Monday, November 7, 2011
So You Want to Make a Movie - The “and” Actor
Step 11 - Casting ( part 2 )
I’ve saved the best for last. I’m going to give you a tip that may very well make your movie and significantly increase your chances of finding a distributor. Take a look at a few DVD covers for movies you are not familiar with, such as independent and low-budget features. Chances are you are going to see four names at the top of the cover. The first three names you probably never heard of. But the last name will be followed by “and”, and that name and face will be familiar. He’s probably not an A-list actor but probably someone you have seen in several major films. The “and” actor is the key to distribution. Here’s how it works. And trust me; it’s no real secret in the industry.
First, you need a movie that has a key part that requires an actor to be on set only for two or three days. The actor might appear early in the film and then later in the third act. It’s an important part, but it’s not even close to being a major supporting role.
If you can tuck away $10,000 to $20,000 from your budget, you can play this game. About two weeks out from the time you start production, you send offers to agents for actors you are interested in. It’s a risky move because you don’t know if you are going to land somebody. That’s why you need to have a backup plan with an actor you have already auditioned.
This strategy will not work several weeks or months before the start of production. It has to be last minute. You have to catch a named actor between jobs and at a time he/she is willing to work at a reduced rate. Do yourself a favor. Keep this option open. Make sure your script has a part for an “and” actor.