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ACTORSHAPPYHOUR we will give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Parking at Cassidy’s might require some pre-planning; we recommend that you take public transportation if you can, park at the SmartPark on 10th Ave, or leave plenty of time to look for metered parking.

As mentioned above, this will be our final #ActorsHappyHour of 2014 – but don’t you worry, we’ll be back after the holidays!  Be sure you’ve subscribed to our mailing list so you’re among the first to hear about our next #ActorsHappyHour location in January 2015!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every film and TV worker on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group together to celebrate YOU!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next TUESDAY!

What Do Performers Do To Build A Strong Community (And Industry?) Tell Us At #ActorsHappyHour October 21!

Ted Rooney presents the Male Actor award to Danny Bruno at the 2014 Oregon Actors Awards (Photo: OregonConfluence)

Did you attend the Oregon Actors Awards this past Sunday, Northwest performers?  If you did, you heard a lot of speeches from the presenters and the winners – and one thing nearly all those speeches had in common was the word “community.”  Time and time again presenters and recipients talked about how amazing Oregon’s community is, and encouraged the audience to keep building a stronger community.

When many people think of the film and TV industry (in the Northwest or elsewhere) they tend to think about agents, movie stars, cameras, directors, and producers.  The term “community” doesn’t often enter their minds.  Really, what difference does a community make in the film and TV industry – and what can a single performer do to build a community… let alone have an effect on the larger industry?

We want to hear your thoughts at October’s Actors Happy Hour – how do you define “community?” What do the communities you’re part of do to help Oregon’s film and TV industry – and how can you follow the lead of Northwest performers like Danny Bruno, Ted Rooney, Harold Phillips, Jana Lee Hamlin and Duane Hanson by building a stronger community?

Come join the discussion with us at Cassidy’s Restaurant, located at 1331 SW Washington Ave between 12th and 13th, on Tuesday October 21 from 6-9 PM.  Share a drink and a smile, and let us know how YOU build a stronger community (and a stronger industry!)

Be sure to wear your APP-NW pins (or get them at the door) and expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion… and remember to bring a few extra dollars for our monthly raffle, where we give you the chance to win prizes that can help build your professional career, including:

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 7 for $5.00 – AND if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ACTORSHAPPYHOUR we will give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Parking at Cassidy’s might require some pre-planning; we recommend that you take public transportation if you can, park at the SmartPark on 10th Ave, or leave plenty of time to look for metered parking.

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every film and TV worker on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group together to discuss this VERY important topic!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next TUESDAY!

What is a “Safe Set”? Tell Us At #ActorsHappyHour On September 16th At A New Location, Cassidy’s!

Video Of A Car Stunt On An Unsafe Set That Went Viral – Click here To Watch And Find Out More About The Incident

This year’s highly publicized fatal accident in Georgia shed light on an issue we all know happens far more frequently than we hear about in the news. What is a “Safe Set”? What can we do if we find ourselves in an unsafe situation on set?

We want to hear your thoughts at September’s Actors Happy Hour – and from your friends in the industry, too… anyone who performs, creates, produces, crews, casts or markets is invited.

Come join the discussion with us at a new location, Cassidy’s, located at 1331 S Washington Ave between 12th and 13th, on our new night Tuesday September 16th from 6-9.  Share a drink and a smile, and let us know what YOU think a safe set is.  Remember to wear your APP-NW pins, or get them at the door, and expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion… and remember to bring a few extra dollars for our monthly raffle, where we give you the chance to win prizes that can help build your professional career, including:

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 7 for $5.00-and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ACTORSHAPPYHOUR we will give you a free ticket for the raffle.

As it happens, we are sharing the date of our first Cassidy’s #ActorsHappyHour with a Timbers Game, so parking might require some forethought.  All the meters on 12th Avenue and further west will be active until 10 PM.  Take public transportation if you can, or park below 12th Avenue, where the meters go “off” at 7 PM.  There is a SmartPark on 10th Ave. From there it is a short “over two up two” to Cassidy’s – a lovely walk on a fine fall evening.  Other street, lot and garage parking opportunities are in the nearby Pearl District on the north side of Burnside.

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every industry worker on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group together to discuss this VERY important topic!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next TUESDAY!

#ActorsHappyHour Is Changing Days and Venue for September, October & November!

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In case you missed the news – APP-NW is kicking off the fall season with exciting news about Actors Happy Hour!

In response to your requests and comments, we’ve decided to make AHH! a movable feast! Starting on September 16, Actors Happy Hour will be held on the 3rd TUESDAY of the month at Cassidy’s Restaurant, at 1331 SW Washington Portland OR.

Owner Bob Cassidy will make his full bar and terrific happy hour menu available to us for the duration of our usual 6 – 9 PM time frame and give us the run of his back dining room for our socializing, raffling and topic-discussing pleasure! Many of us know Cassidy’s as THE place to go after a show, but if you’ve not been, check it out at www.cassidysrestaurant.com.

Come join us at Cassidy’s on Tuesday, September 16 at 6 PM for the fall kickoff of #ActorsHappyHour with the Alliance of Professional Performers – NW!

What’s The State of YOUR Industry, Actors? Tell Us At #ActorsHappyHour on August 18!

Downey_ArticleA recent guest-column published in the Oregonian has provoked quite a bit of conversation in Oregon’s film and TV industry.

The column’s author, Sam Downey, calls industry backers, legislators, and investors on the carpet for not doing more to grow a sustainable industry.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have a thriving film industry in Oregon. Our own industry,”  Downey writes.  “There are so many distribution avenues now that a film is no longer slave to a movie theater. This would mean that instead of a small percentage, all of the money made from the projects stay in our state… Every year politicians and investors are shown the incredible revenue that the entertainment industry brings to this state. And how do they react? The politicians make us schlep to Salem each year and grovel for a pitiful increase in tax incentives to keep our struggling industry alive another year, even though our film office can show how much potential revenue our state lost because our incentives are used up almost immediately.”

So, what do you think, Oregon performers?  Several projects and shows have recently wrapped, and several others are just beginning another season of production (plus there are lots of smaller projects always in the works!)  “How’re we doin’?”  What’s happened so far this year​?​  Did it meet our expectations​?​  ​What would add to our appeal as a place to produce quality work to increase our work opportunities?  We want to hear your thoughts at August’s Actors Happy Hour   and from your friends in the industry, too… anyone who performs, creates, produces, crews, casts or markets is invited.

While you’re at it, why not take a moment to invite your state legislators (and those running for their seats!) They’re the people who decide what sort of film incentives Oregon should offer to producers… we’d love to hear their take on things, too!

Join us at Foster-Powell’s Bar Maven from 6-9 next Monday, August 18, share a drink and a smile, and let us know what YOU think the state of Oregon’s film and TV industry as summer 2014 draws to a close.  As always Bar Maven’s owner, Bashar Farrah, is offering special discounts to APP-NW members (remember to wear your APP-NW pins, or get them at the door) so expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion… and remember to bring a few extra dollars for our monthly raffle, where we give you the chance to win prizes that can help build your professional career, including:

  • A Tazo Tea travel mug to help you wake up for early-morning call-times
  • Discounted bookkeeping services from The Bookkeeping Company to help you get your finances in shape
  • A six-month subscription to PerformerTrack, the #1 career management tool for performers

Don’t forget, raffle tickets are $1.00 each or SEVEN for $5.00 – and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ActorsHappyHour we’ll give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every industry worker (and legislative candidate) on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group together to discuss this VERY important topic!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next Monday!

When’s The Right Time To Break The “4th Wall?” Share Your Thoughts with us At #ActorsHappyHour June 16!

Source – brentcoltharp.com

The story of actor John Lacy’s firing at Repertory East Playhouse in Santa Clara, CA spread like wildfire through social media last week.  Lacy was terminated for jumping off the stage and physically removing an inebriated heckler who had been yelling anti-gay slurs from the audience during a production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof; the production closed soon afterward when at least one cast member resigned in solidarity with Lacy.

Anyone who has performed for any length of time has encountered uncomfortable situations – and how we deal with those situations often help to define us as professionals (or not.)  That same week, for instance, Kevin Spacey stopped a performance in Baltimore to scold an audience member.

Incidents like these have provoked a lot of conversation on social media channels; some understand an actor’s need to take action, while others agree behavior like this is inappropriate (and that, in Lacy’s case, termination is warranted.)

What’s your take, Portland-area performers?  We want to hear your thoughts about these episodes and others like them at June’s Actors Happy Hour!  Join us at Foster-Powell’s Bar Maven from 6-9 next Monday, June 16, share a drink and a smile with your fellow performers, and let us know what you would have done in those situations… or what you did in similar situations!

As always Bar Maven’s owner, Bashar Farrah, is offering special discounts to APP-NW members (remember to wear your APP-NW pins, or get them at the door) so expect some fine food and drink while we have a lively discussion… and remember to bring a few extra dollars for our monthly raffle, where we give you the chance to win prizes that can help build your professional career!  Don’t forget – raffle tickets are $1.00 each or SEVEN for $5.00, and if you bring a performer who’s never attended an #ActorsHappyHour we’ll give you a free ticket for the raffle!

Please RSVP at our Facebook page so we know you’re coming – and be sure to share this post with every actor on your list… we’d love to give you a free raffle ticket AND get a big group of performers together to discuss this VERY important topic!  We’re looking forward to seeing you next Monday!