This is based on a few ongoing conversations on Facebook with the amazing Tex Rabel Aspiring Filmmaker. *Problems making movies in a right to work state with limited incentives. There are so many problems. I’ll start with us being a right to work state. Because of that I’ve never been able to make a living here. So I’ve lived in L.A. but my husband is here so I came back. The only way for me to work was then to spend all of my time in Louisiana. Spending thousands in travel and even making thousands I don’t always break even. Gas, emergency flights for callbacks, taxis. A round trip costing around $480. Just to work. So now I’m doing my first short film and I barely have a budget. I’ve been lucky if I break even and that’s with some good work out of town. So I haven’t banked anything to start making films. I again go to my piggy bank to pull up whatever I can and then I’m stressed that I can barely afford anything. The other option is not doing anything at all. From what I hear, some filmmakers here have a bad reputation. Is that true or are people bad mouthing others that don’t deserve it. Is it because they’re really are just scraping by with good intentions to make movies or are they using the situation of limited resources to use others? I don’t know but it makes me scared to step my toe in the water. I want to do good work and do well by people. I already have a business Diamond Cutters International which is known for treating others in the highest regard. That’s what I want for this company. I plan for this to be a beginning with great people. If we were a union state and had better incentives we would do better. Signed Stressed.
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We have film makers that have worked really hard and have received backing and distribution and have their projects in and on some really great venues. Then we find they cast out of Los Angeles. It’s frustrating right. Well the deal is…. that’s their deal. The money people/backers put that in as part of the deal. Before you go off in a huff, hear me for a second. The reason they are required to cast out of L.A. for the main parts is because there’s an infrastructure there for that. I’ve lived in L.A. and studied at Playhouse West under Jeff Goldblum. Acting is a way of life there. I may have only been in the classroom twice a week but you better believe that we rehearsed and studied every day. When I lived there my life consisted of class, rehearsal, studying and working out. Hell, I was 25 lbs lighter. Not a good thing. I was way too thin. You can be too immersed in something. I know we have other lives here and we have to pay the bills. You know what, most actors in L.A. are starving actors too. They have to work a full time job too. Now with that being said, it’s probably 4 or 5 part time jobs that equal 1 so they can get the flexibility to audition. There are a few actors who have that mindset here. We’ll need more. And we’ll need the support around us to do it. I’m not saying I have all the answers but I do have some observations and experience. When we have more experience and know how things work, only then can we work to change them. You’re not Superman and Wonder Woman. It’s going to take a very long time to make the changes we want to make here but we can do a lot. Louisiana is now the host of most of the films being made. When I started acting 16 years ago, UPN, MTV as well as other networks came here to film. We want that again. Astronaut Wives is coming in the fall to film here. Of course the main parts are cast out of L.A. but we ‘should’ have the opportunity to show ourselves in the smaller parts to the point where if they get picked up as a show over time the casting directors get more pull and start using us for larger and larger roles because they saw us and said – dang, those Texans really have something to offer (this goes for any city you’re in). We have to work our asses off. Remember this is a business and business is about the bottom line. We have to make their jobs easier when they get here. Not just for them but for our local film makers as well. We have to bring our A game so they can show it to the backers and they begin to trust that we can do the job. Here’s to getting us stronger, working together, believing in ourselves and showing them they can believe in us too.
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As a burgeoning Filmmaker I’m learning so many things. Some we’ve been told. Some we haven’t. But being on this side I see it in a different light and I finally get it. As I go along I’m going to share insights with you. As actors we drive ourselves insane internally. I hope this helps to change that … this is from an actor foremost to my actor friends.
I will always start out the intro the same when I make the new post for people who may have not seen the last one and don’t know what’s going on. Here’s to learning, taking it all in and being easier on ourselves. Put in the best work you can. Go in as your greatest you and then let it go.
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