A short while ago, Ramon approached me about a project. He said this was to be a fictionalized version of “his” story, with supernatural elements. He offered me the script writer position, which I accepted not fully aware of the challenges. Anyhow, Ramon placed an online ad in Craigslist scheduling an audition this past Thursday for a role in the movie. This role was for “the reporter”, which has a dual purpose. The actor landing the role would play a reporter in the movie as well as one in our online promotional campaign of the movie.
Being “green” to the movie process, I came in with no concrete expectations, but looking to follow cues from Ramon and collaborate in any necessary fashion. What impressed me right away, was the professional setup of the audition area. Of course running on a tight budget, Ramon managed to come up with a suitable location for the auditions. It took place in a historic tourist home, which gave it a bit of the “Little House on the Prairie” vibe.
Back to the auditions, we had 5 candidates audition on that day, and their professionalism, acting skills, and experience was quite impressive. Why? Namely, Profile productions is just starting up, and we have this ambitious notion to make and submit this movie to the Toronto International Film Festival. A lofty goal, but better to aim high than low.
As the auditions continued, it became clearer what exactly the team was looking for. It was helpful to watch the auditions on a TV screen with a feed connected to the filming camera. This is very important because the truth is: each individual person looks different on the screen versus in real life. Also, knowing what type of reporter the role was to be fashioned from gave us a better impression of who better fit our vision of the role.
On that day, Ramon, Renata and myself, had the honour to audition these 5 gifted actresses: Joey Close, Sarah Novosel, Frances Rawlings, Nadia Persad, and Laura Screnci. To talk about the details of the audition would be disrespectful of the process, however, I truly was impressed by the creativity each actor brought to her performance.
In the audition, they had 5 minutes to talk about their background, character, and whatever else they felt pertinent to share. At this point, the panel (Ramon, Renata, and myself) would get to chance to ask some extra questions to clear up some things we wanted to know. The 2nd part consisted of a variety of subjects on popular issues, where each person would choose the topic knew the best. Ramon would begin filming them as if this was an actual news broadcast. It was very important for the team to hear her reporter “sign in and out” to help us decide who gets the role.
No surprisingly after all the actors left, we had a difficult task before us. Foremost in our minds was the believability factor and professional look and image of the “reporter”. Furthermore, the ability to create and deliver believable content in a short time, tested the skills of each actress. It was fascinating to see and hear each actress’s bio and work experience, but even more exciting to watch their performances. The style and method was different for each actress, but it was great to see the professionalism, effort, and determination they gave in order to land the role. It was inspiring to see such commitment on something that has yet to fully come together.
As well getting a chance to hear the different lives and openly honest experiences of actors reminded me of the incredible difficulty of “making it in the entertainment business”. Their passion for the craft and desire to get credits and work, showed me passion you rarely see in other professions.
Profile Productions is starting to work on bringing the movie, “The Untold” to life! A steep learning curve awaits all of us. In the early stages of pre-production, the writer will have to put in a lot of legwork and drafts and re-writes till the screenplay/script is completed to our satisfaction.
Here is a link to the Profile Productions website and Ramon’s commentary about the auditions with the results. http://profileproductions.ca/2009/09/08/the-untold/