Archive for the 'Job, Work, Career' Category

05
Mar
10

Short Film Making… Money?

I’ve been a comedy short film maker for four years now.  I have REALLY enjoyed it! Not in My Family was the first, followed by the Korean drama acted by white people, Love Royale then there was the tumultuous production of what was supposed to be a pilot presentation, Represent, Part 1 and Represent, Part 2 which due to a long painful list of problems, turned into a 2-part web-series.  Still pretty funny though!  And most, recently a gem of a daytime soap opera parody, The Bold and The Fuel Efficient, currently still in post-production.  My production company Hall of Shea Productions has operated under what you might generously label, a micro-budget. Leigh Hall and I have managed to bring our funny to film, even winning the Audience Award for Love Royale at the Faux Film Festival in 2009, with the help of great friends, actors, Henry Saine, and very little cash.  So it’s been lots of fun, some good exposure, great demo reel material, but… is there more?  Could there be money?? A friend and filmmaker recently shared with me that his short films are in fact raking in more cash than compliments these days.  How? Some video host websites pay royalties per view.  The catch?  The viewer has to watch a commercial before the short film.  But that doesn’t seem to be stopping the viewers at http://www.atom.com from clicking away.  Atom.com has paid out million of dollars in royalties through their revenue sharing program by contributing Atom content everywhere — on the Web, mobile phones, iPods, Xboxes, etc.  Does it really pay?  Stay tuned!

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20
Feb
10

Could I have a tall glass of your career, please?

Great actor just doesn’t mean great movie.  Unless you’re Leonardo DiCaprio.  Ok, maybe you don’t have all his flicks on your top ten list, but I honestly couldn’t think of a DiCaprio film that sucked.  That can’t be true, can it?  All the legends and A-listers have made at lease one film we wish they hadn’t, right?  Just to be sure, I checked his resume on IMDB for bombs: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000138/ OK, there was Critters 3, but I’d say at least since 1993, DiCaprio hasn’t made a film that most would agree wasn’t worth seeing.   Why does he make great movies?  Casting director extraordinaire and passionate man of many talents, Robby Martin Jr. of Digital Dogs Casting (who also does a GREAT commercial class!), put it this way, “DiCaprio  just makes great moments.”  True.   All occurring in films that fall somewhere between good to really freakin’ great.  Which brings me to Shutter Island.  And I’m glad I went.   Overall a really good film, that might have been missing one more twist at the end.  Great story, great acting… great Leo moments.  One thing that held me back from enjoying the film more was the trailers I’d seen for it.  They pretty much give away the whole story.  And because the release of the film was delayed so much, I saw those trailers too many times.  When they cut to last shot of the film I thought, “Don’t end this way!”  But, it did.  Still, a good psychological thriller is far too hard to come by these days, so thank you Scorsese and DiCaprio.   I will take all of this into account next time I visit a mental health facility.  Which will be Monday.  In Watts.  To teach ESL.  Oh, dear…

16
Feb
10

Avila Beach, ahh…

Sometimes I go to nice places with fresh air, nice people, no traffic, and green everything and wonder why I’m spending all my time in smog-filled LA.  True, those quiet, relaxing getaway towns don’t usually offer much in the way of job opportunities or professional growth, but wouldn’t it be great if they did?  Our most recent getaway to Avila Beach near San Luis Obispo left me thinking just that.  Wouldn’t it be great to wake up everyday and walk, bike ride or have a really short drive to work?  Not stress about parking, red light ticket intersections, crowded grocery stores or good old-fashioned widespread crime?  And still with all of this, be seeking and receiving everything you want from life.  Is anyone doing that?

13
Feb
10

Do Pilots Really Fly?

Over the years I’ve acted in, even starred in (insert gasp here) several presentation pilots.  That means they are the first episode of a would-be TV show, if a network decided to pick it up.  The one I did a pick-up shoot for today is different.  It’s actually really unique, funny, and even has a chance of staying out of pilot heaven.  To date, zero of the pilots I’ve been in, ever got anywhere near a network’s line-up.  With good reason… it’s really hard to get a TV show on the air.  “The Guy Lady Tigers,” created and directed by Dirk Voetberg might just do it.  If not, I have a feeling a production company will pick it up as a web-series.  So what’s it all about?  It’s a screwy, off-the-wall story line about high schoolers who are all in their 30’s and up… and up, and it often feels like “opposite day” throughout.  From 40-ish high school students sipping snifters of brandy in history class to a football coach who preps the team by telling them “You are going to lose very badly today…  Some of you will likely get hurt.”  The bottom line is, it’s just really well done and yes, funny.  Will my character Addison, the pretty, a little off, popular girl with bags under her eyes and f’ed up make-up see the light of day again? And will she be played by Beth Shea?  Stay tuned!  GO GUY LADY TIGERS!!!

09
Feb
10

Seedy CDs?

Once I got an audition from a casting director workshop.  Sounds great?  Sure!  Except for the “once” part.  Over the years I’ve gone to dozens of pay-to-play auditions disguised as “classes.”  Yes, I’ve touched on this before in my post “Lights, Camera, Pay!” https://bethsheala.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/lights-camera-pay/ But the ethics and legality of the issue are being looked at rather closely by, of all people, a casting director.  The veteran and all-around fantastic, not to mention brave, Billy DaMota  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0198963/ Here’s a recent Facebook post, from DaMota: Billy DaMota thinks that actors need their own Norma Rae or Erin Brockovich.   And unfortunately, he’s right.    To again quote Billy: “Workshops and the pay-to-play scheme were declared a violation of the law 8 years ago.  But the CSA doesn’t care.  SAG has rules they don’t enforce.  The CA Department of Labor came up with guidelines that they never enforced.  And casting directors who do workshops think that they deserve to take your money to consider you for work.   The only ones who can truly stand up for actors are the actors themselves.”  But… what actor is going to stand up to casting directors?  That would sound a lot like career suicide to most.   So what would make a struggling actor take a stand against these illegal and unethical practices?  How about money?  That’s right, word around the theater is that a few disgruntled thespians are considering a courtroom début over the matter.   If an actor were willing to be the face of that class action law suit, it would mean fame, infamy and likely… cash.  Will anyone be bold enough to cast themselves in that role?  Stay tuned…

08
Feb
10

Beth, New and Improved?

Sometimes it just feels like my career needs a kick in the pants.  Lately for me, those would be pajama pants.  But what to do?  Cut my hair?  Dye it black?  Lose 10 lbs?  Gain 40?  But what does that mean?  That my authentic self is just doomed, or that change is good, so give it a go?  OK, that’s it!  I’ll dye my hair brown and cut bangs!  But wait, there are at least 2 casting directors in town who know me… won’t they be confused?  Or put off?  Or both?  And what about my reps?  My pictures?  My demo reels?  OK, never mind, no change.  What??  No change?  How do I get different results then?  UUURRRggg.  I think I need a vacation.  From myself.

29
Jan
10

Project Ping

It’s rare that I let someone on TV drive me to grind my teeth (more than usual), but then Ping showed up in my living room.  If you aren’t watching Project Runway this season you’ll have no idea that Ping Wu is a high-pitched, high-strung, Chinese fashion designer who also apparently moonlights as a physical therapist and pain in the ass.  I really didn’t care for the drapey mess she made in episode 1, but Nicole Richie dug it, so it was “in.”  In episode 2 she made a lovely butt flapping mini dress.   You could actually see the model’s ass as she walked down the runway.  How did the screeching, frantic chopstick hang on another week?  No idea, but I will admit even I felt a little bad for her when she got the boot last night.  She really thought her work was genius.  Yikes!  It was like watching myself at my second Advanced Groundlings show.  So relieved to see the wounded animal be put out if its misery, but heart-achingly painful to see up close.  Ugh.  Good-bye Ping.  You’re done with this part of your journey.  Do not do what I did.  Do NOT try ACME (insert puke in mouth here), or in your case “Launch My Line”. Let it go.




The Beth Shea

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