Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shoot Me!

I know they say directors should take acting classes to better understand their actors.  I get it and I agree.  But this isn’t about that.  This is about being you and not acting, but kind of acting while being you.  Lost?  Me too.
Basically, I need to make a video of myself pitching The Hunter’s Anthology.  One of the things I don’t think about, being a director, is how I really have to be able to sell myself.  Pitches, interviews, Q & A’s, announcements… I mean dammit, Jim!  I’m a director, not an actor!  Well, that’s sort of true, but being a director means you are the spokesman of your film.  You’re its poster boy… or girl.  You’re the one everyone has to like or they won’t want to see your film.  This goes for securing financing through investors, crowdfunding, and media.  You have to show passion for your movie or no one will buy into it.  If you’re not excited, why would anyone else be?  You have to convince everyone that your movie is worth making.  And you know what?  You’re alone!  In this case, for such a collaborative industry as filmmaking, unless you’re co-directing, you truly are alone.  No one can do this but you, the director.  It’s your baby, your vision, and in many cases your idea too.  No one wants to hear about your movie from anyone but you.  It’s up to YOU to draw people in… and honestly, it’s a lot of pressure and it kind of sucks.
So, for now I have to shoot a video of myself to post on the coming crowdfunding site.  Talking about my movie should be easy enough, right?  Who in their right mind directs a movie they don’t absolutely love and want to talk about?  No one! If you don’t love your movie, you shouldn’t be pitching it.  Hell, you shouldn’t be making it!  Investors know that.  Fans know that.  We know that.  So, logistically, shooting a pitch video of me explaining my movie is easy, because I 100% believe in every project I create or take on, right?  No.  Nope.  Nooooooo.  It’s so friggin’ hard!
Why?  Because I know I’m on camera.  It changes everything.  You know what they teach you first thing in acting class that can take many, many years to master?  (And some never do).  Not being self-conscious.  But I am.  I’m not trained in that way.  Most directors, heck, most people, are self conscious on camera.  You see, this is what’s going on in my head as I try to get my pitch video right: “The camera is looking at me.  Act natural.  Don’t stumble.  I’ve pitched this a million times in person.  I just have to talk about it ONE more time!  I’ll never get it right.  Why can’t I do this?!”
All this is kind of therapeutic for me as I try for the fourth time to get this right this weekend.  Look, I wouldn’t call myself a shy or self-conscious person.  I’ve done live Q&A’s, on-air interviews… all that.  They aren’t easy, but I get through them.  I’m not coming from a super-shy place.  But it’s something about the camera, knowing I have one take to get a lot of information right… it’s intimidating.  It’s hard!!  I have someone filming who just wants me to get it right.  I’m tired of all these takes.  I can’t remember what I was saying.  I’m losing steam.  I sound ridiculous.  I look uncomfortable.  I sound nervous.  I need this video to even begin to think of raising finances for The Hunter’s Anthology.  Push your fears aside and do it!  You’ve done it a hundred times off camera.
So my advice to myself (still need to take it), and everyone taking this on: Tell the camera what you are doing, as you would to anyone at a party or pitch meeting, pitch the damn thing ONE more time.  The way you always would.  I’m working on that.
I’m not an actor.  I watched an old pitch I did for Trust Us when we went on Kickstarter years ago and found myself, well… kicking myself.  I was overdoing it.  Don’t overdo it; be you.  To attract attention for our movie, we need to be the director that attracts backers, and when it comes down to it, they want to hear about your project from YOU and no one else.  It’s a lot when being in front of a camera is something you’re not used to.  No one can stand in as you.  So sit back, relax, tell your story, explain why you love it, and see what happens.  You might just realized you just had some fun when you’re done.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?  You can always delete it and try again.  And again… until you get it right.
Next time I’ll let you know how I did!  Four’s a charm??
THA trailer:
THA teaser:
THA Official Facebook page:
THA on Twitter: @HunterAnthology

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