If you have to wait on others to do the work of making email banners, Youtube trailers, flyers, audio, interviews and podcasts all necessary to promote your next project, then you are handing over power as well as unnecessary money. Of course there are times when getting the professionals in is worth it, I will get my art director in to design and create the flyer for my next solo show, but when you just want to send an email out about some new work or give people a heads up, being able to add a quick visual or send them to a new webpage you have just set up gives you so much power over your own career. No waiting on their schedule, no worries about budget, just dream, do and send out!
Having full use of the tools of our trade is hugely helpful. I have taught myself various software as I have gone along and I know I could do with more in-depth learning to market and make my own work. With the advent of Apple’s iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband and Logic suddenly all the basic tools are in everyone’s hands which is why a large proportion of creatives use Macs, especially those starting out.
As a very basic, can you…
- Set up your own blog or website
- Add posts, events, images as you need to your website
- Use basic photo editing to make flyers for your events or to publicize your next public performance
- Use basic camera and movie editing equipment to make mini trailers to pop onto Youtube and your own website about your projects and forthcoming work
- Use audio equipment to record interviews, podcasts and possibly make music or suitable sound effects.
- Add video, audio, photos and interviews to your website
- Add a landing Page to your website with details of your next project or sale of new work?
- Are there other software or hardware tools that would make you better at creating? From Scrivener, Photoshop, one of those printers that pre-cut?
What is the next software tool that would be most useful for you to be able to use easily, either for making your work or for promotion? Have a think about whether a class, looking online for tuition or just old fashioned trying and yelling at it whilst trying to make something (my preferred option ;-)) is best for you. Let me know – remember the more power in your hands the better! Also in knowing even the basics then the more intelligent and informed conversations you can have with the experts when you are ready to bring them on board or have the budget to bring them in to take the work to the next level.
Day two of being an actress: Auditionee, self taper, movie editor, Youtube uploader
So today I had two auditions to self –tape and get sent off to the casting directors. One was sent to me Thursday and had to be in by end of today (yes it is a Sunday over a bank holiday weekend) and the other audition was something I had delayed as I knew they were taking ages to make a decisions. However once I had organised for my fellow actor, friend and neighbour, the lovely and very talented David Scott-Lucas to find time to pop down to read in the other characters for me, I used the chance to do both at the same time.
I did the taping at lunchtime, natural daylight is always best given I do not have a proper home studio or lighting kit, just my digital camera that also records HD video. I am learning that lighting is an art form and it can make or break how you look on screen. Apparently various actresses in the classic old movies would have affairs with the lighting men to assure they looked amazing on screen! Rather than that, I probably should consider investing in a mini lighting kit at home but it can cost thousands.
I then popped out with a friend for walks, some rose wine, food etc and then staggered back home at 9pm on a Sunday to then edit the recorded clips, just top and tailing them, adding my details and uploading them to where was required.
I don’t like to do too many takes as I like to keep the freshness. I actually prefer to do face to face or Skype auditions rather than self-taping as at least then you get the chance to have a chat and break the ice, rather than just sending off a tape of yourself and no actual communication other than email!
I am much quicker now at editing movie clips using iMovie than I used to be though I do know that it would be very useful to be better. I have a dream of editing my own showreel so I could add clips as I want. I went to a proper showreel edit suite to do my current showreel as great editors understand pace, the structure of the sections, overlaying the dialogue to move smartly from one frame to another and also delicately editing within the clips themselves which was necessary as there was some shocking over-acting from one character that turned the piece into stock comedy rather than a dramatic piece! The professionals are worth the cost I think on the big stuff until you are there yourself and my showreel is, even more than my headshot, the most important part of my marketing.
So yes there is always room for professionals to make your work better but when it is self-taping auditions, I can’t afford to wait to go to a proper film studio to do them in a well-lit studio or edit the beginnings or ends as I scramble to turn the video on. Hence the basic skills of this is super useful, as well as it can be fun!
This below little Youtube clip I did on a plane to Montreal, Canada as I was doing a few cabaret/comedy solo shows there. I used the great stills I did with Martin Butterworth, who art directed it, added the background as well as made the club AND modelled and Graham Humphreys took the shots. I spent that flight giggling to myself adding captions and coming up with ideas. It certainly drew people to the show and it was a fun offshoot of the show!
If you want to get involved with this project of tracking the next 100 days of being an actor, singer, writer, film-maker, painter etc then here are the full details. Or just start today and I would love to hear what you are up to!
100 days of being a creative
100 days of being an actress: Day 2 self-taper & movie editor
If you have to wait on others to do the work of making email banners, Youtube trailers, flyers, audio, interviews and podcasts all necessary to promote your next project, then you are handing over power as well as unnecessary money.