CAN YOU HELP US THINK OF ACTORS FOR THESE ROLES?
We are currently compiling cast Wish Lists for our upcoming dramatic feature, THE TIGER HUNTER. Since this has been a process we’re taking everyone on, how about helping us think of actors for these roles? Use the comments section!
SAMI (~25) / MALE / SOUTH ASIAN
A high achieving go-getter, Sami’s goal is to become an engineer in America and impress his childhood sweetheart. Think: sincere, hard-working. Like Joseph-Gordan Levitt in half of his roles.
ALEX (~28) / MALE / CAUCASIAN
- Alex is the every-man, the average Joe. He is more than content to clock in and clock out of work with absolutely no higher goals in life. Alex is dumped with the other immigrants at the engineering firm but plays himself up like he’s running the show. It’s entirely transparent though, and a bit endearing. Think: Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore, but just a smidgen less totally weird. (photos above are possible matches for Alex)
KENNETH (early 30s) / MALE / CAUCASIAN
- Kenneth is the well-coifed, charismatic senior engineer at Sami’s company. He is likable, extremely confident. Think: a younger Tony Stark.
WOMACK (40s-early 60s) / MALE / CAUCASIAN
- Womack is the somewhat elusive boss at the engineering company. Commanding power, but…just a little bit off. Think: Bryan Cranston in Malcolm in the Middle, but less dumb.
Are we missing a couple roles? Yes…but maybe they’ve already been cast…
Can you help us accomplish some of our crazy ambitions? Click HERE to help!
MAKING A CAST WISH LIST
These days we are assembling “wish lists” of potential cast. This helps us budget and will be instrumental when we start “packaging” the film (putting together attachments like director, actors, producer, etc).
WHERE TO START
Since I’m directing, I’m starting first by just thinking of who ideally IS that character. Some of those may or may not be possible. For instance, our Womack character IS Bryan Cranston, and I had written the role with him in mind even before Breaking Bad got all popular and I only knew him from his fantastic job in Malcolm in the Middle. But things change. He may not do this role now or he might. Who knows. We need options.
THE SMARTER WAY TO GO ABOUT IT
First, with guidance from the great folks at FilmSpecific.com, we are making lists of 5-10 potential actors for the role in our budget range. These are backups if we can’t get the other actors who generally work above our budget range.
For films in most indie budgets, we can go to websites for sales agencies and see which actors are appearing in films of a similar budget range. It’s important to take genre into account. People might care for Jason Statham in an action role, but not in a family film.
Great sites to use to look up which recognizable actors are “selling” films in different budgets:
- Cinema Management Group
- Mar Vista
- Showcase Entertainment
- Image Workst
- Artist View Entertainment
- Voltage Pictures
- Anchor Bay
- Phase 4
- Echo Bridge Entertainment
- Essential Entertainment
- Screen Media
The first half of the list is better for budgets under $1M, the second half for budgets $1M-$5M. Our next step (probably starting next month)? Contact the actors…
Being an independent filmmaker, getting fans and understanding and using social media is often half the battle in making a successful film. Happy trending!
Want to hear more or help me out, too? Follow me on Twitter!
WHAT IMMIGRANT STORY FILMS CAN YOU THINK OF?
A few distributors now have more or less told us, “Don’t worry. Stories based on immigrants aren’t as common as you think. What are you worried about?”
What stories based on immigrants can you think of? We thought of “The Namesake” and “Amreeka” to name a couple but got kind of stuck after just a few. Can you think of some more, or are they not “done already” as we sometimes initially think?
LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER
If you’ve ever noticed, films often have several producers. They have different roles. We won’t get into them all now, but usually there’s one who is more behind the scenes making the calls to the higher-ups because they’re awesome and connected and everyone knows and loves them (we have that one already), there’s one down and dirty one who devotes half their year to the film or more, and there could be others.
So, we are looking to add a producer. But what kind should we get?
- We could get an experienced producer, one who has sold several films in our budget range and made a profit. That way, they have a wealth of experience and have already learned all they need to know. The problem? These producers are probably now swamped, and while they have the track record, they may not be able to devote the needed time to your project anymore.
- We could get an up and coming producer. Maybe they haven’t sold a film for $3M yet, but they are smart. They will get the film done, and done well. For all these films you’ve seen sold at Sundance this year, many of course were from producers who didn’t have a huge track record.
So there we are. There are great examples of success stories for both. No doubt having Forest Whitaker producing helped the potential of Fruitvale, but a filmmaker friend I know,successfully sold his film Valley of Saints and navigated Sundance with a producer who had more intelligence than necessarily a track record.
WHERE AND HOW TO LOOK
- Look for producers who have done films in a similar budget range and similar genre or focus (for instance, maybe they like character driven films like yours). Do they only focus on thriller and yours is a comedy? Maybe not the best person to approach
- Search for for similar films at Cannes, Sundance, SXSW etc and contact accordingly
- Find producers going to American Film Market, Cannes, etc. I know somebody who went to Cannes, contacted dozens of producers in advance, and arranged meetings when he went
- Ask around.
So right now — we are approaching both types of producers. A mentor of mine told me that for every 12 producers you contact, maybe one will actually ask to read your script. So far we’re batting 1 out of 7, so I guess that’s good!
Got a stellar producer you’d recommend? Contact me. Otherwise, will keep everyone updated!
MARTIN SCORSESE’S STORYBOARDS
I saw these and got excited. I’m happy mine aren’t the only storyboards that look like junior high drawings. These are some of Scorsese’s drawings for his film, TAXI DRIVER.
Martin Scorsese is awesome.
To see the full story from Open Culture, click HERE.
This has to be one of the coolest charts, summarizing filming tax incentives by state. Save it, use it, maximize your budget!
Click HERE to see the map.
Map found via FilmmakerIQ.com
Just emailed Aamir Khan. Okay, no, his secretary. We want him for a quicker, but iconic role of the film, that will only require about two days of shooting for him. Man, the guy is loosely related to me sort of (enough that we’ve had lunch together — too bad I wasn’t making a movie then!!), but he’s just so crazy busy! Talk show (India’s soon to be Oprah), movies, producing. Figure it’s worth a shot though.