Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Auditions, tips, tricks and the little things

Hello people of blog world

I haven't posted for some time and I'm scolding myself internally for it, I guess I always dismiss updating because I don't think I have enough to talk about, circling back to the feeling that I'm not doing enough which in turn trails of to a very dark and uncomfortable place with no sunshine and only the cold light of a computer screen illuminating my world O_O

too dark? Yes, I think so, so back out and bouncing and happy into the light. Heres a little video to cheer you up from the creator of "pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows".

and just in case here's the Unicorn one as well..........

(Happiness Encapsulated)

Ok back in the room and back to my update. This week and the week before it has been the treasure hunt for voice actors, we started by putting up posters around the University and in the Drama societys base room. This resulted in absolutely nothing interest wise, dissappointing and as much of a set back as this was ploughing through I contacted two Amateur Dramatic societies Stafford & District Operatic Society and The Stafford Players. Expecting to get a few replies to my amazement we had 16 inquiries, so suddenly we were back on track and had plenty of interest for our two main voices.

Now this week is auditions one date on Thursday the 10th March from 5 - 8 p.m and on Sunday the 13th March from 1- 6 p.m, we chose two dates to give our actors the most flexibility, but one thing you learn from the first time you host an audition is that interest does not always translate to commitment. Circumstances change, people become other wise engaged and others just lose interest, its one hell of a learning curve though you could say every first experience is.

Hopefully the next post will include details of our two voice actors in all their auditory glory.

Apart from voice actor hunting we have been on the hunt for the music for our animated Extravaganza "The Full English" and as of today we now have the music for when our Toastie soldier enters the club and the music for our sultry Eggy strip tease. I could not be more happy as its an amazing feeling to see things progressing and soon we will update our animatic and post it to vimeo and this blog.

For those would be film makers of the animated persuasion and otherwise here are my tips for finding your voice actors and obtaining your music;

Searching for Voices

  • Advertise yourself, don't always go to your friends because its easy and they won't say no, actors are usually experienced in many different roles and can take direction a lot easier than someone just doing you a favour.
  • Don't give up at the first hurdle, try a different angle, look else where for inspiration and people
  • If you cannot pay people make this clear from the offset, instead offer credit on your film, an interesting experience and links from your website to theirs. People will work for free if they're building their portfolio.
  • Ask for background information and though you can do pre auditions over the phone always make the deciding audition in person. You'll gain a lot more from a face to face meeting and you can tell a lot more about someones character.
  • Don't host auditions at your own residence. Book out a room, you will seem more professional and won't have to worry about house mates wandering through.
  • Send your script before the audition so they can get a feel for the characters.
  • Give and recieve phone numbers, there will always be a point where you need to contact someone quickly and email is not the easiest option.
  • Never worry if you don't feel professional enough, write down points you want to raise before a phone call and be confident in your mannerisms. Everyone feels insecure at some point so don't worry if your nervous before an Audition, more than likely your actor will be as well.
Music for your film

  • You will want royalty free music for your production, if your unsure on the difference between royalty and royalty free go here Royalty free music in depth 
  • If you want to enter your film into festivals you can get in trouble if your music is not legally yours to use. There are several good sites for music that I use the main two are and they charge far less than many sites.
  • Always read the terms and conditions of your license so there are no unexpected surprises after your purchase
  • You can also contact composers directly for use of their music, sometimes they will be willing to let you use their tracks for free if you explain you are a student and won't use it for financial gain.
  • Be persistant but not pushy. The worst they can say to you is no, sometimes explaining things further and sending some examples of your work can sway someones opinion.

 Heres some visual updates:

Eggy in her robe

A simple Fedora
The start of a grand piano
The beautiful storyboard style of miss Chloe Howley
and finally my concept art of our art deco bar for set design

By the way our sets are really starting to progress the main set is being undertaken by Zeke Ares one of our very capable second years and as of today is being assited by our newest aid James Davenhill. Whilst our exterior set is being constructed by the talented miss Emma Cosgrove. So onwards and upwards my comrades, the next part will involve many compositing tests so I can practice intergrating stop motion and CGI elements, I know what your thinking pure craziness for a newbie compositor like myself but hey what can I say I'm a risk taker.

On my final note all I have left to say is make time for the little things. Even when your drowning in an insurmountable amount of work, taking time for the little things will keep you sane. Though work may seem the most important thing sometimes the relationships you've built with friends and family hold just as much weight as those looming deadlines.


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