A rant in passion, purpose, and priorities in the age of social media featuring prolific indie scream queen Jessica Cameron

At the risk of sounding uncool this post is basically a rant about people who I feel do not have the proper headspace to be working in the Entertainment Industry in a capacity that is conducive to being a working professional within it.

If you live in Los Angles and work in the biz and don’t know who  Jessica Cameron is you will after this post as she has given me permission to showcase her awesomeness on my blog.

So let’s start with her reel from 2012:
After reading this status you will find yourself either agreeing or disagreeing. I have found that I am in complete agreement with this. Whichever side you find yourself on just know that this will define what your priorities are. Especially if you work in the entertainment business. 

Here’s the status update:

Hey actors – wanna know a secret???

Come on over and listen closely….

The film makers behind those projects that cast you, we pay attention not only to how you behave on set, but ALSO how you act when the cameras stop rolling. It is part of your job to assist in promoting your film however you can, and GUESS WHAT Social media has made it easy for you to do.

So get off your ass and do your job, if you don’t then don’t expect to work with me again. After all YOU are the most replaceable part of the entire process.

(if you dont believe me then look in my inbox at the dozens of unsolicited actor submissions I get every week) 


So if you don’t want to promote your film then I will find someone else who will. Its as simple as that.



Opposing View:


I assume we are talking about no names here? As much I admire your opinion Jessica I have to disagree with that. As a producer/writer I value performance the most. Most if not all of us are doing low budget films. If you have a great actor who did a great job and is a NICE person as well (Huge NO to pricks and divas) would you really never hire that person again just because he/she doesn’t post about the project on fb or twitter or anywhere else? I know I wouldn’t. Also if you have a name actor in your low budget film, I guess you should be happy that he’s doing it because his name might help you with distribution later. I can’t expect name actor who works constantly and makes lots and lots of money to promote some little film he did. On the big studio films actors are paid extra to do promotion so It’s a part of the deal. On low budget film It’s only a matter of actor being super generous not part of the contract. Also, any actor is replaceable? Really? Then I guess you never worked with anyone REALLY good. You can replace any actor but you can’t replace performance.

Jessica:

TO be fair and accurate I first stated that EVERY actor is replaceable. Let me be more clear EVERYONE is replaceable. And I am not saying that performance doesn’t matter, it does. I just don’t believe that it is the only thing that matters. I think it is a package deal and part of an actors job is to promote, and the “names” you speak of do this ALL the time, so its usually the no names that dont bother and hence they will always be a no name. 


You can run your sets however you choose, but this is how I run mine.


And for the record I have worked with REALLY GOOD actors, and you know what?? There are millions of them, so even the most talented ones can be replaced.

Opposing view:

We will have to agree to disagree on that. 


Obviously I’m not telling you how to run your sets, why would I? I’m simply quite stunned because It comes from an actress. Don’t get me wrong. What you saying is very nice to hear to me and if everyone would act like you expect them to, it would be way easier BUT actor is hired to act. No, It’s not a package deal unless you pay extra for promotion and It’s always point of negotiation between actor and his agent. 


Obviously what I say applies to SAG films with sort of budget, not a small films for 20-30k where everyone works hard to promote film. Whenever you say ‘names’ do it all the time I can tell you for a fact that they don’t. I’m sorry but I don’t see Michael Madsen or Eric Roberts (just an example) promoting every single small movie they make. They make one, get paid and move to another. 


Now If I like Madsen and his performance and as a bonus his name means something for sales, I consider it promotion itself and why wouldn’t I work with such a n actor again? Some people don’t use fb, myspace etc hence they can’t promote movie that way. Anyway, if you are a true artist, write a script and write parts with a certain actor in mind, It’s extremely hard to replace them. That’s why directors/producers very often do EVERYTHING they can to get that actor who they believe in like in no one else. 


Brian DePalma knew that only Robert DeNiro can play Al. Capone in his film and even though studio hired Bob Hoskins, he tried everything to get DeNiro because that’s how he felt about it. It wouldn’t work in his mind otherwise and if It’s your film, what’s in your mind is most important so turn someone down because he’s not promoting film enough(where are the boundaries of promoting film anyway? 1 post a month? Attending a premiere?) is a ‘bit’ extreme.

Jessica:

You are simply wrong while people like Madsen and Eric might not be promoting on social media they are ALL OVER Their press junkets and other larger media.


Robert DeNiro is another actor who heavily promotes his films. When his are releasing I SEE him all over. hes on every single show known to man.


So I m sorry – I disagree. And as far as I am concerned it doesn’t matter the budget – the bigger the budget just means that the actors should be utilizing other outlets not just social media.


And to keep it in perspective actors though here is 1 producer who doesn’t care if you promote your films, the other 12+ directors on the thread agree with what I posted.I posted it to try and teach ACTORS a lesson – encourage some who are not working to promote their films rather then sitting on their ass. And also to tell a few actors why they are CURRENTLY being recast in one of my upcoming films. 

Your opinion is wrong, the fact that your film that you have completed has not come out, and can not be seen is proof of that. I encourage you to go back out to your team (actors, crew, etc) and encourage them to promote the film, get more then 2 press articles on IMDB and actually help create buz. 


Maybe then I and others will actually get to see your film. 


Otherwise no one ever will.


Before I post another opposing view lets take 
a look at Jessica’s IMDB:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2781723/?ref_=nv_sr_1



There is one movie that I want to highlight here in particular as it will give perspective as to why I agree with Jessica on this and that is a movie called Silent Night a remake of 
Silent Night, Deadly Night
directed by Steven C. Miller 


I was fortunate to be able to attend this screening that was held at Mount Super Fabulous. 
Malcolm McDowell is in this movie and he was actually there and watched the movie with us which is EXTREMELY RARE 
and the audience was 95 percent crew and cast. 

It’s one of the funnest screenings I’ve ever been to. 
And that night I knew that this was a group of people that I aspired to be in this business. 
Jessica has a small part in this as the nurse and the Sushi Girl Cortney Palm has 
one of the greatest death scenes ever filmed. 


Here is the trailer:




Alrighty back to this RANT


A second opposing view: 


I’ve been reading Actress Jessica Cameron and James Cullen Bressak and their rally for actors to promote their films or they would never hire them again. The good thing is, they practice what they preach and I’ve seen these guys do some amazing promotion for the work they have been doing both on their projects and others. So at least I know they have the authority to preach this.


However, consider another side of the issue as well. Most actors do not know how to promote. They keep private lives and many of them have families as well. Their Facebook is just personal and they don’t have a fan page. But they still bring a very useful element of skill into a team. Each artist is different and we all approach it in different ways but to penalize someone for being different is unfair. To say you won’t cast them again is unfair.

Yes, we all need to promote. But some people aren’t as amazing as you guys. Some people don’t know the promotion playing field as well as you guys. They spend their time focusing on acting classes, with family and importantly, getting the next audition, and little time is spent promoting films. Sure, I can see your point that it is needed and I encourage actors to promote their work, but please (begging) don’t penalize those that do not see your POV.

You see, we are all unique in our own ways and that’s what makes this world beautiful. The little dorky and nerdy kid that everyone picked on in scotch college year 9 in 1994 because he was of ‘no use’ in sports or academically and has no social skill spent all his time day dreaming and eventually turned his imagination into movies with academy award winning actors. Don’t discriminate and penalize because somebody isn’t as good as you, rather… Applaud yourself for doing it better than anybody else. Trust me, I know how it feels to be penalized because I didn’t do things the way others would like me to do.

Actors are there to serve you and to make the scene an emotionally charged role coaster vehicle for your storytelling. Unlike you, actors quickly go onto the next project because unless you’re an A-lister, that’s the only way they can sustain a live able income. Let them move on because that’s fair. They are not producers and directors who stay on the project the entire way. It’s a very different animal.

Jessica is one of the few actors I’m in collaboration with who promotes like crazy. It’s pretty awe inspiring to see it. But that’s also what makes her stand out. And I like to think nobody is like her or behave like her which is what makes her unique. But speaking to the both of you as directors, if promotion is an important element of your work (I usually let distributors handle it) then it is your job to do it. Not anybody else. How you charge your promotion is your responsibility and no one else. If your strategy is to use your actors to help you with promotion, inspire them to do so. Don’t make them do it. As a director, you know better than anybody the best performances are not when the directors is telling the actors what to do, but guide them towards a safe and satisfying emotional journey. So guide your actors, inspire them to promote the product, but never demand it or expect it. When we don’t get what we want, directors never punish their actors, we adjust our direction for them.

And each actor is different.

You’ll find this world is not meant to exist for others to be like you. We make movies not to be just like everybody else, we make movies to show our individuality and how our art and POV is different and unique for the world. Our audience (especially in Horror) doesn’t want to see the work of people who belong to the same style of filmmaking. If they do, they would see a studio film. Instead, they come to watch indie films as a celebration of something different. Something that’s ‘one of a kind’. So celebrate that you are successful by being one of the lucky few, and don’t penalize others for it.

The indie film is a beautiful world. We share our dreams and nightmares with others who like our aesthetic. Recognize you are different and beautiful and nobody can be you. And you encourage others to be themselves.

Let artist be who they are. Punish them less because as the creative heads of our products, we serve to do one thing to our fellow peers…

To inspire.

Jessica Cameron:

I do agree with a part of the above – I do enjoy the promo process and it is something that makes me unique. However I disagree with alot of the above – I don’t think its ever a wise decision to trust others to promote you. Its nice when they do but I always think it is best to do it yourself, hopefully others are as well and then you have a wider reach and can connect with more fans. 

In the above your being specific to fb or social media, if you read the thread it clearly states that promotion should be specific to the actor as far as what they have access to. For some its social media and others it can be press junkets, main stream press, etc.


As far as the excuses as to why people don’t – lack of time, family, etc. Those are all excuses and I will happily explain to anyone who asks how to have a large promotional impact with min time. Or they can google it.. Technology makes it easy to do a lot with little time and effort. I personally don’t like excuses in general, and especially don’t like them in my business world.


As far as I am concerned an actor promoting their work (or director/producer etc) is as crucial regardless of level, I would argue even more so then a distributor doing it. Fans/audience know that the distributor will tell them “GO see this film, its great” we have all seen that and we all know that they lie and say that bout every film. We are each the face of our own brand, and in my opinion we owe it to the fans to stand behind our projects and connect with them when and where possible on why they should spend their hard earned dollars to see our films. 


You can choose to hire whom ever you want, and if promotion is not a priority for you then that is your choice (though I will still heavily promote everything we do together – why??? because Bedlam Stories is an amazing film, and EVERY SINGLE #Horrorfan should see it, so I will do everything within my power to ensure that happens


: ) 


But for me and over 200 others on my original thread (many of which are film makers) we will hire not only great actors, but actors who love the projects as much as we do and eagerly promote every chance that they get. With millions of actors out there its easy to find ones with amazing skill in front of the camera and the passion to promote it long after they leave set.

And now for my perspective. 
I want to start with this clip from the Howard Stern Show
and Amanda Peet’s appearance on David Letterman. 
I could not have articulated this any better. 
YOU FUCKING BITCH!!!! 

Makes me LMAO every time . . .

Art Holmes

for me this all boils down to your own headspace and professionalism and what your priorities are and what is more important? making money or building relationships?

i tend to gravitate more towards people who really understand the business of show business and that usually means i’m not dealing with people whos priorities are their families and having babies and such and are just in it for the paycheck instead of the experience of building relationships and have a real passion for the craft and understand that the final goal is to be a part of something and share that with an audience thus creating more relationships and having a real communal type of experience with like minded individuals and that we’re in this together, we make this movie together, instead of someone who comes in and their mentality is that it’s just another part, another job, and a means to pay the rent for another month. but that also means in order to get your movie out there you really have to have a passion and understanding for how the business works and how to use that to your advantage.

that may sound cold and uncaring but i value pros who are razor sharp and focused and are really about building relationships and mileage and being a team player, and that we’re in this together, and not in it for a paycheck and really value the opportunity to build their network and their relationships above just being an actor in a part because those are the people who will continue to have work. 

so when i’m fortunate enough to be working with someone coming from that headspace they will know that promotion and getting the word out for the project is something that is completely natural for them to do and understand that building relationships is so vital that they’ll even promote projects that have no involvement because their happiness and contentment is not coming from a place of how much money am i going to get out of this for doing so but have a real love and compassion for gifted artists and their contentment comes from feeling that they had an involvement with getting them more recognition and possibly more success and visibility than they otherwise might have had

if your not promoting or have no interest and really don’t have the same level of passion for a project then i’m not going to be going out of my way to seek you out and work with you no matter how great an actor you may be because for me it feels like that person lacks a core value of why we’re in this business in the first place, it’s more important to me that you have a basic understanding of the business and how to be a consummate professional than some hack who just wants to be the next Michael Bay instead of the next Rob Zombie



i believe film to be a very powerful medium that can really inspire people, make people more aware of the world they live in, and can even effect the world for the better, if you’ve never been inspired by a film or understand what a powerful medium it can be i really think you may be in the wrong industry for the wrong reasons


there will always be an audience and a fan base for a film. you can make the most godawful crap and someone somewhere will see it and think it’s the greatest thing ever. they may be a niche or a unique group of people and though you might not be proud of it but you gottah promote it in order to reach that core group and to not want to reach your core audience because your embarrassed by it just really seems unpro and just thinking very individualistically



even Tommy Wissau’s The Room has it’s own fanatical followers and that is a movie that is an unbelievable example of what not to do but it’s done so conisistently bad that it’s almost its own genre. 




also, i really admire actors who have been

 stereotyped who were once saying I Am Not Spock 

that then years later realize the impact it had on

 people and go yes in fact i am spock 


______________________________

So which viewpoint do you support? 

Let me know in the comments below . . .



And now I want to promote Jessica’s first venture into

 directing and a screening that will be held this 

Saturday, November 9th, in Long Beach 

for her movie 

Truth or Dare

Facebook Pages:


https://www.facebook.com/TruthOrDareTheMovie
https://www.facebook.com/events/683395925023654/


If you reside or going to be in the Los Angeles area and making your way through the gauntlet of this industry I highly encourage you to attend this event.

Other Links of awesomness:

The Black Dahlia Haunting Facebook Page: 
Review for 
‘To Jennifer’ 
starring



Director Steven C. Miller Facebook Page:


Steven C. Miller IMDB


Cortney Palm Facebook Page:

Cortney Palm IMDB Page:


Sushi Girl IMDB Page:

And for those of you that agree with us please promote your fellow filmmakers below in the comments  . . .

If you find yourself working on a project make sure that the people above you have their priority for that project set to equal or greater to your own, otherwise disappointment will inevitably find it’s way to your emotional core being soul patch thang.” – Art Holmes


Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A rant in passion, purpose, and priorities in the age of social media featuring prolific indie scream queen Jessica Cameron

  1. Tina Marie says:

    Good post, Art! If I was in the entertainment field, I would have to say I'd rather work with team players, as well!

  2. Art Holmes says:

    Ya darn tootin', Thank you Tina 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s