The interesting thing about one's perception of actors is that as you acquire more knowledge, speak to a casting director, learn more about actor's agencies, and have some personal experiences with prima donnas, as well as unexpected wonderful talent, your views begin to shift. Visions you had for a particular character shift as well. Being a flexible writer-director in this department helps. I've found that we should be married to our partner, not our idea of an actor, or it's easy to miss your treasure, often buried in the sand. Not being glued to a 'said vision' enables us to see the character's world through a multitude of faces. Some worse. Some better than you could have ever imagined. And better's what we're going for, right?
We're now in the phase of casting our lead male, Bob. Bob's always remained a steady vision for me, for the most part. There were actually two versions of him that I entertained. Ultimately, it was decided that he be the first - a little 'older,' but not necessarily wiser. We felt that this made him more interesting.. more accessibly complicated as a grown-up fuck-up. We didn't want the audience to feel like it was just a 20-something crisis he was experiencing.. but that he's been around the block a few times.. weathered.. disheveled.. he means well, but never seems to say the right thing. He tries too hard. Talks too fast. And there you have Bob, in a nut shell. Well, a big nutshell. He's as lost and complex as a man can get. Yet, he's lovable, too.
The top 5 guys we considered 5 months ago are not even in the top hand today. So many factors became considerations...
Ya see.. We're not just casting an actor. We're casting a relationship, chemistry. One, between the characters. And two, between myself and the actor. We're casting an attitude.. is he "cool"? Is there mutual respect? Does he have range? Does he have presence? Is he capable of delivering the dialog in a fresh, honest, colorful way?
What's his astrological sign? sorry... I wish I were kidding!!! ;)
I love the idea that some of these actors write, too. Taking into consideration we may improvise from time to time, I think that living in the world of writers (yes, we have our own world!) offers its own set of tools.. being able to dissect why the scene's not working, or moving forward... come up with moments of organic seeds that grow, and serve as additives.. so it can bloom into something more beautiful.. yet being able to stay 'in the moment.' And not because it's ever the actor's job to figure these things out, but all egos aside, it's sure nice to know they cradle that vernacular.
Boy, I'm glad I'm not an actor!!! But I sure do love working with them. They have the super huge job of committing to strange characters, and allowing us to sit back, and just feel. The best movies, in my opinion, are ones that make you still.. the ones you sink into, without ever knowing you sank. You forget that there's doggies, and people running around in the room - completely immersed in the experience of simply watching these moving pictures.. faces.. listening to what these people have to say, while suspending your disbelief.. hanging on their every word.. wanting more.. not because you started it or you're in a theater and now you feel you have to, but because you want to.
We've finally decided on who we'll be approaching in the next week to fill the charmingly worn shoes of BOB.. First, our casting director, Vicky Boone, must check his availability. In the meantime, I'm working on a letter to Mr. Right, while our assistant editor, David, is kindly putting a reel together for me this week, particularly for the agency. It helps that our producer, Lorie, has co-produced such a fine feature, jumping off bridges, too. And that our DP, Iskra, is something to write home about, with her beautiful body of poetry she's created through light.
So, some of you may be wondering what a letter to an actor is supposed to say? Lorie had this brilliant advice for me. It seemed clear, and right on, so I thought I'd share it with you!
Lorie's advice: "... imagine you're sitting with him and talking to him about Bob. Who Bob is, and why he's so important to this story. And, why we're excited about the possibility of him being Bob."
If you're out there, Mr. (I can't say your name), please come work with us. I adore you, and think you'd make this person (yes, he's a person to me) sparkle like Smokey's eyes.
More on this process, soon... kindly cross your fingers for us, and visit our official Lost In Sunshine website often to show your support! We love to hear from YOU!
Did you know that we post NEW information/quotes/blogs each week? ;) Jentri