Inktip Update; Logline published in Newsletter

I just received an e-mail from Inktip that impressed me quite a bit, mostly because I’m always surprised that there are people making sure the website is running the way it should.

Subject: Regarding ‘Bible Con’

Dear Ashley,

Your script was chosen to be published in yesterday’s industry newsletter, along with six other loglines. This is a newsletter received by thousands of our entertainment pro clients and is designed to garner more exposure for our writers.

In any case, though we do not judge our writers’ materials, I did notice that you placed your award mention at the bottom of your logline. I thought it might be beneficial for me to tell you that when those are posted higher (at the top of the logline), they can tend to do better. In other words, what’s at the very top of your logline will get read the most, because it requires less reading and no scrolling–currently, your great achievment [sic] is hiding below the scroll.

I hope that you got some hits from yesterday’s newsletter, and please let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts.

Best,
Gato Scatena

Take it as a lesson, people, impressive awards first, actually content second!  :)

EDIT: In response to my thank you e-mail I got this.

Hi Ashley,

No worries for the tip. One other thing I see work: keep a close eye on the successes every week to see what kind of materials are currently getting picked up. It’s never a bad idea to modify or shape your logline to accomidate [sic] current successful trends–the ultimate goal with the logline is more about getting them to read your script than it is convincing them to buy the script without reading.

Have a good day and let me know if you have any questions.

I <3 this person.

Curtis on Working the Door; Naughty Kitchen

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3478074&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Naughty Kitchen: Review

A crazy bad review. I think this person has gone a bit off the deep end, but I understand why he didn’t really like the show.  I couldn’t keep any of my male friends in the room while it was on.  The girls seemed OK with it.

My complaints about the show were all about structure.  I think the people within the show seem interesting but the pacing and storyline seemed jumpy and unfocused.  I didn’t really understand what the show was about, it had no through line.  I mean, the review was supposed to be the through line, but I never even got the sense of what sort of timeline this was happening in.  They should make everything feel like “A week in the life” or something, even if they’re faking more interesting events into a week than actually happen.

And it was frustrating, a lot of the people who seem really interesting, I don’t feel like I got to see at all.  Not much Curtis or Sam or Kerri.  And while I like Blythe, she can be a little grating if she’s all you get to see for an hour — and I’d have liked to hear more from her that didn’t sound like she was reading something the producer had written for her to say.  This didn’t feel very real at all.

I’m hoping the next show will be a lot better because it’ll be all about Blythe trying to make a comeback from this review, which will give it some cohesion.

I think that Blythe being on TV is great, I think it’s good to have some females on TV who aren’t thin, gorgeous, or nice but still manage to be talented and successful.  Blythe is very much a woman in a man’s world and she’s really rough around the edges, I just hope the show will let us see what’s beneath the gruff, pink exterior.

Also, isn’t Curtis the cutest thing?  My roommate thinks he should be a model or go on Project Runway.

Curtis, Me, and Amanda

Curtis, Me, and Amanda

Writing Update; Inktip; Web Series

Two weeks into having my script up on Inktip, I finally got a synopsis view.  Of the 12 companies that have seen my logline, one chose to look at it.  I’m guessing those are fairly normal numbers.  Of course, I also get the feeling that every company that’s found my logline is either a horror production company or a Jesusy production company.  Sorry, guys, not Jesusy.  So far, not at all impressed with Inktip.

I am also going to be pitching some web comedy ideas for women.  Do any of you have strong opinions on what you’d like to see more of online?

Naughty Kitchen Premiere: Tonight!

10/9c on Oxygen.

I promise to review it just as fast as possible.  You might be curious as to why I’m so obsessed.  Well, for starters, I <3 Curtis, the door whore who got openly mocked on The Soup last week.  And for seconds, Blythe Beck is essentially a drag queen.  And she’s a pale, young redhead who struggles with her weight.  I mean, I’m nowhere near as fat as she is, but I think anyone who’s ever been even a little bit fat tends to join her hatred of skinny people who ruin food.

Because skinny people ruin food with their low calorie, low taste, low life bullshit.

Hulu has some clips.  The Dallas Morning News, who gave Central 214 a terrible review (featured in Episode 1) back in the beginning of the summer, had a great review/introduction to the series.  Another decent overview here.

And for the technical minded, here is a link to a great article about the technical setup at Authentic Entertainment, the company that makes Naughty Kitchen, starring their Post Production Supervisor Will Pisnieski.

RIP Jack Finlay; I am a horrible person

Jack Finlay, a talented actor local to Tallahassee and a big supporter of the FSU Film School passed away yesterday.  More specifically, he collapsed during the Film School’s auditions and was pronounced DOA when he got to the hospital.  That’s all the information I can find.

My first thought was oh God how horrible.  I know that he’s struggled with health issues, but I think he only just turned fifty.  This is his “About Me” on Facebook:

Been through a lot; maybe more than my share. Got through all the “old man” diseases before I turned 50. I plan to live forever … so far, so good….

My second thought was thank God I wasn’t running auditions this year because I would have freaked out.  I am a horrible person.  Can you imagine that happening while you were running casting?  What if you thought it was part of the scene?  *shudder*  If it was in fact in the middle of the audition, it’s definitely on tape somewhere.  Horrifying.

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace

A portrait in how it is the little things that make a difference

I have been working at this company for just shy of one year.  I just got my first promotion from the depths of hell aka logging.  Logging is basically transcription.  It’s a potentially useful service, in that you have people who have seen all of the reality footage that a show shoots.  They write what happens so you can keyword search.

Theoretically, you could also go to the loggers with questions if you were looking for something, but none of the shows actually seek to do so.  This is a shame.  Of course, considering what they pay the loggers, that is above their expected skill level.

So, now that I’ve been promoted to Story Assistant, I actually get my own desk in it’s own cubicle.  I even have my own extension and a drawer in which I can leave things.  Apparently, these things are normal for people to have, but previously, I came in every day to a room with a few computers where I would be unable to leave, say, a jacket because it got cold, or a water bottle.  I had to get special permission to be able to put a lamp on the desk.  The room was so dark.  No windows, no skylights, no sign of whether it was day or night.

I switched to the Dvorak layout for my keyboard because I’ve been struggling with wrist problems, but gave it up because I had to physically bring in my own keyboard every day.  Couldn’t leave it.

I’m also now going to get information on the insurance policy that the company has.

So my own cubicle with it’s own set of drawers and a skylight may not seem like a paradise to many, but for me, it is so much better.  Today, people actually talked to me like I wasn’t a troll — they like my hair.  I may not be getting a pay raise, but I’m definitely getting better treatment.

For those of you curious about this Naughty Kitchen thing

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/279474

Naughty Kitchen premieres Tuesday 10/9c on Oxygen.

“Blythe is someone who was just born to be on television,” explains The Naughty Kitchen With Chef Blythe Beck Executive Producer Lauren Lexton. “We (Authentic Entertainment) really enjoyed making the food-themed shows we did before (Ace of Cake, Best Thing I Ever Ate). And, we also love doing what we call docu-soaps, which are shows about real people living their real lives. This show is just a perfect combination of both of those.”

Advice: How not to Audition; 18 things Actors shouldn’t do

I acted as Casting Director for the Thesis Films my last year of grad school and experienced the scariest audition ever. I would like to share the story, as a warning to other actors. Do not behave like this. Ever.

We called this actress, MKS, like 2 weeks before we landed in LA. She’d sent in her headshot and we’d thought her credentials at least earned her audition, but she never returned our call. When we land in LA, Scott, the casting assistant, has like 2 messages from MKS. Before we can call her back, she calls again.

She says she doesn’t know what the project is because her agent submitted it (even though she submitted through an actor’s site). So I explained what the project was and she said “That sounds dumb.” But she still scheduled an audition. I warned her that we were without internet and didn’t know how long it would be to get her the sides but that it’d probably be tomorrow.

That night, perhaps 3 hours after the initial call, she called again because she hadn’t gotten the sides yet.

During the next day’s auditions, she called like 10 times. In the last message, she said that she was going to have to cancel because she still hadn’t gotten the sides and didn’t think she’d be prepared, which was a shame because she’d be great for the role. Later in the day, Jess, other Casting Assistant, called her and said that we were in auditions and it would be much later that night that we’d be able to get her the sides. She called again to complain sometime that evening. We sent her the sides that night.

The next day, she was about 15 minutes late to her appt. We went to bring her in and she rebuked us, saying she wasn’t ready. She came in a few minutes later, loaded down with enough stuff to build a tent and give a power point presentation inside it. She set her stuff down.

She handed me her portfolio, which is really more of a modeling thing, not an acting one, but I obliged her by opening it, only to see a picture of her totally naked, full bush. I really wasn’t prepared for that. I immediately closed it and refused to pass it to my other casting staff.

Then she hands us three different resumes, one on pink paper. By each film, none of which have I heard of, “Blockbuster box office hit” is written. Other highlights include her age (19) and her skills (cat-fighting). Also, she put a glove on to go through her stuff, I guess to protect her from the paper.

She can’t find her sides, so I end up giving her my copy, which she takes with her instead of returning. She says that she’s uncomfortable doing something with so much “action acting” in it, which is why she brought some monologues she’d like to do. We say she doesn’t need to worry about the miming, just the emotions. She gets up and starts acting. Stops us a few lines in to start over. Second go through she tries to kiss the reader over the table. When she stops us again to tell us she could be so much better at it, I tell her to sit down before the reader’s girlfriend tests those previously advertised cat-fighting skills.

At some point in all of this she tells us that she’s pretty damn good and is perfect for the role. When she finally makes it through once, we say thanks. She tries to read her monologue and we all collectively go no thanks. She then makes sure we all get her business cards which are just pictures of her half naked jumping with her name on them.

After she leaves, we see her walk by once or twice while we’re holding auditions, like she’s pacing in the hallway, and Jess goes and checks to make sure she can’t find her. Tom and I start writing a horror movie about a crazy stalker actor because the other two say I can’t post the video on YouTube and no one will believe how awful she was. After a couple more auditions, Scott goes to get us lunch, an hour and a half passes, and I have to go use the restroom.

I open the door, and she is there, simply standing and waiting. “I need to talk to you.” Serious shades of Fatal Attraction here and I’m freaking out. But, I decide I really have to pee, so I go into the stall. “Do you mind if I talk to you while you’re in there?”

At this point my ability to not be sarcastic has stopped existing.

Me: No. I guess I can hear you.

MKS: It’s just that, I think I could do a lot better if you let me do this monologue. It’s Orin Ishii.

Me: Well, I think we’ve gotten what we need. The director will certainly be able to see whether you’re right for the role.

This exchange goes back and forth in various iterations. I come out of the stall.

MKS: Do you think I’ll get the part?

Me: Well, to be honest, the director is looking for someone a little bit older than you.

MKS: How old?

Me: Mid to late twenties.

MKS: Well, I know on my resume it says I’m 19, but I’m actually 23.

Me: … ok… well, its not about the number, it’s about how old you look.

MKS: But it’s just that I’m actually 23… let me show you my driver’s license.

Me: I don’t need to see your driver’s license. It’s about how old you look.

She starts going through her many bags.

MKS: Also, I’m sorry for how I look, I just started taking Accutane and it makes your skin break out before it gets better.

She rambles on. I am getting anxious and want to leave. She shoves the license in my face. I take it.

Me: Great. I’ve gotta get back to the auditions.

I hand her the license and start to leave. There are a couple of actors waiting, because I’ve been in the bathroom for like 10 minutes at this point. She comes up behind me.

MKS: Well, if he doesn’t cast me because of my age, that’s stupid. Because I am this character. I am just like her and I am great actress.

With that she leaves.

Lessons Learned:

1. Call casting people back faster than two or three weeks later
2. Don’t lie
3. Don’t call the project stupid
4. Don’t call people 15 times in one day
5. Don’t threaten the casting people
6. Don’t be late to an Audition
7. Be prepared for your Audition; don’t take 10 minutes into the audition to be settled
8. Don’t hand the Casting Director naked photos
9. Don’t print your resume on pink paper
10. Don’t have three different resumes
11. Don’t restart; if you want to do it over, ask at the end
12. Don’t try to physically touch the other reader; don’t try to kiss them
13. Don’t tell people how great you are, they won’t believe you
14. Don’t hang out outside the room after your audition is over
15. Don’t stalk the Casting Director in the bathroom
16. Don’t stalk anyone in the bathroom
17. Don’t talk to people while they’re peeing
18. Don’t lie on your resume

Darn copyright laws

They’ve already taken down that The Soup/Naughty Kitchen clip apparently. I can see it because it’s mine but apparently no one else can. Boo.

http://kanyelicious.appspot.com/http://ashleyfmiller.wordpress.com

I officially have my own cubicle at work and that is very exciting. Weird working for a place for 11 months without ever having your own space. I will now be able to leave my jacket at work for when I get cold instead of lugging it to and from work every day. Huzzah.

Girlfriend’s gonna decorate!