Casting Directors Who Would Have Been Considered For The Oscar In 2016

Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for past few years of Oscars, we have tipped our hats and given kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture.  In honor of there being 'no small roles', this years list also includes the local hire casting directors who fill out the tapestry of each picture with much of the supporting cast. Now, let’s check out which CDs would have been in the running this year… for the 2016 Academy Awards!

88th Academy Awards™ 2015 (Presented in 2016)   

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Where Focus Goes...

An old saying that always rings true to me is “where focus goes, energy flows”.  This can be applied to many aspects of your acting career.  Are you keeping aware of the projects currently casting?  Are you attending film festivals and other networking events? Do you know which casting directors are working on each film and series you are targeting?

Increasing the degree to which you have your finger on the pulse of the industry has long been known to help manifest jobs, coincidental meetings, and unexpected opportunities.  The consistent success of vision boards is a perfect example of this. 

Though, I’m sure you’ve already heard all that jazz…  it’s pretty common knowledge.

Now, I’d like to introduce the possibility that the PEOPLE you are interacting with in the industry are a direct result of your focus.  What I mean is, if you feel the film industry is filled with a certain type of person – sleazy, closed off, rude, snobby, ego driven, scammy – it is because that is what YOU are choosing to focus on when out and about in the industry.

I would guess that for every one egotistical actor you meet, you’re also likely meeting ten really cool ones who just love their craft and love what they do.  For every one sleazy director you meet, I’m sure you also meet twenty who just want to make great movies.

Yet some actors choose to focus on the tiny minority of negative people they meet, as opposed to the vast majority who are actually pretty awesome.   It’s like they’re deciding in advance that ‘everyone’ is a certain way, then finding proof of their ‘story’ at every opportunity, ignoring any evidence that contradicts it.

Take a moment to think of how you perceive the industry and your fellow industry members.   Is it negative, or positive?  Do you feel filmmakers are open to new talent, or not?  Do you feel successful actors are supportive of each other, or not?  Does it feel open, or closed off?  I guarantee, whatever you are finding, is exactly what you are choosing to see. 

With this in mind, I’d like to ask you to try a little exercise and write down the following:

  • Seven filmmakers or CDs who have been nice to you or been open to watching your demo
  • Ten times an actor helped you with something you needed a hand on
  • Twelve times someone in the industry supported you, helped you or complimented you

Really take the time to think about this and write the list.  As I’m sure you know, law of attraction will bring to you more of what you focus on.  By finding and focusing on the great things, more great things will come to you.

Now that you have this list, wouldn’t it be nice to shoot a little note to each of them?  Not asking if they have any projects casting or whether they’re working on anything and not bragging about your recent work.  Just asking how they are, as a fellow human and perhaps thanking them for that time they did something above and beyond that made your journey a little easier.  Maybe you could even ask if there’s anything you could help them with too? 

A thank you is a wonderful way to reach out to a person you may have lost touch with, and reciprocation is so important in an industry like ours. 

I’m going to leave it at that… I think you get the idea.  Lets work to see the industry community as being filled with more love than we imagined.  Then lets do a little something like this… just to make sure it is.

Sending love from the madness of pilot season in Hollywood ;)

- Kym Jackson (IMDB)

Learn how to succeed in your acting career today at: HollywoodsGuide.com

Remember To Live Your Life

Today I was writing my list of New Year goals.  What I want to do in the next twelve months.  I started writing the typical actor list: “book a series regular role on TV”, “take another six weeks of groundlings classes”, “finish the new book website” “save x amount of money”.

I had around eight things on my list when I realized my upcoming year sounded about as interesting as sorting beige buttons into matching shade piles.

Acting is such an amazing and wonderful thing to be passionate about (read: obsessed with), and we are so often laughing off the idea of a nine to five job as boring, uncreative, and soul destroying.  The funny thing is though, without a 5pm to ‘knock off’ at, or a Friday to look forward to, my creative friends often neglect to find time to switch off from their career.  Ironically, those same people who are so afraid of working an eight hour day, frequently end up working a sortof half assed twelve hour day each day instead… and for six or seven days a week.

How interesting is an actor to watch who has done nothing but acting classes and networking events for the past year or so?  What life can we bring to a character if we’ve forgotten how to live our lives?

This also applies to networking… When you meet someone and ask what they’ve been up to lately, would you rather hear how many auditions they’ve just had and of the five scenes they did in some film… or about the amazing whale shark they saw scuba diving last weekend, or a story about their crazy tandem partner on their holiday skydiving in Hawaii?

On your New Years list this year… why not add some fun stuff?  Add some big life goals alongside those career goals.  Things you’ve always wanted to do – surfing lessons, seeing China, or India, or Iceland, visiting the Grand Canyon, volunteering for a charity, or horseback riding naked on the beach. 

It’s a fine line to walk between work and fun but it is so important that you live your life while you chase your dreams, not afterwards. 

If money is a problem, take a weekend holiday.  Switch off and book a cheap Air BNB in a city close enough to drive to.  Then find something awesome to do there!  LA is just a few hours drive from Joshua Tree (camping), Palm Springs (day spas), Vegas (hangovers), San Diego (scuba diving), Santa Barbara (skydiving), Big Bear (snowboarding) … even Mexico (margaaaaaritas!) and San Francisco (Alcatraz)!  Take 48 hours away from your ‘craft’, reset yourself, and just be YOU.

I get it… sometimes there really is no time to switch off… sometimes there’s just too much work.  But, that doesn’t mean you have to hide at home and avoid the world for two months at a time. 

Much of our work is a laptop lifestyle.  There’s no reason you can’t get out of your comfy Hollywood apartment and drive to a nice hotel lobby or cafe by the beach, order a coffee, and spend the day by the water, working.  Next time you have a script or two to read, pack a picnic, hike to a beautiful view, and read it somewhere fun.  Maybe you can learn those forty pages of lines for your next film on a beach  instead of pacing in your bedroom.

Adding big goals to your list means even if you fall short, you will be more likely to find little adventures along the way. They big ones may seem out of reach now, but what if you just ignore the potential limitations and add them anyway?  Why not plan as though you will have the money this year?  That you will make the time?  You never know what this next year has in store for you, so whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do, big or small, add it to your list, today. 

If you don’t, another year might slip by waiting for enough money, or the right time, or your big break… and then another year… and then all of a sudden you’re one of those old actors who forgot to live a real life on the side. 

If you do make your list awesome, you might not do everything you plan.  You might not make it to Everest this year but maybe you’ll camp in Joshua tree instead... You might not skydive in Hawaii but Santa Barbara has a nice drop… you might not make Iceland before Easter… but then again…

Then again…

Oh, just think how much fun will it be if you do! ;)  

By Kym Jackson

Creating Your Own Content

I recently worked with a phenomenal comedic actor who had been faced with a problem. A couple of years ago, Rob Schneider was the star of the CBS sitcom ‘Rob’. For any other network, 10-13 million viewers per episode would be huge, but CBS has high expectations of their sitcoms, and they pulled the show after one season due to ‘low ratings’.

After having a TV show cancelled, almost every other lead actor in the history of television has simply walked away and waited for the next job. It would be easy for Rob to have justified doing just this, or becoming a victim, or even, as many do, falling into a ‘woe is me’ depression.

As an actor, it’s easy to fall into the victim mentality with your career. “they’re only hiring names”, “my agent isn’t getting me out” “we shouldn’t have to pay to meet casting directors”. Many actors talk as though the industry is against them and often refer to how ‘unfair’ it all is.

And those actors are completely correct. The film and TV industry IS unfair! Yes, producers will often hire a bankable name if it will make them more money than hiring you. Yes, your agent could probably be doing more for you. And yes, it does suck that most actors have to spend thousands of dollars a year to meet casting directors.

So, now we’ve cleared that up, you have two choices:

1. Sit around with your actor friends and complain about it, validating your plight with evidence and examples of why you aren’t being given a fair go.

Or:

2. Accept it, and fight your way forward anyway.

Your complaints are 100% valid. The question is: how are you going to make sure you succeed in spite of all these challenges?

When faced with the challenge of having his show cancelled, Rob Schneider gathered his strength, gathered his friends, gathered the finance, and put everything he had into creating and producing his own newer, funnier, better ‘Rob’-centric sitcom than the CBS show.

Not producing the show with a big TV network meant more freedom with dirty, silly jokes and inappropriate references that could make the show even more hilarious. Creating it himself meant cutting huge costs because he was the most expensive line item in the budget. It meant he could ask his actor friends to help out with their time, and his industry friends to connect him to myriad other resources.

Rob Schneiders’ new show ‘Real Rob’ premiered on Netflix worldwide December 1st, and it is hilarious (I personally mimed some things no person should ever mime). He took what could have been a career blow, and turned it into a massive accomplishment and himself into a TV show creator.

It sounds scary, taking things into your own hands… You’re not a filmmaker (yet), how could you possibly make a web series, or write a TV show, or create a film? Well, I have some news for you…

You are a storyteller. We all are. Our job is to make people laugh… to perform for them… to enhance the human experience by allowing the viewer to live vicariously through our tales, our characters, our life lessons we feel compelled to share.

You are an entrepreneur. You are already running (producing) your own business. You know dialogue and character, which can come in handy when writing a screenplay. Think of how many cast and crew you already know who can guide you, help out, and introduce you to any number of the right people along the way.

You already have the resources and basic skills to write a killer script and to gather a team to create something imperfectly beautiful. It doesn’t have to be perfect… A funny or die skit, a short film, a series of vine videos, or even a new web series!

You have it in you to take your career into your own hands and create your own work. So, do something right now… the second you finish reading this post. Pick up a pen, take out your laptop, send that email or make a phone call and get started creating your own project – this minute. Don’t think fifty steps ahead to how you’ll end up making it… those answers will come in time. Just start now.

Tina Fey did it, Ed Burns did it, Rob Schneider did it, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did it… they were all just like you. Sure they weren’t ready… scared to get started… scared to write that first word or show their script to anyone.

The only difference is they did it anyway…

And I promise, my creative, amazing, actor friend…

I promise you can too.

By Kym Jackson

www.hollywoodsguide.com

 

Focusing Your Passion

My creative friends are my most passionate.  They become passionate about topics of discussion, about their friend’s romantic situations, their partners behavior, other people’s life choices or opposing views in a social media post. 

Passion is amazing, and I love that these people are in my life.  I only wonder, every now and then, what their lives would be… where they would end up… if that passion were focused toward their dreams instead.  

See, these same people who talk to me for hours about their broken love life, or the behavior of some person they know… these same people are the ones who can’t figure out why their career isn’t moving forward… why their dreams aren’t coming true.  

Their conversations run a mile a minute about so many topics of discontent and so many things that pull their mental energy.  I wonder how on Earth the Universe will ever weed through all that noise to find the one little piece of them that is screaming to be heard.  Yelling with its tiny voice “but I want to be an actor” “but I’m an amazing storyteller” “but I’m meant to change the world”

Immense passion is one of the best traits a life can be blessed with.  To embrace and be driven by your heart and how deeply you care is a beautiful way to be.  

To focus that passion in one direction?  

Now, that… that could change the world.


-Kym Jackson (Author - The Hollywood Survival Guide)

www.TheHollywoodSurvivalGuide.com

Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2015

Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, we have tipped our hats and given kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture in the past ten years.  Today, let’s check out which CDs would have been in the running this year… for the 2015 Academy Awards!

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2014

Day 9 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… today let’s check out who it was last year… in 2014… 

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2013

Day 8 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… today let’s check out who it was in 2013… 

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2012

Day 7 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… today let’s check out who it was in 2012… 

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2011

Day 6 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… today let’s check out who it was in 2010… 

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2010

Day 5 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… today let’s check out who it was in 2010…

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2009

Day 4 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… today let’s check out who it was in 2009…

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2008

Day 3 of our 10 day countdown…Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… in 2008

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2007

Day 2 of our 10 day countdown…

Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  

So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture… in 2007.

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Casting Directors who would have been considered for the Oscar in 2006

Day 1 of our 10 day countdown…

Wouldn’t it be great if the Academy Awards finally included a category for casting directors?  The best actors are only able to perform at their best with a stellar cast to work alongside, the best picture would rarely be the best if the whole cast wasn’t amazing, and they say a large portion of a directors job is selecting the right cast.  

So… for the ten days leading up to the Oscars, lets tip our hats and give kudos to every casting director whose project was nominated for an Oscar for acting, directing, or best picture.  Starting…  in 2006. 

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What Defines a Studio Film?

As the name implies, a studio film is partially or wholly financed and/or produced by a film studio. This means that in addition to producers being involved in the decision making processes, studio executives also have a say on things like casting, script changes, and allocation of funds.

By definition, a ‘film studio’ is simply a large production company that has its own hard equity (actual money), and is capable of distributing and advertising its own projects worldwide.

The major studios are Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Paramount, Dreamworks, Fox, and Sony. A ‘mini-major’ is a film studio that produces fewer projects, often works with smaller budgets, and functions on a smaller scale in most areas than the major studios. Mini-major studios include Summit, Revolution, Lakeshore, Lionsgate and the Weinstein Company.

A major studio won’t usually produce or finance films with budgets under $20 million. Most studios have smaller independent arms that make projects with budgets from $6 million to $20 million. The mini majors will also work in the $6 million to $20 million range. You won’t often find a film with a budget lower than $6 million being produced by a studio. A studio may come on board to distribute the film, but it would be rare for them to be involved in the financing or production of a project that small.

Not every film with a budget over $20 million is a studio film; there are some anomalies. For instance, Oliver Stone produced ‘Alexander’ for around $160 million dollars without the backing of a studio. This would therefore be considered an independent film regardless of the size of its budget.

Commercial Residuals

Commercial pay cycles run for 13 weeks. Payments are sent directly to the actor or representation, NOT to SAGAFTRA. If the commercial is not a ‘buy out’, residuals for commercials are paid for each airing.
Payments for each airing are on a sliding scale, ie: the ‘cost per airing’ is much higher for airings #1 - #10 than for airings #50 - 60. This continues until the cycle maximum (3000 airings). IF the production company wishes to continue using the commercial after the 13 weeks, the payment scale resets and they must pay for each airing from the top of the payment structure. This is known as a ‘roll over’ as the commercial ‘rolls over’ into the next payment cycle, and a nice shiny new check arrives in the mail.

Cable TV
Payment for all intended airings within a cycle is due 15 days after the date the commercial first airs. This first air date is considered the beginning of the first 13 week cycle. The next payment is due 15 days after the beginning of the 2nd cycle, and so on for every cycle.

Network TV
Network TV residuals are based on a 7 day payment period, running from Monday to Sunday. Whatever airs within those 7 days is due 15 days after the first Sunday following the initial airing of the commercial. The next payment is due 7 days after the following Sunday for all usage within that week, and so on. Although payments are being made every week, the payment rate sheet still resets (rolls over) after each 13 week cycle.

Understanding Residuals

SAGAFTRA.org defines residuals as “compensation paid to performers for use of a theatrical motion picture or television program beyond the use covered by initial compensation”.

Principal performers recieve residuals; background actors do not. You will not recieve residuals for an initial release; you are paid residuals when the project is sold in markets other than the initial intended market.

So, if a SAGAFTRA film is made to be released in theaters, actors do not get residuals when the film comes out in theaters. This is because their initial paycheck already included a release in that ‘media market’. The residuals are paid when that film sells in another media market, including DVD, VOD, cable, TV or new media. TV episodes, your initial paycheck covers the first airing and residuals are paid on subsequent airings.

When Are Residuals Paid?
SAGAFTRA.org/content/residuals-faq states “For TV work, residuals begin once a show starts re-airing or is released to video/DVD, pay television, broadcast TV, basic cable, or new media. For film work, residuals begin once the movie appears on video/DVD, basic cable and free or pay television, or new media.”

When Will the Check Arrive?
Residuals are sent to SAG and processed (for up to sixty days) before being sent to the actor. SAGAFTRA.org/content/residuals-faq states the following regarding when residuals are due to SAG from each production:

“For projects made for TV then released to:
•    Network TV, non-network TV - 30 days after air date.
•    Syndication - 4 months after air date
•    Foreign free to air - up to 30 days after producer obtains knowledge of first foreign telecast and never later than 6 months after that first telecast
•    Basic Cable - Quarterly when the producer receives revenue
•    Supplemental Markets - 4 months after initial exhibition, then quarterly

When are Residuals Sent to SAG by the Production
For projects made for theatrical then released to:
•    Network Prime Time - 30 days after initial broadcast, then quarterly when the producer receives revenue
•    Free TV, Non-Network - 4 months after initial broadcast, then quarterly when the producer receives revenue
•    Supplemental Markets - 4 months after initial exhibition, then quarterly when the producer receives revenue”