by Sanna Haynes
So you want to create a web series or video made for web. Great!
…but you are SAG. Or you want to use SAG-AFTRA actors.
You might want to consider signing your project into SAG New Media. I’ve done this recently, and I can honestly say it’s no sweat. It’s not as simple, as say, just shooting without any paperwork. However, I will say the paperwork is minimal.
Here’s the process:
1. Go to https://osa.sag.org/ and sign up as a SAG signatory producer. It takes about 5-10 minutes to do this section.
2. Now, add your project to be reviewed.
Pick the kind of project it is(new media, short film, etc.).
You will now be required to give information about the project.
Many of these items can be an estimation, because, let’s be honest, things change. For instance, if you think you *might* shoot next Thursday, but aren’t sure, just put that date. You can always change it with your SAG representative or on your contracts, later. If you will be continuing to add episodes to your web series, you can do one of two things: put the number of episodes you know you will be shooting, or leave that section blank. You can continue to add episodes to a web series once it is signed, regardless of whether you indicate the number of episodes on your application.
They will need the most recent copy of your script, budget info(if you have NO money going into it, be honest — just say that), copy of your driver’s license, and a pre-prod form filled out. All of these items can be saved onto your computer and uploaded. No need to fax.
Hooray! You are done with the application process.
3. You will be contacted by your SAG rep a couple days later.
Your SAG representative will have all of your other necessary paperwork loaded into the OSA system for you.
There will be a lot of paperwork that you will probably *not* need to fill out. However, the most common forms that will be required are:
1. Performer contracts(for principals only)
2. Background performer contracts(only if you have background actors)
3. Pension & Health statement(basically a statement of the income your performers are making and how it adds to their pension and health — if you aren’t paying them, then guess what — they don’t get any added — but you still have to file the form)
4. Final Cast list (exactly how it sounds)
5. Time sheets(the times for when your performers sign in and out on set or wherever you shoot)
6. Taft-hartley forms for non-union performers. (this is an excellent opportunity to get someone into SAG who would like to be eligible for the union)
^All of the above forms will need to be sent to SAG via email or fax within 30 days of wrapping the production.
So, that’s the process. A basic outline of the process, anyway. Not bad, eh?
Questions? Leave in the comments.
ABOUT SANNA: “I’m an actress and I teach acting. I write screenplays. I paint, draw, dance ballet, I sing, I am horrible at tap dance(trying to work on that one), visualize films in my brain, I yoga it up most mornings, I like to organize.
My faith is what keeps me strong. I am trying to become the best storyteller I can be. Hopefully this will be a reality, someday.”
You can find her blog here: a dialogue about acting, film and the arts
You can find her on IMDB here
Kind of a cool moment that maybe you saw in the news, but more than likely you did not. But, at an awards ceremony in the city of Angels, Robert Downey Jr — aka Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes — pays tribute to Mel Gibson and asks Hollywood to forgive him for his recent problems.
Classy move, Downey. Classy move.
And what it speaks to more than anything is the roller coaster ride that life can be. That’s why it’s so important to reach back and help a fallen camrade. To build a culture of healing where we take time to lift someone out of the murky pooh they’ve fallen into. Not in some condescending way, but as a wise man said, “As one beggar telling another where to find bread.”
You never know when it’s going to be your turn on the down-and-out. Just around every corner could be a piece of news that’s going to set you back. Knock the wind out of you. It happens.
Thank you, Mel Gibson for paying it forward to Robert Downey, jr. Helping him out of a pickle. And thank you Downey for reaching back. For being the dude behind the dude, playing another dude. Okay that Tropic Thunder quote had nothing to do with any of the rest of this post, but it’s a fun one to whip out on any occasion!
Anyway, lesson of the day? No man left behind.
That’s what Mark Twain wrote, anyway. Presumably sober.
No, he’s not advocating we get our best ideas from inebriation and substance abuse. (Although one has to wonder about Charlie Kaufman and the eternal sunshine of his not so spotless mind – brilliant film by the way)
The idea of “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” is the same concept as the Right Brain Left Brain thinking. You’ve got the Left Brains that are all organized and mathematical and logic oriented and scheduled and systematic and stuff. A.k.a. the Sober side.
Then you’ve got the Right Brainsesss that are creative and free thinking and loose and unrestricted by rules and kinda hippy-like. A.k.a. the Drunk side. Each of us uses both sides of our brains, but we tend to favor one side or another.
Writing drunk means not limiting your story or characters in any way. Being as hopelessly creative as possible. Taking the lid off the box and showing us a story that we have never seen before in our lives. And by knowing your characters and listening to them, allowing them to take you wherever the story leads.
Sometimes this clashes with our Christianity, because we also have our own set of morality and rules that we have to live by. Biblical rules. Stay with me now. This next concept is pretty huge. But writing drunk also involves not imposing our own religious values on ALL of our characters and scripts. Not in the writing phase.
In the writing phase, just write. Explore. If the character curses, let him curse. If another character sleeps around, let them sleep around. Create characters who are true to themselves. Ghetto Gangsters that yell out: “Shucks Golly, I’m going to malign you!” is not true to any gangster in any ghetto on planet earth. So write true to the characters.
And if this doesn’t sound very Godly to you then just pick up the Old Testament sometime, open it randomly to any book, any chapter and start reading. As long as you didn’t land in the legal mirey depths of Leviticus or the genealogical dude begat dude labyrinth of Numbers…you probably land on some very colorful people leading some very colorful lives.
Okay, now after you’ve got a couple drafts of your script you need to sober up. You need to switch to your other brainsesss and take a new look at your characters. Start with language. The goal is not censorship…the goal is evolution. Evolve your words. And to do that, maybe take a page out of the Shakespeare handbook:
Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away! By this wine, I’ll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal! you basket-hilt stale juggler, you!
2 Henry IV (2.4.120-22)
No one denies that this character is angry and saying some rude things to another character. It’s pretty clear without using the 5-cent swear words. The english language is an amazing tool. Think of all the films under the Hayes Code from the 40s through the 60s. The golden age of Hollywood.
We knew when Bogart was mad. We knew when Scarlett almost got raped. We experienced laughter, fear, love, hate…every single emotion we feel when we watch today’s movies only without the curse words. Without the love scenes. Without the gore.
Trust me, I’m not saying every one of our films has to be rated-G. I don’t agree with that. ”Crash” is a very powerful film in part because of its edginess and raw dialogue. I wouldn’t change a word. ”American History X” was one of the most powerful redemption stories on film. Some very tough scenes to watch. Wouldn’t change a thing.
So, again, I’m not saying cut everything out, but take another look and find new ways for your characters to express themselves, new ways to show a love scene. I mean, “Titanic” had one of the steamiest scenes ever with just a hand pressed up on a fogged car window.
“Jaws” had the scariest monster ever BECAUSE you didn’t see it for so long. And only glimpses when he did show up. Course that was because the huge clunky mechanical beast looked like “a floating terd” according to Spielberg if they showed too much of it, but he set the bar for many many creature features afterward. Less is more.
Know your audience. And your first audience is the filmmaker or studio you want to make your darling beloved script. If that is a faith-based audience, there’s going to be a zero tolerance attitude for cussing, nudity and to a lesser extent, violence. That’s changing, but for now if you’re going for that market, you need to evolve your script right out of an “R” rating.
But, in your first draft, let your characters talk however they want to. If you stop to fret over the F-bomb you just put on paper, you may lose the heat of the scene you’re writing. Besides this draft is for you and you alone. Stay in the writing moment and get your thoughts down on paper. Then, go back and edit once you’ve sobered up. So to speak.
Let’s write a movie!
Did you feel the earth move on Saturday? Me neither. Prolly cause I’m wayyyyyy out on the East Coast. But from the sounds of things, the Biola Media Conference had a massive impact on attendees and speakers alike. As usual at Wired4Film, we’ve plumbed the news and gossip wires and pulled feedback from blogs and tweets and twubs and Facebook…I know, I know…I had you at Twub.
Anyway, let’s hop into the mind of Phil Cooke and peek through his eyes for a moment as he observes on his blog (PhilCooke.com):
Short of receiving the final numbers, it appears this weekend’s Biola Media Conference was the best yet. Great speakers, fantastic attendance (even in this financial crisis), fabulous sponsors, and a great program all added up to a really eventful day. Co-director’s Kathleen Cooke and Peggy Rupple did a remarkable job organizing the event. We started out with an incredible performance from the “Groovaloos,” who won this year’s Superstars of Dance competition. Then I interviewed Mark Zoradi – President of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. After a 29 year career at Disney, rising to the top of the industry, Mark had a lot to say about his personal faith, his commitment to excellence, the Disney brand, and advice for others in the industry. Memorable quote: “Always over-deliver. If you consistently over-deliver in your work and expectations, people will want you on their team.”
Then we had a talent panel led by Kim Dorr, that explored how important the talent factor is in putting projects together. Writer and actress Susan Issacs sent us to lunch with a sobering and challenging thought: “So many people are “called” to Hollywood, but what if God called you there for only 3 good years out of 30? What if you had to struggle 27 of the 30 years? Would you still go?”
We broke up into numerous workshops on issues like legal, marketing, new media, alternative financing, ethics and ambition, and more. Memorable quote: When an attendee asked that as a Christian, is Ralph Winter (Producer of X-Men) films, concerned about the violence in his films? Ralph replied, “There’s no question that Wolverine has claws and uses them, but ultimately, I’m not as worried that God is pleased with my movies, as I am that God is pleased with me.”
When pressed further about that last comment, Ralph Winter explains: “It is more about who we are becoming on the journey of life. That is what journey of faith is about in following Christ.”
He also added, “The Biola Conference was great. Our seminars were well attended, lots of comments on my page. Probably the largest conference ever for Biola. And Joe E. was terrific – an inspiring message.”
Cooke filled in a few more details on the mysteriously inspirational Joe E.
In the afternoon, our keynote speaker was Joe Eszterhas, legendary Hollywood Animal (as his biography states), who has written films like Jade, Sliver, Flashdance, and Basic Instinct. He was paid $3 million for the script to Basic Instinct, and his movies have made more than a billion dollars at the box office. Joe smoked hard, drank hard, and lived hard. But in 2001, after a battle with throat cancer, he experienced a powerful encounter with God, and it transformed his life. His talk was frank, honest, rough, filled with grace, and brilliant. During my interview afterwards, he was very vulnerable and human. He shared from his heart on the change in his life, how it impacted his marriage and family, and how it has impacted his perception in the industry. He also gave us some great advice. Memorable quote: “If you’re a writer, protect your vision. Don’t be too quick to let others change your work. Fight for it. It all starts with you.”
Along the way, a handful of those on the inside were Twittering away to keep those of us on the outside, in the loop. Here now are this year’s Top 17 Tweets in order of ceremony.
TOP 17 #BMC09 TWEETS
13. larissalamchiu: al kasha award winning compser ”study the word, study the masters” to improve your craft
15. TheGroveCenter: Joe Eszterhas interview, screenwrtiter of Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, 16 films…1billion in sales…from throat cancer to God…wow
Thanks all for the comments and feedback!
For those who want to learn more about this crazy little thing called Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/c5ep92
This article from Anderson Cooper’s 360 newsroom on CNN.com talks about the micro blogging tool Twitter and some Hollywood Tweeters who dig it.
(EXERPT) Twitter, the social networking phenomena that is taking the country by storm, has already changed politics and the news business and now may be changing the way Hollywood operates too. A micro-blogging service that lets people talk about anything they want, as long as they do it in 140 characters or less per message, Twitter has its own vocabulary and social structure and now, according to some people, may become the new medium for building a buzz.
In what may be a Twitter first, Australian director Rob Luketic, who directed “Legally Blonde” and “21”, recently started “tweeting” (the word for posting messages to the forum) extensively from the set of his new feature film, “Five Killers,” currently in production in Nice, France.
Luketic regularly responds to followers and posts pictures or video of location scouting, what they eat, where they stay, yachts they rent, and even stunts gone wrong.
He does this, he told me by email, “because it gives me the freedom to connect with people interested in my work in manner that is immediate and uncensored. People seem to love my daily pictures and musings from the set; they feel part of the process as it happens. Rather than the usual cookie cutter studio leaks.”
The film’s star, the ubiquitous Ashton Kutcher, who is already an avid “tweeter” recently joined in the fun when he used Twitter to post: “Just accidentally knocked out a stuntman. Feel awful.”
Check out the full story at CNN.com
(April 14, 2009) A Variety article by Marc Grazer and Justin Kroll speaks to the economic pinch that Tinseltown is feeling. Apparently the odd jobs are drying up.
(EXCERPT) Hollywood is feeling the chills of a hiring freeze.
Jobs that the creative community once relied on to stay afloat during rough times are themselves starting to dry up in this recession.
That includes everything from directing assignments at commercial production houses to positions at restaurants, bars, hotels and retailers.
Even temp agencies have little to offer job seekers.
“Most employers now are getting rid of someone and, instead of calling us, they are just having someone else they employ do two or more jobs,” said one temp agent, who hasn’t seen the entertainment industry this deep in the doldrums since the period after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Even then the job market wasn’t as bleak as it is now, the agent said. “I’m getting calls every day and am simply unable to fill everybody’s needs,” she said.
That’s bad news for the hundreds of staffers who have been handed pinkslips at the major studios, networks, tenpercenteries and various shingles around town over the past year.
It’s even worse for people who are struggling to break into the biz.
Breaking into the biz has never been easy. Now the entry level ranks are being flooded from below (newbies coming to town) and above (professionals losing their jobs). So instead of going to L.A. to fetch coffee and drycleaning for two years…maybe it’s time to make that ultra-low-budget feature or award-winning short at home.
The full article can be read at Variety
10 Biggest Mistakes Made by Christians in the Entertainment Industry
By Phil Cooke, Special to the ASSIST News Service SANTA MONICA, CA (ANS) -
As a television and film producer and director based in Los Angeles, California – the home of global entertainment giants like Warner Brothers Studios, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, NBC, and more, I meet a lot of Christians who come to Hollywood to seek their fame and fortune. There’s no question that Christian media professionals can make an impact in the entertainment industry, and we shouldn’t shy away from putting our imprint as people of faith in that arena. But over the years I’ve also seen Christians who come to Hollywood unprepared for the difficult challenges of making their mark in the business.
This is probably the most competitive business in the world, and in Hollywood you meet thousands of actors, directors, writers, and producers, who are constantly out of work. Therefore, to make a mark for God, we have to first make sure we have the experience, the background, the vision, and the skills for moving into this difficult but potentially fruitful arena.
The following list contains the most common mistakes I see with Christians who want to “move to LA” and get a job in the secular entertainment industry. Learn to overcome these 10 areas, and you’ll have a far better chance of success:
#1 Explicit Style – Just because we’re Christians, we don’t have to produce explicitly Christian programs. When Jesus told parables, he never mentioned church, and only rarely even mentioned “God.” Learn to be subtle and win the audience with creative and compelling programming. Remember – your first priority is to make a good movie or TV program.
#2 Poor Writing – Learn the art of storytelling, whether or not you want to be a writer. Every member of the production team needs to be able to recognize good writing. The fact is – most movies by Christians fail because they’re just not good stories.
#3 Being Out of Touch with the Culture – Christian producers often don’t keep up with current TV, movies, internet, or graphic styles. Trends change faster every year, so stay on top of what’s working, and what people are watching.
#4 Poor “Branding” – Know the importance of “branding” and how it can work for you personally as well as for the project. You can influence people’s perceptions of you and your projects – so learn the techniques of branding and put them to work for you!
#5 Christian “Lingo” – Check the dialogue in most projects written by Christians. We have to dump Christian “lingo” and learn to speak in a language and style this culture understands.
#6 Not Knowing How Hollywood Works – Sure they create some lame stuff, but entertainment is America’s #1 global export, so somebody in Hollywood knows what they’re doing. Take the time to learn how the system works before you waste months or years banging on doors. Read the trades, and understand the odds. Is the studio system best for you? Maybe you should try the independent route.
#7 Ignorance of Financing – Most Christian producers are plagued with lack of funds for projects and equipment. Spend time learning financial skills, and start cultivating financial relationships. 3 things will change your view about money: * You don’t have a money problem – you have a wisdom problem. (Study the life of King Solomon). * Learn to Value and Prioritize your Time. The greatest difference between the successful and unsuccessful is their opinion of time. * Understand the power of favor. God has placed people in your life who can open remarkable doors for you – seek them out.
#8 Not Doing Your Homework – Read the trades, check the Internet, do research. Know who you’re pitching to, or who you’re meeting with. What do they want? What have they done in the past? It destroys your credibility when a person you’re pitching to realizes you didn’t even take the time to find out their needs and interests.
#9 Lack of Effective Marketing – We live in a culture where “perception is more important than reality,” so use that to your advantage. Know the difference between the impact of a resume vs. a demo reel and having appropriate presentation materials. Learn to present yourself with confidence. Start investing in yourself!
#10 Not Knowing How to be a Problem Solver – Your life will change when you realize your value in the workplace is in direct proportion to your ability to solve problems for other people. Forget hourly rates, fees, or salaries – learn to solve problems, and you’ll never be out of a job. Understand that the size of the problem you solve determines your salary, never discuss problems with people who can’t help you solve them, and people who can make a difference for you are watching you solve problems.
So go out there, solve a few problems, and make a difference!
Phil Cooke, Ph.D., is a media consultant to ministries and churches worldwide. He publishes a free monthly e-mail newsletter, “Ideas for Real Change.”
Find out more at www.philcooke.com
(JAN 9, 2009) Ted Baehr of MOVIEGUIDE® assesses the recent Disney-Narnia split.
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®
Special to ASSIST News Service
HOLLYWOOD, CA (ANS) — The big news in the world of faith-based literature and film is that Walt Disney Company has dropped the third Chronicles of Narnia movie, “Dawn Treader,” Even though the Associated Press sent out a release making this look like a faith-based issue, the fact of the matter is that this was an economic decision.
The Associated Press took my words out of context in an interview on this subject, to make Disney’s decision look like one of the parties in Hollywood was concerned about the movie’s faith content. The fact is neither Disney nor Walden has hesitated from including faith in their movies. The book Dawn Treader has the least amount of time with Aslan, who is the Jesus figure in the series by acclaimed Christian author C.S. Lewis. It is much more logical that the economics of the movie did not make sense than that there was a concern over the Christian content of the book.
“Prince Caspian,” the most recent “Chronicles of Narnia” movie, exceeded its budget and ultimately cost to produce $200 million. A movie has to produce two and a half times its costs to break even, which means it would have to earn $500 million at the box office. In fact, it only made $418.8 worldwide. In terms of videos and DVDs, the markup is much higher, so “Prince Caspian” would have to make much more money to make its money back in the DVD market. Neither Walden nor Disney could have been happy about this economic straitjacket.
Although “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is one of the most beloved books in the series, it is more of a travelogue than a well-structured movie. Most books turned into movies bomb at the box office. Movies require very strong, carefully plotted storylines. Most books meander. Some of the biggest, best-selling books, such as Bonfire of the Vanities or Name of the Rose, bomb at the box office. Of all the Narnia books, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the most cinematic. So, from an economic point of view, paying more for the “Dawn Treader” movie does not make sense.
It is true that the faith community is gigantic. And, they responded to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” movie in a big way. However, the remaining Narnia books do not have the same degree of enthusiastic fans. And, the faith community includes everyone from Catholics to fundamentalists. Movies that appeal to them must appeal to them across the board, and must be marketed properly.
With “Prince Caspian,” the faith community probably was not prepared for the re-plotting of the storyline. To make the movie work, the filmmakers had to change it from flashbacks and meandering walks up and down the gorge to a straight-ahead, exciting plot. The filmmakers should have made a greater effort to tell the faith community why the plot was adjusted to make it more of a movie. That said, Andrew Adamson, among others, did tell that to Movieguide® in our television interviews. The faith community could have taken more time to find out by looking at sites such as Movieguide® that give a clear indication of what to expect when they went to the movie.
A movie cannot succeed with just one part of the faith community supporting it. It needs to get all of the faith community who go to church on a regular basis. These people want movies they could trust. The studios can reach those people through review services they can trust, and the most trustworthy is Movieguide®.
Note: Dr. Ted Baehr is also the author of “The Media-Wise Family” and co-author of “Frodo & Harry: Understanding Visual Media and Its Impact on Our Lives.” Movieguide® is dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry according to biblical principles.
(SEP 01, 2007) Troy Anderson of Charisma Magazine writes about some recent trends inside and outside Hollywood for Faith-based, family friendly films.
(EXCERPT) As a new generation picks up the mantle to help redeem Hollywood, [Ken] Wales says filmmakers should focus first on telling compelling, first-rate stories.
“I’m a real big fan of telling the great story,” says Wales, also a University of Southern California film professor. “The three most important parts of filmmaking are story, story and story, no matter how much technology improves.”
(FEB 7, 2007) Randee Dawn of the Hollywood Reporter writes about the growing effects that Faith-Based films are having on Hollywood as Studios begin to ramp up their new production slates to include more “Christian” films.
(EXCERPT) “Hollywood does not understand the people who live between New York and California,” says [casting director Reuben] Cannon, who was the first to describe [Tyler] Perry’s oeuvre as ‘gospel cinema’. Now that I live in the South, religion is probably the biggest activity here. The Bible Belt is not just a name. It is real. Hollywood just hasn’t catered to the Christian faith-based market because it hasn’t been necessary.”
READ the Full Article by Randee Dawn on www.BackStage.com: