Archive for movies

“We all wanna be big, big stars”.

Posted in just for the bull of it, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

oscarI recently responded to one of SHARON’S comments with the notion that blogging allows us to see things as others see them and as a result, sometimes, our views are changed.  Keeping with that flow, I’ll add that by visiting other blogs consistently, we are allowed into each others’ worlds and get an understanding as to who they are.  So, let me tell you a well-kept secret about Freedom:  over and above being a writer, he’s also an actor.  That’s right – I was in the movie “INVINCIBLE”, about Vince Papaldi, a bartender from Philly, who wanted to be on the EAGLES’ football team, tried out, and reached his goal.  By some odd quirk of fate, I’ve never seen that movie to date.

I was on the set again this past Sunday in an action-adventure film, and it was an experience, to say the least.  The temp here was about 20 degrees, and we were filming outside.  Oh, btw, I’ve actually only played extras in movies, so, I’m not really an actor, I was just frontin’.  However, by being on he set, it allows me to get the inside scoop on making films, as that is my true desire – to one day make a movie or two, or three.

The reason that I mentioned the extra work in movies is that in this failing economy, with so many folks out of work or in between jobs, it can become a lucrative venture, with a minimum of work.  Yes – Freedom got paid for being a nameless, nearly faceless body in a movie.  So can you.  There is no experience necessary, and there is little to no upfront money to put out.  Now, when I say “upfront money”, I simply mean the expense of obtaining an 8×10 glossy of oneself and getting it to the right people.  Two things that are definitely required are a driver’s license (or state photo ID), and a Social Security card (not a copy, nor just the number – but the card itself).  Where does one start?  First, you GOOGLE “casting directors” for your city.  Beware:  casting directors are in for the money and are always offering classes, seminars, and the like at a fee.  Unless you plan to make acting a career, don’t waste your money – non-participation does not disqualify you for work.  Secondly, you visit their webpage and sign-up (it’s free).  At that point, you can sit back and wait for a call or you can check back now and then to see what’s happening.  Oftentimes, they have a “cattle call” in which they put an ad in the paper asking for extras to show up.  Therefore, it pays to check.drama-masks

Here’s a little tidbit to remember:  just because you qualify, don’t be too quick to join the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG). I currently have three (3) film credits, which qualifies me to become a member.  First and foremost, the entry fee is $2277, plus a yearly fee of $58!!  Secondly, after becoming a member, you are only allowed to do “extra work” a few times during the year.  That means that if you intend to make “extra work” a lucrative venture, joining will not be of much benefit to you.  There are, however, advantages to being a member of SAG, such as preferential treatment, no long lines to stand in, and prominent parts in movies.  I have no interest in obtaining a “featured” role, therefore, I never joined.  To be forthright about it, unless you intend to get into the field of acting, I’d say don’t bother.

A typical day on the set as an extra involves hours of reading your favorite book, catching up on homework or that office work that you brought home, or finishing a ton of cryptograms puzzles.  Yes – there is an awful lot of “downtime” and waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Needless to say, one has to have a bit of patience.  This past weekend, as I stated, it was 20 degrees outside.  The building in which we waited (appropriately named “holding”) was cold.  We filmed on the subway and IT was cold.  On the set of “INVINCIBLE”, we filmed during the summer.  We sat in a non-covered football stadium with temperatures soaring to 104 degrees!!!  Believe it or not, I enjoyed the heat.  I hated the cold of this past weekend with a passion.  Why did I endure it all?  Did I mention that Freedom got paid?  For doing nothing?

There is another very valuable perk to being on the set – the food!!  Breakfast is usually very boring.  Lunch mostly turns out much better, but the dinners!!!  Oh, the dinners!!! If you are lucky enough to get called to a major motion picture set, bring your appetite and hope that filming runs through dinner time.  You won’t regret it in the least.

Well, there you have it.  Are you out of work or in between jobs?  Do you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands?  Most work is done on the weekends, so if you work but have weekends off, it can still be of benefit to you.   So, what in the world are you waiting for?  Get out there and get your 15 minutes of fame!  GOOGLE!!!!

Like COUNTING CROWS say in “MR. JONES”: “We all wanna be big, big stars”.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Links that I’ve used for the Philadelphia area:  Diane Heery Casting, and  Mike Lemon Casting

Drama masks from Kempners.

Oscar photo from

Day 12 (Blade Runner)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

In June of 1982, Ridley Scott’s masterpiece was released in theaters:  Blade Runner.  Between that time and now, the total number of versions has grown to three (3).  There is the theatrical release, the Director’s Cut, and the Final Cut.  I have seen the original about three times, and the Director’s cut about fifteen times.  I have yet to see the Final Cut.  There were actually seven (7) different versions created for different theater settings, but, only three that can be found on disc.  Blade Runner is, by far, my choice as favorite movie of ALL time! To say that I love this movie goes so far beyond understatement.

This is the story:  In the future, man has gotten so good at genetics that practically everything that one can buy, has been duplicated, particularly live things such as animals, reptiles, and, yes – humans.  Science has has come up with “close to perfect” copies of human beings, called “replicants”.  These replicants are uniquely different than the other types of copies – they have an extremely finite lifespan of four (4) years. Their lifespan is so short that they are infused with memories, so that they believe that they’ve been around for quite some time.  The problem is that some of these replicants (clearly more intelligent than true humans) are not satisfied with their finite lifespan, and seek answers, or more precisely, seek the answer to further longevity.  They escape the planet that they were assigned to and come to Earth.  Enter the Blade Runner.

A “Blade Runner” is a highly trained policeman who is very adept at locating and killing these replicants.  Replicants are not allowed on Earth, therefore, upon their illegal return, a Blade Runner is sent to “round” them up, as in “kill”.  After two other Blade Runners have failed in their attempts to kill the replicants, Rick Decker is called in.  Decker (played magnanimously by Harrison Ford) is the proverbial “reluctant hero”, who happens to be better than all the rest.  He therefore, reluctantly tracks these replicants, learning more in the process than he had bargained for.

I’ll stop there, in the event that you have not seen this fantastic movie, so as not to spoil it for you.  If you are, even in the very least sense, a Sci-Fi fan, this movie will definitely rank high up on your list of favorites, as goes Sci-Fi.  The adventure of the movie is awesome, but, to me, the characters that were written for this movie are absolutely top-rate.  Each is uniquely different than any characters that you may have come across in the past.

Although this movie was made a long time ago, it is still as vibrant, weird, and mind-blowing as it was when it first came out.  That weekend in 1982.  That day that it came out when I was there in the audience.  Yeah – it’s still as wonderful as that day after all this time.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Flava of the Day is “SHOOP” by Salt N Pepa