the second day of shooting for us background actors, joe was super-awesome…despite it being in the middle of the night after a long week of shooting, he took some time to talk to us about working in the industry, answer questions, etc.
unfortunately, tired as i was, i didn’t think to record it until right after he started, so i missed the beginning. and as it was recorded on a blackberry from the back of the room, it is pretty poor audio quality. he also went over a bit of the plot and premise of the movie in the middle, which he asked us not to release…so, as i unfortunately do not have access to protools or even avid where i am right now, i can’t fix it or cut it into postable bits. though as soon as i can, if i can, i will!
for now, i did want to post at least a transcription of some of the qna, as it was really good advice and insight, and should be made available for everyone!
so for now, here is most of it:
Q – [didn’t record – from what i remember was something along the lines of what it took to produce a movie?]
[started recording in the middle of his answer…from what i remember, he was talking about working within a budget and production limitations]
…Even a guy like, you know, Chris Nolan, he’s very productorial, very like, on his shit, with the logistics of time and money and things like that. Even he with the biggest funding that the industry has to offer is limited in what he can do and is bound by the logistical matters. And so it’s not the most fun answer but its actually a big part of it.
Q - How is it Acting and Directing in your own piece? How do you direct your own action?
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think it takes a lot of practice, actually. I mean I remember when I started, uh – like I’ve been making like little videos of myself and stuff ever since I was a kid. And then like recording my voice and saying, like making songs and what not. It can really trip you out to hear your own voice, to see yourself. But I think it’s just a matter of repetition. That as you do it more and more you can hopefully become more objective and not just get freaked out by the sound of your own voice. So I feel like I have gotten to that place just from having done it a lot of times. Even though I’ve never done it on the scale of a big feature film. Or a small feature film like this. But just, even just with you know, your own little video camera or whatever getting used to seeing your own self and hearing your own voice, that’s a big part of it.
I know you said that the best advice you were given was “stay in character until the director says cut.”
Oh, that’s a good one.
What would you say to somebody who wanted to break into like, from a cinematography side of things? Like not just as an Actor but as the actual like either a Producer or a Director or a Writer? Or someone who wanted to kinda take that where it’s their creation, not just as the execution of someone else’s creation?
God, ah, I mean would say that, that really the advice I could give anyone who wanted to do anything, any kind of art right now. Like people ask me how do I, I want to be an Actor – the thing I tend to say is like make shit. Don’t just wait for someone to hire you. I don’t know if you’re interested in Cinematography or whatever? But Shoot, you know.
Yeah, so make shit. Like, you know there’s ways to get your stuff out there now and like I think, you know, there’s a certain value to having shit out there but also some value in doing, to creating for yourself.
I read a book called Letters To a Young Poet. It’s pretty old but um, actually Rian Johnson, who made Brick referred me to it…[missed a few words in here – im sorry!!]… And uh, one of the first things it talks about is solitude and how important it is to – if you are going to do poetry, cuz poetry’s the example in this book, but whatever kind of creative person you’re being – how important it is to just kind of delve way way way into yourself and fuck what anyone else thinks at all, and uh, and find the kind of satisfaction in doing it just within yourself.
So that’s really important. Um, so I would say if you love shooting, shoot, you know.
But, uh, and then as far as the industry or whatever like, you know, I’m friends with these guys, the Gregory Brothers, you know the Gregory Brothers who you always hear… [missed a few words here] They’re I think the quintessential example of what like what it takes to make it as an artist today because they didn’t get an agent, they didn’t get um any of that shit. They didn’t get signed, whatever. They now work full time as artists, support themselves, get to make the art they want made and you know, it’s just because the stuff they make is really good and they make a lot of it and put it out on a regular basis and they developed a following over time and now they are who they are. [missed a few words]
I think that’s really the thing. That – the old fashioned industry, even though I am in the middle of doing a project in the very traditional way right now. I wanted to do this because I grew up doing it. Um, but it’s not what I would really advise anybody to do per se.
I think it’s a sort of old fashioned way of doing things and kind of on the out. And, I’m not talking about movies as an art form, I’m talking about the industry itself.
So, yeah, I’d say just focus on doing what you love and you know, get it out there, and you know, get it out there on the internet and whatever. Put it on hitRECord.