About The Hollywood Film Industry

The Hollywood film industry is an amalgamation of technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking. It generally consists of film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, actors, directors, and film personnel.

Today the Hollywood film industry is positioned across the world. In this 21st century, the major business centers of filmmaking are concentrated in United States, India and China. Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, California that is situated in west- northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural individuality of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a connotation for the cinema of United States which is popularly known as the Hollywood film Industry.

The history of the Hollywood Film Industry probably started in the hands of D.W. Griffith when the Biograph Company sent him and his crew. They started filming on a vacant lot in downtown Los Angeles in early 1910. Soon the company decided to explore new territories to find that the region was quite friendly and enjoyable for shooting.

Therefore, Griffith filmed the first ever movie shot in Hollywood. The title of the film was “In Old California”. The movie company then stayed there for months to shoot several of their films and returned to New York.

Starting in 1913, this wonderful place came into the limelight when moviemakers started heading to the west. The first feature film made in Hollywood was called ‘The Squaw Man” This resulted in the birth of Hollywood Film Industry.

Nestor Studio, founded in 1911 was the first movie studio in Hollywood. Fifteen other small studios also settled in Hollywood. Gradually, Hollywood came to be so powerfully associated with the film industry that this term began to be used as a synonym for the entire industry.

During the time period of the first World War, Hollywood become the movie capital of the world. Previously mentioned, Nester studio became the Hollywood Digital Laboratory. By the year 1950, music recording studios and offices began moving to Hollywood, though much of the movie industry remained there.

The world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame was constructed in the year 1958 and the first star was placed in 1960. The Walk of Fame was placed as a tribute to the artists working in the entertainment industry. It is embedded with more than 2,000 five pointed stars featuring the names of celebrities, as well as fictional characters.

Self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust maintains this Walk of Fame. The first star to receive this honor was Joanne Woodward. The artist received a star based on career and lifetime achievements in motion pictures, live theatres, radio, television, and music.

The famous Hollywood symbol, originally read Hollywoodland, was constructed in the year 1923 as an advertisement of a new housing development. The sign was left to worsen until in 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce repaired and removed the last four letters.

The sign located at Mount Lee, is now a registered trademark hence cannot be used without the permission of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Hollywood Film Industry can be called the Mecca of film industries. Though geographically it is located in Hollywood, it resides in the hearts of millions of film lovers and film related personalities. Hollywood remains and will remain a king, without a scepter.

Actors – Can Social Media Help You Get Cast?

Social media is literally changing the way projects are cast. All other things being equal, if three actors are up for a role on a big project, chances are the actor with a substantial following will nab the role. This means that if you’re a savvy actor, you’ll start building your social media empire BEFORE you’re up for a series regular.

If you’re like some of my clients, the thought of using social media for your acting career can be completely overwhelming. I’m here to tell you – don’t panic! Here are four simple steps you can use to get your social media mojo started, giving you a leg up on the competition!

1. Start Small

There are many social media platforms to choose from, but my advice is to start with one and get really good at it. If you’re already using Facebook anyway, why not start there? Do you love taking photos? Try Instagram! Maybe Twitter is more your speed. No need to overload yourself right away. You can always add another once you’ve got the first one down.

2. Create a Plan

This is where you can get creative! Keeping your actor brand in mind, think about some themes that you would like to post about regularly. For example, do you have a charity that you work with? Do you like to make people laugh? Are you a foodie? You can also repost or retweet other people’s content, and give them a shout-out. Of course, don’t forget to post your acting successes, too!

3. Make a Schedule

Once you have some daily themes in mind, it’s time to schedule your posts for the week. I recommend using a free app like Bufferapp.com or Hootsuite.com. I’ve found that scheduling daily posts ahead of time (for the week or the month) is much more efficient than trying to post every single day.

4. Be Social!

It’s called social media for a reason, so be sure to spend a little time every day responding to your likes, retweets, mentions, and other people’s posts. Reciprocation goes a long way, so keep the dialogue going with your peeps!

5. Watch the Clock

Be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole. Social media sites are made for you to kill time, so be mindful of how you’re spending yours. Fifteen minutes a day is all that’s needed to stay social.

Best Actor India

They act, they play the toughest roles, they play the most contradictory and the roles which require a lot more dedication and patience with the best possible expressions and a smile on their face. Such great artists can be none other than actors. They are the best in their profession and with their acting and performances, our Indian entertainment industry has come too far and there has been no looking back. Every year we see our film industry witnessing new and fresh talents with such good and exceptional skills. All of them get paid for the excellent work that they do but only one out of them breaks the records.

For the year 2019, Akshay Kumar has been announced as one of the best actor by Forbes. Also he is one of the highest paid actors in the industry. After having delivered the most successful films on Box office, Akshay is surely one absolute talent box. The scripts he chooses for his films are so unique and lately he has been making films on public awareness and crucial issues which will influence the public for some good. He is known for doing one film per year and every time he does a film, it’s a massive hit. The actor is known for his best and natural acting skills. He has earned 65 million from June 2018 – June 2019. He is one of the best entertainers in the world. From a cook to a martial arts trainer to one of the versatile actors around the globe, Akshay Kumar’s journey has been very exceptional and inspiring. The top brand endorsements that he does are also helping him earn enough money. He had lately involved himself in the advertisements which require more of public attention. The actor is known for his best acting talent and with his highest earning record, Akshay Kumar has beaten top celebrities like Rihanna, Bradley Cooper, and Scarlett Johansson.

India is proud of Akshay for his impressive performances on the row. With Mission Mangal, one of his recent films, he proved that more than entertainment, he always wanted to inspire young minds and the people of this society. The world needs more of such actors like Akshay Kumar.

Sundance 2020: The Last Shift, Dream Horse, Tesla

Richard Jenkins gives one of his most soulful performances in years in Andrew Cohn’s “The Last Shift,” a drama about one man’s devotion to his job, and the ways in which is employer takes advantage of his pride. From when we first see him—crafting a chicken specialty he calls the “Stanwich”—Jenkins’ everyman quality is put to great use as a worker of 38 years at Oscar’s Chicken & Fish. He moves slowly but precisely, and remains focused on taking care of Oscar’s at night, and all the customers who roll through. In one of its fine melancholy touches, the movie catches Stanley in the last week of his time at Oscar’s, as Stanley is set to leave at the end of the week and take care of his ailing mother down in Florida. With beautiful ease, Jenkins illustrates the kind of hard worker we often see in Ramin Bahrani films, and that includes his Sisyphean pursuit of making good fast food every night. 

Shane Paul McGhie enters the picture as Jevon, a young father newly out of jail, and a former columnist who stopped writing, who starts work at Oscar’s as part of his probation. As the two share some compelling scenes in the quiet restaurant, they gently clash over ideas of work that might be described as generational—Stanley’s pride in his work has left him unaware of how much money he is not being paid for his continuous labor, something that Jevon brings to his attention with an exhilarating clarity. Oscar’s kitchen proves to be a cinematic setting for these dialogue-driven scenes to take place, as condiments and other items on the shelves pop, as if they were all colors that jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none Stanley could use at any time. Jenkins and McGhie hold the film together through its ups and downs, and embody two characters who prove that they have a lot to offer the world. 

The excitement of seeing a movie stand up for people like Stanley and Jevon then clashes with the film’s dialogue about race, which amounts to little more than white noise. It’s hard to take “The Last Shift” in full sincerity when it starts to pit Stanley and Jevon against each other about race and privilege, since Jevon is written as one of the most stereotypical characters at the festival—does he need to be fresh out of jail to find his way into Stanley’s kitchen? The story goes even further in creating a deep bias within Stanley, which includes reckoning with a disturbing event from the past that he talks about with his friend Don (Ed O'Neill), but this narrative pursuit comes off as sloppy, and needless. 

The emotional journey of “The Last Shift” eventually reverts back to putting the audience’s emotions into Stanley’s unfair treatment as a hard worker, and that’s where its storytelling passions most resonate. Cohn’s script is especially poignant, and my audience’s reaction was tellingly vocal, when Stanley sees the restaurant’s parting gift. 

Do you want scenes of crowds cheering? Do you want underdogs? Do you want different members of a small town coming together, and finding a new passion in life? “Dream Horse” offers these cheap but timeless thrills and more, so much that the image used to promote the movie (posted above) could have been its sole piece on a vision board. On top of that, if you keep it in mind while watching this film from director Euros Lyn, it’s a considerable spoiler. 

And yet—this is the kind of unabashed crowd-pleaser that was made with care, down to a Toni Collette performance that sells every up and down experienced by her character Jan, who decides to the breed a race horse. The movie also has plenty of gorgeous establishing shots for the small Welsh village that she lives in, creating a sense that this movie can be as concerned with composition as much as having fun with a story that was told in the 2015 documentary “Dark Horse” (which also played at Sundance). 

Jan is a grocery store employee who decides to breed the horse as a way to make some money, but also to find a new passion to care about. Joined by her husband Brian (Owen Teale), she rallies a batch of people from the town to throw in, making for broad humor and rag-tag team-building scenes. Jan also receives a lot of help from a former racehorse syndicate leader named Howard (Damian Lewis), who guides them and their horse Dream Alliance into the high-stakes world of horse racing. 

Lyn has a sturdy vision for such a movie that balances feel-good highs and expected lows, and also when it comes to sprucing things up a bit—attaching a camera to the side of Dream Alliance during a race is a nice little jolt of energy, and the race scenes as a whole garner some significant momentum. It’s more that the story always feels like it’s on automatic. “Dream Horse” also goes for the easy laughs, like Karl Johnson playing the town drunk whose antics are constant but actually very lonely and sad. And then there’s Lewis’ Howard, who is given a subplot about a gambling problem, of which the movie more or less carelessly supports by the end for the sake of a flat-out victory. 

One of the more baffling movies that I saw in Park City was Michael Almereyda’s “Tesla,” a type of philosophical celebration of perhaps the most overlooked inventor in history. Ethan Hawke stars in the movie as Nikola Tesla, eschewing any Serbian accent and free-wheeling through a movie that starts off with gliding around on roller skates. 

Premiering just months after Alejandro Gomez-Rejon’s similarly focused “The Current War,” “Tesla” escapes the shadow of focusing on different time periods by leaning entirely into the artifice. It’s not uncommon for the movie to break into a slide show of Google searches, and it’s not all that surprising when Kyle MacLachlan’s interpretation of Thomas Edison whips out his iPhone, or that Jim Gaffigan seems to have just walked on set to play George Westinghouse. Scenes are created using painted backdrops, and often take place in bars, or modern bistro spots, as if parodying one’s expectation for how such historical scenes should be recreated. This looseness provides a strong contrast to the dialogue-driven script, which is meticulous all the way through Eve Hewson’s professorial narration. 

Seemingly inspired by a lot of Tesla knowledge, depressants, and a desire to break free from period piece constraints, “Tesla” is for people who don’t want biopics to take us from a cradle to grave, but instead work through different life sequences as if it were a musical. It’s a tricky movie, and one that did not hold my amusement the further into its historical abyss it went, but it does have memorable moments borne from its lack of giving any care to playing by the rules. Its greatest might be when Ethan Hawke, in full Tesla costume, does a dive bar karaoke version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Rules the World,” off-key baritone singing and all. But with this baffling choice among others, “Tesla” proves to be a completely liberated biopic, so much so that it’s out of reach. 

Future of Global Movie Industry

Capturing and holding audiences from all the continents isn’t easy. Many have tried.

Modern mass entertainment often serves as a deeper and more important global language than English. That is because present day Hollywood industry inadvertently created a process that increasingly touches upon basic physiological human needs and aspirations. Profit driven use of visuals, characters, and themes (that were scientifically researched to be as marketable and appealing to widest possible multi-ethnic audience) is steadily pushing towards a universal formula. Although we’re still at a point where the appealing “supranational” characteristics of mainstream Hollywood involve the usual (explosions, special effects, sex appeal, mental escape through hyperindividualistic protagonists, etc), we will begin to see deeper basic cinematic themes emerge that cut across all cultures in the near future. The basic reasons will be:

1) Same corporate profit motive that gave us the rise of neuromarketing will push for figuring out physiological substrata that makes simultaneous global release movies more emotionally appealing. Digital piracy will make physical movie spaces ever more important for revenue generation. Conversion of movie theaters into expensive 3D/concert/theater type spectacles will need research to be successful. You WILL be satisfied with the global release whether you’re in Nigeria, Japan, Ecuador, Texas, etc.

2) Emerging Internet culture finding its way to the mainstream as globe trotting generation Y takes charge of the industry.

3) Dawning realization by Western elites that globalization has stalled. Their scramble to rethink and proactively improve globalization and its integrative forces. Goal of preventing a major and rapid slide into mercantilist (potentially even hostile!) continental economic blocks will see elite efforts to create stronger intercontinental “glue”. Efforts towards discovery of media/art/Internet driven truly global culture should be part of the effort. Most states currently subsidize their movie industries behind the scenes as national propaganda PR moves. This practice can be turned on its head if applied towards supranational themes and purposes.

The spread of this Hollywood lingua franca is a microcosm of globalization itself. When analyzing integrative processes of globalization, special attention should be given to the film industry in particular.

Until relatively recently, Hollywood released its mega movies domestically first and abroad only months later. Then, to combat immediate digital piracy from places like China it became a more common practice to have simultaneous global openings for very big budget titles. The preparation and logistical coordination of this represented stage three in the emergence of a truly globalized film industry.

Lets briefly go through the stages:

1) 1950s-1980s: Mass cultural exports of the post-war period. Influx of Hollywood products into occupied territories and satellite states. Increasing cooperation between West European studios/agencies and Hollywood resulting in an international entertainment business sphere. Some partial work done on “universal” values within the ideological framing context of the cold war. Both Western and Soviet intelligence have a heavy role in informational shaping of entertainment to influence perceptions of the present world and prime expectations of how the world’s future will develop (the dystopian-utopian spectrum of how the 21st century was popularly portrayed in movies is an interesting example of this). Genuine attempt at discovering universal values is hidden and distorted by individual private and corporate interests behind the militaries of the NATO pact.

2) 1980s-1990s: Hollywood studios rapidly expand beyond NATO’s sphere of influence and become truly global as most markets are now accessible. Majority of key studio revenue now comes from abroad. Consolidation in number of transnational media corporations that own the studios. Streamlining of their operations along lines of fellow tangible good producing transnational companies. Rapid horizontal creation of international links to reduce costs and create an immediate global reservoir of cheaper talent, locations, and equipment. Actors and actresses become supranational super celebrities recognized anywhere. Global businesses are increasingly synchronized in space and time.

3) 2000- present: Merging of dozens of national and regional markets into one planetary market that allows rapid global penetration and hype generation (via local auxiliaries). Simultaneous global cinema and disc openings. “Epic” large cash infusion Hollywood movie making style is rapidly emulated by other players like Beijing and Moscow. Besides profit, this is partially done to increase their soft power and control domestically. For non-Western (particularly BRIC) powers to be successful with their mass media projects, they need to absorb/buy Hollywood’s cutting edge technical, CGI, and art talent. That is already happening and is currently causing peripheral cooperation/merging between movie studios of all key regional political powers on earth.

For Actors, There Are Many Pathways to Success

Many young actors entering the entertainment industry have the mindset that there are only a few ways of pursuing a career. They get stuck on well-trodden pathways and they wonder why they don’t succeed. Their strategy is to follow the herd instead of seeking out what they need to know, how to implement this knowledge, and how to do it brilliantly so people will hire them. Instead of being pragmatic, they follow a culture of mediocrity doing just enough to get by.

This singular mindset is the result of several forces, forces such as pie-in-the-sky thinking, an archaic educational system, misleading claims from instructors and acting schools, plus reluctance to seek out alternative pathways. It is very easy to get stuck with tunnel vision when pursuing an entertainment career, especially among new comers. They follow those around them becoming stranded in a quagmire of indecision.

The pie-in-the sky thinking is most prevalent among young actors. They come to entertainment centers like Los Angeles and New York with a feeling of entitlement, that they have to do very little to be discovered and find work. Rather than improving ones craft, they become obsessed with getting an agent, getting into the union, or getting into top-level workshops. Another obsession is marketing; producing pictures, resumes, and demo reels. Such goals have little to do with learning one’s craft.

Others become involved in an archaic educational system that benefits instructors more so than the students. This is especially true in scene workshops, which perpetuate the myth that one learns best by doing. For the beginners and intermediate students such workshops are not very effective learning venues. Why is this? More time and energy are expended in putting up scenes than on learning the fundamental skills of acting. Memorizing a scene, rehearsals, performances and the instructor’s critique, they take up valuable time. This time could be better spent on learning and perfecting specific techniques.

In such scene workshops, students may receive only snippets of advice, as time restraints do not allow in-depth coaching. Moreover, of those snippets, most apply to that specific scene rather than to acting in general. In addition, students usually become overwhelmed by the many requirements of performing a scene, working on everything and mastering none. Without specific guidelines, the student is confronted with too many decisions, which leads to bad choices or to no choices. Likewise, struggling through a long workshop scene usually perpetuates more faults than fixes. Another caveat is that uncorrected flaws soon become part of the student’s skill set, flaws that can seriously impede advancement.

Another force affecting pathways is the hype of acting schools, workshops, and instructors. Many of these venues prey on the actor’s quest for stardom and hold those carrots dangling just out of reach. Prospective students thus select fame and fortune over craft. When offered platitudes and compliments, the drug of choice, students becomes addicted to stay in these classes. Another dangling carrot is the guru like status of certain instructors. They are the celebrity instructors who are known more for their credits than for their teaching abilities. At universities, weighty curriculums, testimonials and inviting photos are used to entice students to a school where instructors have reach the safety of tenure. As such, these instructors teach the same stuff they were taught leaving student’s performances years behind current acting standards.

Do you prefer a lengthy curriculum or do you want to learn what makes you a professional actor, one that can sustain a long working career. Having a diploma does not make you an actor, but having the knowledge, the means to implement it and the experience to implement it brilliantly gets you close to professional status.

Many new actors are reluctant to seek out alternative pathways to knowledge, create a system that accumulates craft. Some may plead ignorance in not knowing there are other learning venues. When you don’t know what you don’t know, how could you possibly know? How would you correct that problem? How would you approach finding this elusive knowledge?

You begin by looking at the criteria for a professional actor. What are the things that make them acclaimed and award-winning actors? One of the most prominent attributes is internalization, the ability to relate what’s going on within the mind and body. Another is the ability to build credible and compelling characters. When you look at requirements for being a professional actor, these questions lead you to resources, to answers, and finally to competence. What do you need to know? What are the things you must do and do well? When you find areas, you know little about, research them and learn more about them? Great actors are continually reaching out and learning new things.

Still other beginning actors are too lazy to pursue anything outside of their comfort zone. They fall into a set routine that does little to challenge their creative powers. A weekly workshop doesn’t cut it. Soon, their careers stall out, as there is no improvement. They continue to do more of the same.

This stuck in the mud scenario happens with more and more actors, as they become incapacitated by failures. How can one get out and move on toward success? What are some of the venues and ways to seek knowledge and obtain craft?

Let’s go back to the basic principles of advancing your career. Namely, seek out what you need to know, then learn how to implement this knowledge, and finally learn how to implement this knowledge brilliantly so people will hire you. Alexander Payne, the director of the movie “Nebraska” said the same thing, “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it, and if you can do it well.”

The venues and pathways to greatness are mostly ones of exploration and discovery. It most cases they are not expensive when compared to establish training. However, they do demand a rigorous discipline and the obsession to improve. Acting is a profession where the skills and techniques are self-initiated; you learned them because you want to.

Read, and read anything you can lay your hands on, scripts, plays, and novels. People who read fiction have a better social demeanor and better understand the problems we humans face. It also acquaints you with story structure, character development and dialogue patterns. It creates those what-if-moments and allows your mind to internalize the thoughts and feelings of the characters. A good training platform as it activates the actor’s brain.

Read books and publications on the craft of acting, the techniques of internalizations, the building of compelling characters and the styles of acting. As an actor, you need to learn the language of performing so you can communicate with directors and other actors. Things such as definitions, the dramatic choices and equations, and how changing one facet can change everything else. Acting is a collaborate art and one must learn to work skillfully within an ensemble environment. SamuelFrench.com is a solid resource in this area.

See movies by great actors and fully comprehend their techniques. Replay these movies numerous times until you see and understand what the actor is doing. DVD’s are most helpful in this regard because when you see and hear it, you comprehend the technique and you know what to replicate. In addition, if you don’t get it the first time, you can replay the scene over and over until you fully understand the technique and can effectively duplicate it. Award-winning work should be dissected, analyzed, emulated, and done so for the purpose of improving ones dramatic awareness and agility as well as expanding one’s dynamic range. DVD rental services, such as Netflix and Blockbuster, charge as low as $8 a month and often the extras on the disk offer additional insight into acting and directing.

Attending live performances of plays and musicals provide another dimension to acting. In smaller theatres, the performances approach that of film and TV. Attend community theatre, high school plays as well as professional outings. You will learn much by noting the things done well as well as those that were not. See what works and what does not.

Look to science to find ways of improving your craft. For instance, the research studies by psychologist Paul Ekman and Robert B Zajonc provide insights into facial expressions and physiological changes in the body. Great information when trying to articulate various emotions. Author and instructor John Sudol expands on this phenomenon in his book “Acting: Face to face.” Research studies on body language can likewise provide enormous information about a character’s physical presence. Another important resource is the area of psychiatry, especially when related to personality, temperament types and abnormal behaviors. In drama, almost every character is built upon flaws and abnormalities. Few characters are normal, at least not all the time.

You can also gain considerable knowledge by listening to establish professionals. These could be mentors or casual encounters at industry functions. These people have valuable insights and you can connect with them at panel discussions, industry expos, conferences, and film festivals. Take advantage of these opportunities by asking specific questions that show you are eager to learn. Asking intelligent questions is a great networking tool as it fosters mutual respect. There are also specialist and consultants that can help you with things like voice training, accent reduction, and audition preparation. However, these services come at a price.

Your fellow actors, your peers, are likewise a great resource for improving your craft. Working with them, rehearsing scenes, or just hanging out, these encounters offer opportunities to exchange ideas and techniques. A great many times these encounters provide new perspectives on the many facets of acting. However, these meetings can easily turn into gripping session where little progress is attained. So stay on target and focus on improving your craft.

It’s very easy to get so caught in ones own career pursuits that we forget about the people that help and support us. Take a step back and find ways return the favor. It could be a referral to a low-cost photographer, or an offer to proofread their bio. These gestures mean a lot and cost little in time and effort. They also help build lasting relationships and studies show such good deeds make us feel better about our own lives. A sincere note of gratitude is likewise a good gesture.

One of the major obstacles in seeking alternative pathways is the personality of the actor. Some actors have a know-it-all attitude, that they are superior in the craft of acting. No one is going is teach them anything. Such an attitude limits their growth because they have reached the pinnacle of their career. Other personality types include the spent-thrift and bargain hunters. Money issues determine their career choices and they settle for what they can afford rather than seeking a process that fulfills their goals. This article points out numerous career pathways that cost little or nothing. Another personality type is the one that believes in serendipitous fulfillment, believing that good things will happen, a pleasant surprise, or a fortuitous happenstance. You will find this personality type lingering hopefully outside the gates of commitment, waiting to be discovered.

The Internet is a wonderful resource for actors. There are numerous sites displaying blogs and articles on the techniques of acting. Most will be associated with acting schools and the business/marketing aspects of acting. Try sites such as actortips.com and backstage.com. Also, look at the many videos available on YouTube Acting. While you will find conflicting advice, as you become more knowledgeable, you will be able to sort out which techniques best serve your immediate needs, your character type and persona.

Listen to your own heartbeat, how you react to things in your own life. What are your wants and feelings, your dreams and aspirations? How do you take on the agony of defeat or the triumph of victory? Life studies are an integral part of ones dramatic training and watching what others go through, whether it is hardships or moments of elation, provide an enormous wealth of character material. And the best part, it doesn’t cost you a dime.

This article has covered some of the pathways one can use to supplement ones formal training. It has also covered ways to attain acting techniques, many using effective cost-saving ways. The supplemental training shown here can greatly expand ones range of techniques. However, they require strong will power and the initiative to put them into practice.

Acting is not something you easily attain in a classroom. The skills, techniques, and principles of drama come about by understanding humanity, and the many choices people face in life. In many cases, you need to discover this process for yourself. There are reactions and consequences to our choices in acting as in life, and seeking out the many pathways available can make ones journey more rewarding. For these pathways will reveal what you need to know, how to implement this knowledge, and how to do it brilliantly so people will hire you. The choice is yours.


5 Cool Facts About Classic Hollywood Action Movies You Probably Don’t Know

Action movies are the stuff of legend. For some, they seem like petulant little movies made with no real story. But for aficionados, action movies have everything in them — action (of course), adventure, sensuality, explosions, fast cars, and fight sequences. The list could go on.

One thing that is a bit interesting about action movie fans is the fact that true fans try to know as many details as they can about their favorite movies in so much as to almost become walking encyclopedias of knowledge & points of reference fit for your local restaurant’s trivia night. But much the same way that life works, you can’t know everything, and this is where this particular collection of facts shows its worth!

Here are five cool facts about some of your favorite action movies you never knew but will be sure to remember forever:

1. Silence of the Lambs – Most people tend to criticize big Hollywood action films by noting they have nothing to offer in real worth when it comes to an actual story worth checking out. Even though some may find this movie more suspenseful, it does keep you on the edge of your seat. ‘Silence’ is one of only a handful of films to have earned Academy Awards for the top categories (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay).

2. The Fast and the Furious – Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster, did not have drivers licenses or even permits before production of the film. While this may seem somewhat odd, many actors and actresses focus their attention on their craft from a young age, sometimes bypassing milestones like this.

3. Jaws – Nearly a fourth of the movie was filmed from the surface of the water level. This unique perspective is key to the film’s terror as audiences could feel as though they were treading water or the very least to be near “Bruce”, the name given to the mechanical shark used during filming. The fact that only about 25% of the movie was shot this way is amazing when you consider that most of the more memorable sequences of the movie are all based in the water.

4. Gone with the Wind – Though often seen as a historical drama or even (oddly enough) as a romantic movie, ‘Gone’ is celebrated for its massive undertaking & sweeping look at a bygone era over the course of many generations. While the movie tends to have beautiful imagery of plantation life, it’s the ferocious action sequences & suspenseful scenes that take your breath away. This film was the first color film to win an Oscar for Best Picture.

5. X-Men – Though they give off an air of sophistication and class, actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan had actually never played a game of chess in their lives. While not the most gritty action movie tidbit, it’s important to mention simply because far too many movie patrons are not willing to suspend all disbelief. It’s all about the details.

Action movies can be a lot of fun, so let the magic of cinema take you away from the drabness of everyday life.

Actors: Are You Sure You Want To Be an Actor?

Lunatics, manic depressives, people with too much ego, people with too little ego. People with so much talent it’s scary. People with so little talent it’s scary. And just about everyone else in between. The ideal acting candidate carries the following in his DNA: ear, energy, intelligence, imagination, and intuition; the ideal acting candidate somewhere develops the following character traits: determination, drive, refusal to be beaten, resilience, pride, awareness of self and others. Wed those two lists of requirements and you have a potential actor–or saint!

So you have all those characteristics! Great. Now for a couple of comments:

Actors fib. Maybe it is a requirement. But fib they do. I have asked several actors why they want to act. Mostly they fib but here are some of their more truthful replies, followed by my own observations.

1. “I thought it would be fun.”
FUN? Let’s see. Work 9-5, beg to come in late so you can sign up for an open call. Or instead, get up at six AM and stand in a line outside the Equity building in every kind of weather. I remember waiting outside for two hours in 13 degree temperature for an open call for ­ appropriately ­ “The Grapes of Wrath.” That was life imitating at least the title of the play!

FUN? Tech and dress that goes on until one AM. A long subway trip home. Up at seven to be to work at nine. Get off work whenever. In the theatre at seven. Curtain at eight. Hours and hours and hours of rehearsal. There are ten people in the opening night audience.

FUN? Four months of open calls nearly every day and not one callback. The air is laden and leaden with depression, rejection, doubt, loneliness. Suddenly a small house and family in Nebraska sound like Eden.

FUN? After an audition, being told by the director you are better than the “star name” they cast, but golly gee you know the business! Gotta fill those seats! Subtext: You’re a nobody. “How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog.” This is small example of why I push for actors to read poetry. No actor sums up being a nobody better than Emily Dickinson.

FUN? You have the female lead in a 35 minute short film, opposite a huge name actor who won’t even speak to you because you are not also a “name.” [“I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too?”] In fact he won’t even sit next to you in a bar scene. Me? Once that Northern Irish temper set in (controlled of course!) I was OK. Till then, I felt like Dickinson’s frog TAKE TWO.

FUN? Five years later you still have the scar on your arm from the nail some indifferent carpenter failed to hammer in properly and you, rushing off stage, slashed your arm on it. The wardrobe mistress blasts loose language not even heard even in triple XXX rated because you got blood on the costume. Excuse me!

FUN? You’re doing Shakespeare behind the NY Public Library. The woman whom you have a scene with in three minutes tears her ankle and you have to improvise both sides of the dialogue because the plot depends on this scene, all the while you keep the verbal balls in the air in dazzling iambic pentameter. When it’s over you grab the Xanax or go into cardiac arrest.

Endless examples. If you’re in it for “fun,” go dance on the rim of Etna or Vesuvius, or any other volcano, while its sizzling. Now that’s fun!

Reason # 2 which actors give for becoming become actors:
“I thought I’d give it a try.”

Me: Don’t bother. Fire swallowing is an easier occupation. Try it.

3. And yet another reason for becoming an actor:
“I was in a play in high school. It was a good memory.”

Me: Don’t ruin a perfectly lovely memory.

4. Reason (Usually at the bottom of very few lists, if there at all!)
“I just have to. It’s like breathing. It’s something I have to do.”

Me:Oh dear, hope he’s talented. His answer is impeccable.

With the possible exception of the “just have to” response, it is my own opinion that 15 minutes in the sun is what lures people into acting. You want sun? Go to Phoenix.

However, it is that same drive for recognition and praise that draws us all, regardless of how noble our professed protestations for wanting to act. The person who lacks that drive for recognition and praise won’t work his tail off trying to get auditions and trying to get roles.

Anyone who doesn’t want recognition is fibbing. Any actor who says he pays no attention to reviews or recognition has a daddy who’s a director, a studio nabob, a producer. If you are just acting for yourself (“I don’t care what people think just so long as I am pleased with what I did.”), then you don’t need an audience and it’s less draining to play charades on Friday evening with friends and neighbors.

So my bravos to those who truthfully say, “Yeah, I’m all for fame and glory. I want recognition. I want to be famous.” Then let the drive for fame also be the drive that gets you auditions and bowls over the directors and producers. But also love acting, and honor the profession, and want to be the best actor you can be.

Acting, every word and every eyebrow twitch, is a challenge. Let the challenge be a reason to become an actor. Because acting, especially on stage, is one of the toughest jobs in all of the arts. Challenge doesn’t begin to describe what it means to make an audience forget you and mix you up with character you are playing.

I remember once auditioning with the Duchess of York’s monologue as she curses her despicable son, Richard III. Although the director later cast me, her response to my monologue was, “I wouldn’t want to cross you!” That was not me. Those words were Shakespeare’s. Not mine. The challenge was to make The Duchess sound real -real with variety and energy. The director’s comment was not intended as a compliment. But it was to me-because of the challenge of Shakespeare’s words.

My advice to almost everyone who wants to be an actor is DON’T. Find something you really like to do where you can earn a living and then do community theatre. If you live in a large city, there are often movies shot in your city and you could do extra work. In other words, train for a good profession and yet keep your finger in the acting pie, only as a good amateur rather than someone struggling to live off acting.

Although what I am about to say goes against many people’s opinion, nevertheless let me say it–with the caveat that it is MY opinion and is not written on a tablet from Mount Sinai. I am not Moses..

There is, I firmly believe, a performing mentality: positive, gutsy, determined, self-confident (about self and ability), full of energy and vitality. I do not believe it is the role of a teacher or a coach to pull or to elicit from a student the energy, the vitality, the joy, the confidence that this profession requires.

Acting requires almost superhuman self-confidence, at least during an audition or performance. You certainly can be taught how to say a line or deliver a speech. But that drive to perform must be so strong that no amount of doubt can prevent or destroy your ability to shine at an audition or performance.

Not long ago a June graduate of one of America’s prestigious drama departments asked if I would coach her acting and guide her in how to audition. I agreed. Then she went home (Ohio) to visit a brother and his children. When she returned, she said their life was so good (family and home) that she wondered if she really wanted to act. I strongly suggested that she return home, find a job she enjoyed, and build a good life. I was absolutely sincere in my advice.

I am most alive on stage or in front of a camera. Not to act is not to be whole. BUT THAT IS ME. Relatively dull in real life, but a cyclone when performing. I do not recommend this profession to anyone unless you have the drive, the talent, the ability to function well in spite of rejection, and a joyous inner energy that is contagious to casting people and to audiences.

I wish you luck and sincerely hope that in another ten years we will see your name in lights on Broadway or on a movie marque on 42nd Street. Or that you will be happy in Montana, or Maine, or Mississippi, with a good job, a home, and a lovely family.

Our Outstanding Movie Industry

The degree of plagiarism that has always existed is mind numbing. The worst part is that it exists not only blatantly, which everybody notices and comments on, but also on subtle and nuanced levels; and it is indulged in by the stalwarts of Indian moviedom. How often have we winced at the use of the James Bond theme music in the action sequences of so many Hindi movies of the sixties and the seventies or have been left bemused watching Shammi Kapoor croon Yar Dilruba, the Hindi equivalent of Elvis’s Don’t be Cruel.

How so many English songs from eclectic sources ranging from ABBA to the Beatles to Osibisa and movie theme tracks like Chariots of Fire have been shamelessly adopted and adapted by leading Indian film music composers like RD Burman, Rajesh Roshan, OP Nayyar, et al defies logic(these guys were capable of and did compose incredible music of their own).

So many of the iconic Hindi film songs are straight lifts from foreign compositions. Take the case of the famous uthe sab ke kadam which is nothing but Polly Wolly Doodle in Hindi. Then there is the self proclaimed cerebral film maker, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, in whose Parineeta, the iconic A kiss to build on Dream on by the inimitable Louis Armstrong has been rendred as kaise paheli hai yeh kaise. Sacrilege! The examples are so numerous that one can’t but wonder at the shamelessness of it all.Jab koi baat bigad jaye is nothing but, When you miss the train I am on. The song Yeh hai Bombay meri jann, which is on the lips of every conceited Mumbiakar is plagiarised from My Darling Clementine.

One could go on and on about the songs, but what about other aspects of our often vaunted film making. Taking the example of Jodha Akbar, the much acclaimed historical bio-pic by the much respected Ashutosh Gowarlikar. The contrived final one on one duel between Akbar and his would be nemesis is almost a replication of the duel between Hector and Achilles in the movie Troy.

Or take the case of the cult movie Agnipath where Amitabh’s character basically rehashes Al Pacino’s potrayal in Scarface, down to the raspy voice. Really what all this shows is two things. One that our movie makers and comoposers are lazy people who would rather play safe and tweak world class content conceptualised elsewhere. And second they take advantage of the gullibility and ignorance of the average Indian film-goer who is not aware that his idols are taking him for a royal ride.

It is no wonder then that the leading film makers of the country including the motor mouth and always with an opinion Mahesh Bhatt oppose the release of dubbed international movies into the Indian market, as that would expose them to their core audience. By some strange coincidence the Mumbai based film industry much in the fashion of the erstwhile Mumbai club of industrialists who resisted the entry of world class products into India (remember the kind of cars we used to drive two decades back), would want the great Indian people to continue to be satisfied with plagiarised re-hashed and borrowed ideas and themes passed on as original content.