Friday, 22 March 2013

Making it happen.



Welcome to Both Sides of the Lens!
What I would like to do with this blog is to explore and reflect on being both an actor and a producer.
The name came from meeting a director who asked me, isn't it odd being on both sides of the lens?
My answer was 'No, not really, its pretty natural progression - to me anyway!'.

Its funny that I reflect now on my life and I have people who know me as a Producer and people who know me as an Actor. They're just names, or tiny parcels people like to package others into.

When I was training in 2006 we were warned that the market was oversaturated and the only way forward was to create my own work. So that's what I do.
Keep working, creating and ultimately I've found it's more satisfying that way.
Although I love nothing more than turning up on set and being ushered into makeup and offered bacon & egg roll (my favourite), or show up at the theatre in first day rehearsals and have someone else hand me a production schedule, and not having to organise anything. 

There is definitely something satisfying about organising the project knowing each detail of the project- from catering (very important!) to locations. Knowing you are making it happen and getting the pleasure of working intimately with all these creatives around you!
 For ease of reference, I think of myself as an actor who makes things happen. No sitting by the phone!

Loving what you do
I've been lucky enough to work on some very exciting projects as an actor and as a producer. I'll always remember the thrill of my first big set where I was assistant producer on a overseas shoot, on location, and all these trucks pulled up and a all these guys inundated my location!
I looked around stunned and annoyed at this invasion, wondering whos trucks they were and what all these people were doing before I realised they were all ours!
7 trucks
40 crew
Trucks for generator, transport, makeup, catering, art department, set design, camera dept, lighting. And I booked them all....I had to count them off three times before I believed it!
Then I just stood staring as the trucks pulled up and crew started setting up. It was quite surreal!


Similarly the best acting projects for me, are ones I've been able to collaborate on. Work with the writer to create a background to my character (CHRONONAUT), play with my fellow actors to create great relationships and work with the director to get the best kick ass shots (see A PERFECT SOLDIER).

I totally advocate creating your own work, more actors should take their careers into their own hands and create.

Many big name Hollywood actors are also a producers. 
Check them out - Drew Barrymore  who owns her own production company Flower Films, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Brad Pitt – 23 titles, Angelina Jolie, Nic Cage, Jennifer Garner – produced TV show Alias whilst being the star, Adam Sandler who has produced and exec produced 40 titles alone, plus my inspiration - Viggo Mortenson who is not only an actor, producer, musician but celebrated photographer, poet and painter.

There is so much to gain from collaborating and working together. As actors we tend to come onto projects at the end, but for everyone else the journey began long ago!
I love working with others and collaborating, you never know what you'll learn, or how far you'll go.
So get out there, collaborate and make great stories,
Maybe I'll see you along the way!

Let me know what you thought of this post - and if you can think of any more great actor/producers out there!