Friday, February 15, 2008


In addition to the five actors I hired from a local talent agency, I also have to use two non-actors for my shoot on Monday and Tuesday. The client insists that they play a prominent role in the production, including pages upon pages of speaking parts. There are dark mysteries at the heart of large corporations that I have yet to fully comprehend.

I've worked with many non-actors in the past; but most of the time they were in their natural working environment and had few, if any, speaking parts. Like the time I sat inside a gutted Cessna plane - the pilot holding onto the back of my safety chute so my 20-pound camera and I wouldn't fall out of the open door - and filmed a group of skydivers jumping into the void. Or the time I filmed a cryogenic prostate surgery with a room full of latte-drinking doctors as they "violated" the poor patient.

Those are perfect examples of when it is proper to use professional "non-actors." But anytime a person has to act, I always insist on hiring actors. It just makes the shoot go so much smoother, and the final product that much better. Like the time I was shooting a kids show in Colorado and had James Earl Jones (yes, I'm name dropping) deliver his lines... twice. (with that voice, just ordering a cheeseburger conjures up scenes from a Shakespearean play.)

I have a feeling that I'm going to eat up a lot of tape next week. And find a few more gray hairs.

"Take 23! Roll cameras. Speed. Action!"


bella said...

Good luck!
It sounds like you're going to need it. ;)

Tom said...

bella: I'll let you know... thanks.