Thinking about a move to Hollywood to work in showbiz?
Do you have dreams about making it big in Hollywood? Do you think you have what it takes to work behind the scenes on a film or be a star on network TV. Do you want to work as a Hollywood director, DP, camera operator, editor, production designer or producer? Do you want to be an actor or have a modeling career or a job in fashion in LA? If you’re passionate about finding a film Job or working in television, music or theatre and you’re considering moving to Hollywood, C.A., the ‘ORACLE’ can help you figure some important things out before you move to LA. Let us show you how to break into Hollywood. Let us take the ‘Risk’ out of the Business.
Most people only get a few chances in life to pursue their dreams, but Hollywood can be brutal if you are not prepared. Planning your entertainment career goals and knowing what to expect before you arrive in a town like L.A. will make all the difference. That first entry-level Hollywood job and that new place you’ll call home will set the tone for your first couple of years. Don’t make the same mistakes that seem to plague everyone when they move to Hollywood without a plan. Get the advice you need to know beforehand, so you can be confident in your choices when you arrive later. Achieving your dreams just might depend on Continue reading »
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Bad screenplays have been made into good films and great screenplays have been turned in to utter garbage on the big screen. Just know that it’s out of your hands the minute you sell it. But until that moment it’s up to you to make it the best screenplay possible.
Here is a good rule to follow (like all rules it’s meant to be broken but like all rules, follow it before you decide that you have a good reason to stray): Go through your screenplay. Take every piece of static description, and reduce it to one sentence. Work on that sentence until it gives the facts and the images you want. Limit your description
If you have spent the last 6 months hidden away in your room creating your masterpiece screenplay, the last thing you are going to want to hear is that the reader feels like the screenplay is never ending, especially if the reader feels like this just 10 pages in. Sidenote: If …
Hope that helps you up and coming screenwriters. Good knows we need all the help we can get put here in LA
Hollywood and Broadway are often thought of as different worlds, but recently, the celebrities of the silver screen have been taking to the stage in performances in classic and new shows. Next time you’re in New York City, you may be surprised to see your favorite movie star headlining a show. Check out these Hollywood celebs who are starring in Broadway shows to get your film and stage fix.
Emma Stone in “Cabaret”
This classic yet risque show loved by many Broadway fans introduces its newest star, Emma Stone. Known for her roles in comedies like “Superbad” and “Easy A” and action films like the new “Spiderman” movies, Stone is proving her range with her stage debut. New York City Theatre calls her performance, “a perfectly balanced Sally who strikes the line between sensuality and tragic circumstance.” “Cabaret” first debuted in 1966 and is set in a 1930s Berlin burlesque. Stone is set to star in the show until mid-February, but we’re all looking forward to her future on Broadway.
Hugh Jackman in “The River”
You may remember Hugh Jackman’s performance in the film version of “Les Miserables,” but his Broadway stardom does not end there. Jackman, who has already won a Tony Award, headlines “The River,” a play by Jez Butterworth who also wrote the hit show “Jerusalem.” According to Telecharge, the “erotic, chilling and poetic” story portrays a man and woman in a remote fishing cabin who are trying to recapture someone they’ve lost through each other.
Jason Biggs and Elisabeth Moss in “The Heidi Chronicles”
Known for comedies such as “American Pie” and “Saving Silverman” as well as his recent role in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” Jason Biggs joins “Mad Men” star Elisabeth Moss in the revival of the 1988 play by Wendy Wasserstein “The Heidi Chronicles.” In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Moss says she likes how identifiable the character of Heidi is. “That concept of ‘having it all’ is so timeless and it’s something that of course women deal with today everyday, and it’s relevant to women of any age,” she explains. Jason Biggs plays Heidi’s love interest and said he remembers the play when it debuted at the same time as his own Broadway debut. Although it is neither of the actors’ first Broadway plays, it may just be one of their best. “The Heidi Chronicles” officially opens in March 2015.
Bradley Cooper in “The Elephant Man”
Bradley Cooper has shown his extreme range in acting in slapstick comedies like “The Hangover” and serious dramatic roles such as his latest film “American Sniper.” Now, Cooper is trying his hand at Broadway. According to New York Theatre Guide, “The Elephant Man” is based on the true-life story of John Merrick, played by Cooper, who suffered severe disfigurement, which lead to his headlining carnival freak shows. The show opened Dec. 7 and is set to run through the end of February.
James Earl Jones in “You Can’t Take It With You”
James Earl Jones brings his familiar face and voice to “You Can’t Take It With You,” a lighthearted theater classic that originally debuted on Broadway in 1936. According to Broadway.com, this revival of the show has been such a hit that it has been extended through the end of February 2015. The story is that of the classic awkward dinner between an eccentric family and the parents of their son’s new fiance. No matter how many times you see it, you won’t want to miss this Broadway staple with James Earl Jones headlining.
There are movies that are memorable, and then there are movies that are memorable because of their cars. From the Volkswagen Beetle in the “Love Bug” to the AMC Pacer in “Wayne’s World” to the Ferrari in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” there have been all kinds of cars in all kinds of movies that audiences will always remember.
Here are three of the most iconic movie cars of all time:
#1: The 1977 Pontiac Special Edition Trans Am
While the actors did a great job in “Smokey and the Bandit,” everyone remembers the car in the movie. The Limited Edition Trans Ams built in 1977 (known then as Bandit Trans Ams) were standard, but then were made available with an extra-cost package and labeled as Special Editions. The car could be ordered with a T-Top or Coupe. Pontiac ended up building around 15,000 Special Edition Trans Ams.
The car came with standard safety, anti-theft, convenience and emissions control features that most cars were equipped with at the time. There was one thing that Special Edition Trans Ams didn’t have, though: Gold. It was everywhere. The car was decked out in custom gold decals, gold body striping, and gold interior and exterior accents. Gold aluminum wheels were available for the public, however, and you can still get them online today.
#2: The 1982 De Lorean DMC-12
The movie “Back to the Future” gave the 1982 De Lorean DMC-12 a prominent place in iconic car history. Around 9,000 of them were manufactured from 1981 to 1983. Today, there are still 6,500 De Loreans in existence. The DMC- 12 had a fiberglass underbody and gull-wing doors, but most features were basic. They were never factory-painted; they came in bare stainless steel and had standard interior colors of either black or grey. The cars were made in North Ireland and production stopped in late 1982.
#3: The 1993 Ford Explorer XLT
“Jurassic Park” and its dinosaurs had an impact on audiences, not only for its special effects, but because of the 1993 Ford Explorer XLT. The Explorer was chosen for the movie because Steven Spielberg liked and was driving one at the time of production.
The green 1993 Ford XLT in the movie had custom yellow bumpers, a Plexiglass roof, and a touch-screen computer monitor inside to act as a guide on the tour of the park. The Eddie Bauer edition of the Explorer that came with painted grilles, but the XLTs did not; the bumpers were switched out for the movie so they could be painted with the movie’s “Jurassic Camo” pattern.
The Ford Explorer has come a long way since its Jurassic Park days. Instead of a Plexiglass roof, the 2015 Explorer has a power sunroof. Instead of a touch screen TV, it has rear DVD entertainment, and today the Explorer has a blind-spot monitor option, whereas in 1993 the only option to check your blind spot was looking over your shoulder.
It can be a Lamborghini, a Chevy Impala, a Pacer, or even a Cadillac hearse. It might be the inevitable chase scene or simply an object of admiration. Whatever the reason, some cars are just more iconic than others, especially in the movies.
Cinematography requires more than just pointing the camera at a subject or scene. It requires attention to subject, foreground, background and lighting. The light around the scene or subject affects how the movie is perceived and what feelings it evokes. A scene shot in bright sunlight differs vastly in mood and tone from a subject filmed at night or in low light. Getting the perfect lighting for a scene enables the filmmaker to control how the viewer sees the scene.
Filmmaker Noam Kroll reminds fellow filmmakers and novices that it might seem easier to shoot with natural light because there’s no lighting equipment to deal with; however, he explains that the trade-off is that there is some control lost and more planning required to work with available light. He says using the right camera for either daylight or nighttime filming is important to the film quality. For example, the Balckmagic Cinema Camera is a reliable choice for filming outside during the day while the C300 or the 5D MKIII are reasonable choices for filming at night, states Kroll.
Likewise, the right lenses are required for natural light—daytime shots call for low contrast lenses and nighttime shots require fast lenses. Even with natural light, filmmakers may need to fill in or reflect light to get the right amount of visibility. Mirror boards, flags and other reflectors and blockers do the job. If you want to shoot with natural light inside, shades, blinds or blackout curtains might be necessary to adjust the amount of light and glare coming into the room. In addition, you can avoid dark, obscuring shadows by shooting with the sun behind the actors. And, if you want a night scene, film during dusk or twilight because you still will have enough natural light, the right amount of darkness and shadows to control visibility without electric lights.
Filming at Night
Filming at night poses unique lighting challenges. The filmmaker has to pay more attention to how the viewer sees the scene in a low light situation and has to use more reflected light to illuminate specific subjects. It requires small sources of light to spotlight different areas, not strong overhead lights. Natural sources of reflection such as snow or the wet ground are as important as using white cards and reflectors to manipulate light at night.
You can create dramatic effect, tension, apprehension, impending doom or any other emotion with lighting techniques. Here are just a few examples:
- Using a soft front light and stronger light from the back will create shadows and light that can convey fear, anticipation and dark moods like anger or depression.
- Mixing color temperatures, cool blues and greens with hot reds, yellows and oranges will create a technical or edgy feel.
- Lighting from below with strong lighting can create a threatening, menacing mood.
- Using soft lighting from below will put the subject in a flattering light.
Backlighting is used extensively in film to get sharp definition. Without backlighting, scenes and subjects are smudged with uncontrolled shadow and light. Although this may be the effect the filmmaker is looking for, it is not ideal for an entire film. On the other hand, with backlighting, subjects are in focus and there is an increased contrast and sharpness even in low light.
Finally, Steven Spielberg reminds filmmakers that more isn’t always better. More lighting doesn’t always create the right effect, but it can provide more control.
The Ice Bucket challenge has been a big social media hit recently, with celebrities from across the globe pouring buckets of ice water over themselves to help raise money for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The viral campaign raised more than $15.6 million from July 29 through August 18, compared to $1.8 million during the same period in 2013, according to NBC News.
This celebrity charity challenge highlights the ability of big stars to bring attention to a good cause. If it’s inspired you, you may be wondering how you can get involved with your favorite celebrity cause. But with dozens of famous people regularly contributing time and money to all sorts of charitable organizations, it’s important to do a little research first.
Pinpointing the charity
If you already have a celebrity in mind, it’s easy to find out which charities he or she supports, just by doing a little Internet research. Sites like LookToTheStars.org have a long list of celebrities along with the causes they support. For example, you’ll see that Brad Pitt has supported nearly 40 charities and foundations, which means you’ll have plenty to choose from if he’s your favorite celeb. It also includes a list of particular causes that are close to his heart, like homelessness and human rights, the environment, missing children, and peace.
While you want to do something that’s in line with what your favorite star supports, it’s also important to pick a cause that you care about as well. If something on the list hits home with you, make a note of that and go from there. Ideally, choose at least a few, just in case further research determines that the organization isn’t one that you wish to support.
Research the charities
Next, you’ll want to research the charities on your list. Just because your favorite celebrity is involved with it, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a good one. Celebrities can be taken advantage of just like the average person. The Internet has made it easier than ever to obtain information about a non-profit’s finances, so you’ll want to be sure that the organization is using its donations in the best way possible.
You can check the legitimacy of a charity by looking it up on GuideStar.org, in order to make sure that it’s a tax-exempt organization in good standing with the IRS. You can also perform research on sites like the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and GiveWell in addition to obtaining information from the charity’s website, looking for positive, widespread results.
Avoiding charity scams and protecting your personal information
Unfortunately, there are some less than scrupulous people out there looking to take advantage of your generous nature, which makes it essential to be aware of red flags that could indicate a scam. Avoid any organization that refuses to provide information about its identity, mission, how funds are used, or won’t provide proof that your contribution is tax deductible. If it uses a name that is similar to a well-known reputable organization or tries to pressure you into donating immediately so that you don’t have time to research its legitimacy, beware.
Other red flags include asking for cash donations, guaranteeing sweepstakes winnings in exchange for your donation, or offering to send an overnight delivery service to immediately collect the donation.
To further protect your financial health, as well as your overall well-being, using a service like LifeLock is one of the best ways to ensure the security of your personal identity while still allowing you to contribute to a great cause.
When first breaking into the business, every opportunity for any aspiring actor, model or singer is a gamble. The road to being in the spotlight is filled with gigs that aren’t exactly what they seem. Anyone in the entertainment biz needs to educate themselves on all the scams they may encounter before they hit it big.
Hollywood Scam Artists
Casting calls are equivalent to coveted job interviews. A posting on the Internet, a flyer stapled on a telephone pole or an ad in the local newspaper announces a new reality TV show is searching for undiscovered talent. The producers ask for a headshot, resume and a fee. Be warned: some casting calls asking for a payment may be phony auditions for parts that don’t even exist. These unscrupulous casting calls come under different guises—some may use scripted shows, others use game shows or movies. Or, they say a new show needs to hire an initial cast or there’s a rush for immediate auditions, according to backstage.com. Some scammers hold fake auditions for shows that are already on air or movies that are already in production. Others may inflate casting calls by taking details from a show or, they may simply recycle old notices and change the dates. Also, any fee charged for a chance to meet and read for casting agents and directors in a classroom setting may be a violation of SAG-AFTRA Rule 11.
Play a Proactive Role
Before unlocking any access to potential scammers, those seeking stardom must practice their own due diligence. Researching and being in-the-know of underhanded practices can stop any future A-lister from being the victim of a scam. Here are a few more things to watch out for:
- The business, manager or casting agency asks for an upfront fee. Casting agents are the ones paid to look for talent—not the other way around. Managers should only be paid commission based on the work they secure. Be warned of producers promising roles in exchange for funding the project. You must learn to protect yourself from situations like this. LifeLock’s identity guard can be a preventive measure if one unknowingly shares sensitive financial information to a dishonest party. The company’s multi-faceted, online approach to identity theft and fraud protection can give anyone looking for their big break a sense of security knowing their hard-earned resources are being received by the appropriate audience.
- Companies advertising for inclusion in a national database of pictures to be used in future projects that film in different parts of the country, generally where SAG has no background jurisdiction and where filming rarely takes place. These companies charge a fee to be listed, stating those in the database will be notified if a film is coming to the area. Some companies may request money be sent to ‘hold’ a place in the film.
- Casting call scammers claiming to be affiliated with a network, organization or Better Business Bureau. Double check the BBB site to verify any rating or accreditation. Research the casting website or agency online—Google it, ask others in the industry, go on Yelp. If it’s a scam, chances are there are warnings about it.
- Companies that don’t have professional websites. Check the production company’s website. Shows in development may not have a dedicated website, but the production company working on it should. Verify show details and staff names.
- Other red flags? Agencies requesting professional photos being taken only with a specific photographer, requests for payment via cash or money order and calls being accepted until late in the night, according to the FTC.
If you’re like me and you work behind the scenes in Hollywood and you’re not in a union or work for a large TV network, you most likely are not being provided employer funded health care. Up until now, if you did have any insurance, you were probably paying more than $250 a month at least, just for basic coverage as an individual. That’s a lot of money to shell out per month, especially if you’re only making $500 to $800 a week. Most people I know that are floundering in the ranks of pa’s and production coordinator status, most likely don’t even consider having health insurance as an option, it’s just too expensive for people like us.
But guess what, the ACA is the perfect program for the rank and file of the Hollywood entertainment industry. If you’re making less than $44,000 a year the government will subsidize a large portion of your monthly health premium. Let’s say you only make $17,000 a year as a PA. Being one myself for a long time I know that’s a possibility your first few years in the biz. Jumping from job to job and having long spats of unemployment can make for some lean years when you’re just getting started. But you still like to have fun don’t you? You still go snowboarding, hiking or biking, but what happens when you get injured when you have no insurance in those early days. You end up putting it on a credit card or borrowing money from friends and that just make’s life harder going into debt so soon in your Hollywood life.
If you make less than $17,000 a year the government will subsidize roughly 80% of your monthly premium. So, basically that means if you get a policy that costs $250 a month the US government will cover $200 of it, leaving you with a monthly bill of $50 for full health coverage. You can’t beat that. You may not like Obama, but you should like the Affordable Care Act. You have until Mar 31st, 2014 to sign up for this year, otherwise you will be fined around $99 bucks when you do your taxes for 2014 and you won’t be able to requalify for government funded cash subsidies again until Oct. So what are you waiting for, there’s free money on the table and it’s all yours for the taking. Get covered today. Whether your making less than $17,000 a year or less than $40,000 a year there is cash available to you to help with those monthly health care premiums.
Check out what you can save at https://www.coveredca.com/
Grant it, there are certain cases where Obama Care is having a negative effect on individuals and families who already have quality health insurance, but that’s not us. Obama Care was designed for people like us, individuals who are struggling financially because of an uncertain job market and or are being left behind by employers who don’ give a crap about their employees because they are money grubbing whores. That’s Hollywood life in a nutshell, so hop on the ACA train and get some peace of mine by letting someone else pay for a portion of your health care. I promise, it feels good to be a taker for a change and by the way, it’s the law…