Okay, so luckily there is some major drama in the Columbus Film Scene, but the lucky part is that I am not involved. That won’t keep me from making a commentary on the situation though!
So we have a girl who goes to an audition in Cincinnati and is unimpressed with the kind gross exaggeration of their budget, their means, and the past projects. She is also allegedly witness to comments made by the producers that they have several million dollars for the budget and they are making 7 or so movies. Of course, their audition is being held in a public library, and the people who audition are primarily non-actors.
Now, cut to several months later and the problem is that when asked her opinion at a party, said actress simply relays what she saw and heard, and all hell breaks loose. I don’t want to pick sides, but I do want to relay some common sense items for all the beginning and even moderately experienced actors out there in observance. These are general statements and are not meant to sway anyone into believing one story over another, just simply warning signs IF you experience the following:
#1A If someone tells you they have millions of dollars but their audition is in the public library – WARNING! They are lying. I don’t discount people who hold auditions in public library meeting rooms, but surely they can see that they have NO MONEY. That’s not a reason not to work with them, but saying they have tons of money when they clearly do not – THAT’s a reason to put them on your warning list.
#1B When someone claims their audition process cost several thousand dollars, but they held it in a public library – WARNING! They are either flat out lying or completely incompetent with money. Where did the money go? What was it spent on? If you have a few thousand dollars, you can afford to rent time for auditions at a studio or a professional casting agency, NOT a public library.
#2 If (stress on the word “if”) someone says they can make you a star or that a life of acting is “easy”, RUN, do not WALK, RUN away. They have no clue what they are saying and are telling you what you want to hear. Anyone who has ever made a career has never begun their story with “Yeah, so I just fell ass-backwards into this successful acting career without lifting a finger….”
#3 Anyone who claims to have millions of dollars generally don’t. People with money, especially in the millions, don’t have to tell you. You’ll know it. From the most obvious observances you can see the kinds of car they drive, the clothes they wear, and even the way they conduct business. Clue #1 is in fact #1A-#1B – they won’t be holding auditions in a public library. If a filmmaker has a budget in place, they audition then shoot the movie within a few weeks, no later than a few months. When said filmmakers are RAPIDLY APPROACHING PRE-PRODUCTION for 7 years, you should know they aren’t making movies, but merely trying to make time.
It’s sad to say that in the Indie Film world there are people who claim to be producers who don’t know anything about making movies, and I regret to say, greatly exaggerate (meaning flat out lie) because they want you to talk to them and be nice to them. Lonely people take desperate measures. Avoid them like the plague because you simply don’t want to waste your time.
Look for the signs. Consider yourselves warned. Take it from someone who has wasted far more time than an intelligent person should on people like the above described.