Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Extras! Extras! Read all about it!

Casting is underway for our feature comedy film The Whole Truth, which we're shooting in Seattle, and wow, do we need *extras.*

Especially extras who know their way around a film set.

Or people with a special look. Young, older, any race, any size.

If you're a non-union actor or a responsible person looking for a great filming experience, please send your headshot or a recent photo, along with your contact information and a little background or a resume by June 19 to:

Matt Schmidt
Asst., Colleen Patrick
11328 28th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125

You'll be asked to do a brief audition.

The shoot should start near the end of August, and go for six weeks; extras will work from just one day up to four or five, depending on your scenes.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

The script is finished!


The Whole Truth script is off to the unit production manager (UPM), who's breaking down the budget and shooting schedule.

Now I'll go to work writing my next feature, Ghost Hound, and we're getting the crew together for The Whole Truth.

As soon as the budget and shooting schedule are up, we roll our sleeves up and it's off location scouting and putting all the pieces of the preproduction puzzle together so we'll be ready to have a great time shooting the film.

I've been drumming up good will around Seattle, telling people I'll be shooting a fun feature this fall in case they want to help us out, since we'll need lots of extras for a couple scenes, and we want real Seattle-ites mixing it up with actors so it's fun for the whole city.

We're now looking for a great, experienced Director of Photographer who hopefully has working with comedy in his or her background; we're shooting 35mm film. We should find him or her soon.

Lots of information will have to be confidential for awhile relating to casting -- but for now, I've listed the colors I think would set off each character in the milieu of the set pieces, as well as listed a musical instrument that I believe represents each character well.

We've got an unbelievable composer aboard - more about him later. He's in LA, but working long distance with composers is not a big deal to me. I've worked with composers in Manchester, England and Toronto, Canada.

God bless the internet and Skype.com!

OK - I'm going to take the rest of the evening off; I have an actors' seminar to conduct tomorrow (Saturday) and an improv group I've been invited to watch tomorrow evening on Bainbrindge Island. I'll give you a review - it reportedly features a remarkable, talented group of performers. I need an entertainment break!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Extras! Extras! See all about it!

I treated myself to viewing seasons #1 and #2 of Ricky Gervais' incredible, hilarious, Emmy-winning BBC/HBO creation, "Extras," about background, lineless actors - "extras" - and their struggles to make a living as well as get ahead in show biz as "real actors." Those who have lines.

Pictured here, the Extras core cast l-r: Ashley Jensen, Ricky Gervais, long time Gervais collaborator Stephen Merchant and Shaun Williamson.

Each episode features at least one A-level star put in the position of ridiculing themselves and their coworkers so sharply and over the top, I keep hoping that audiences actually know the megastars he casts are nothing like the characters they portray as themselves!

In the show featuring Orlando Bloom, Bloom "as himself" skewered Johnny Depp mercilessly, describing how horrendous it was to work with him and how he could not understand why people think Depp is such a great actor, making fun of his scissors props and other props his notable characters have used.

Kate Winslet as the chain-smoking naughty nun is priceless.

I do worry if the British show is a bit inside. I fall on the floor laughing at things I've seen, experienced, and know go wrong along the way working on or making a show or film, then wonder if real people in the audience understand how funny it all is because Gervais shows how just about everything *does not* work and why.

Typically, Gervais takes on all the verboten subjects in the most twisted way: racism, politics, homophobia, materialism, celebrity, classism, looksism sexism - all the "ism's," in fact, along with the usual deception, deceit, betrayal, failure, success and camp that is show biz.

One of the things I appreciate about this show in comparison to his original smash hit, The Office, is that Gervais' Extras character has a broader range of emotions, surrounded by people who don't share his depth or see themseleves realistically as he does (and despite himself ends up loving them anyway).

Unlike The Office, however, audiences were steeled for comedy when Extras hit the air. They didn't know The Office was a comedy until well into the first season. Viewers in the UK took it as a serious documentary about a typically dysfunctional office. When they realised it was a joke, they laughed long and loudly.

Suffering as his character does in every episode, we are left with the punch line of a very old joke: What? And quit show biz?

This response comes at the end of a very long story told by a circus clean-up man who follows the elephants and other animals in the parades, cleaning up after all the sick and bodily elimination in their cages, getting paid nearly nothing; worse, he's kicked around by everyone with whom he works - all of whom disrespect him.

Finally, the frustrated listener asks, "Good heavens! Why don't you get another job!?" (Review punch line.)

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