Friday, 21 August 2015

Preparing For Your First Audition!

You never know when you're going to get the phone call informing you that your child has an audition but when it does come you want to be prepared. It’s not unusual in the industry to only get one or two days’ notice for an upcoming audition so the time to start practising is now! There are things you can do with your child that might help give them the edge they need to land the job.

Castings – Photo shoots

At a casting for a photo shoot your child will most likely be asked to try on some clothes and pose while having their photo taken. They might be given some direction on how to do this or they may just be asked to stand there while the photo is taken. The more relaxed and natural they look the better! A good way to practice this is by having a pretend casting session at home, have your child try on some different clothes and pose for you while you take the photos.

For inspiration you could also look at some models of a similar age in catalogues and have your child try out the poses they see there, but encourage them to be natural and do what they feel comfortable with. You might also give them directions to see if they can follow your instructions. Afterwards, you can look at the photos together and decide which ones look best and they can continue working on these poses. 

You can also talk them through what they can expect on the day, and if you are unsure your agent is always there to have a chat.

Castings - Television Commercials (TVCs)

When it comes to television commercial castings there are a couple of areas you can focus on. Firstly, your child will usually have to introduce them self and say their name, age and agent while looking into the camera. You can practice this at home and watch it back, being comfortable and natural is what you are aiming for here, as well as showing a bit of personality. 

Next, your child may be asked to improvise a short scenario based on the kind of thing they would be expected to do in the commercial and possibly say a line if the job requires it. You could watch some commercials on television or YouTube and act out some small scenarios to practice their acting skills. It could be as simple as opening a box and being excited when they see what is in there or telling them to pretend to call their nana and ask for a toy they really want. Another helpful exercise is to give them an emotion and ask them to act it out, for example happy, sad, surprised or angry. You could also give them a line and ask them to repeat it using these different emotions.

You can also work on a ‘chat to camera’. This is a short video in which the child looks into the camera and tells the ‘audience’ a bit about themselves, sometimes telling a story or talking about their past experience.
The final thing you might want to practice is a confident greeting and farewell from your child when meeting new people. Looking people in the eye and saying hello, thank you and goodbye are the kinds of things that will leave a great impression and help them later in life.


Hopefully now you're armed with some tools and tricks to help your child through their first audition and hopefully that phone will be ringing with some amazing opportunities soon!  

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road




“Milling around nearby are a group of bald youths, also shirtless and wearing combat pants. They are daubed in white paint and marked with a menacing skull tattoo. Called the War Pups, they answer to a masked warlord known as Immortan Joe, who styles himself as a cult leader in the post-apocolyptic future” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2015)


There are few movie epics as grand and iconic as Mad Max, and here at Bettina Management we were lucky enough to play a small part in this enormous project. It all began in 2013 when a few of our bright stars were invited to audition for an up and coming feature film, and as you can see below, it lead to an experience of a lifetime!

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Joshua

I had an amazing time, the highlights were having an outfit especially for me, I had my own box with my name and number on it. There were many people fussing over us in costume and make up. Our make up included covering our bodies and heads in clay - we needed to shave my head bald. We needed to listen to all the instructions from the lady in charge.

We then went into the set which was a big warehouse with cameras and lights everywhere, it was interesting because the background was green and we had to pretend it was a desert and waterfall. I played a war pup and there were war boys who were looking after us and training us to be one of them.

I had the best experience and would love to do it all over again.

Thank you Bettina!


Anthony

Hi, my name is Anthony I did a shooting for a movie called Fury Road Mad Max and I had heaps of
fun. I love my role in the movie its called war pups and its cool and scary. I had heaps of fun filming the movie.


Griffin
I had a really good time onset for Fury Road. I was a 'war pup' which was a young member of the army. I had my makeup done and I looked pretty scary. The set looked really good and after about 5 attempts of everyone getting into place, we listened to a speech given by the leader of the army. 

We had a couple of short breaks during filming. I was in 3 scenes. Everyone on set was really friendly. I especially enjoyed the filming because I got to see how a movie was made. It was a great experience. I really can't wait until the movie comes out. 



Ella

Recently I got to experience being in a movie it was the best. I also got to meet  a lady who was in Star Wars. The cast were really nice. I loved all the scenes,even though we had to get dirty and dusty it was very enjoyable and fun. If I had a choice to do it again I would totally.


Chelsea


I loved that I made it into Mad Max 4 Fury Road. I made lots of friends on set. Every one was very nice to the kids and helped us a lot treating us like Movie Stars. I got a gift of a signed autographed photo of Sandi Finlay from Star Wars she has been in 24 movies. It was so much fun working with all the famous actors and extras. I am very lucky it was the best week ever, I will remember it forever. 


Kris

What an experience! I have recently finished filming as an extra for one of the biggest iconic movie series' of all time: Mad Max 4. The time and effort put into the set and makeup was amazing and working alongside major actors like Tom Hardy was a thill that I'll never forget. I hope to do this again someday, and maybe this will lead into me gaining a speaking role  or even a main character one day!


Ronan

I really liked the days I was working in Fury Road. I liked the costume every one wore. Every one looked scary. And i made a lot of friends too. Thank you Anna for the opportunity you gave me. I hope i can do it again one day.

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We are so pleased that our talent had such an amazing time on set!


Stay tuned for our guide to navigating your first feature film.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

What Really Happens on Set? - Part 2

Part 2: On the Job!

So the day on set has finally arrived, no doubt you are feeling excited, but maybe a little nervous! Here are a few tips to get you through the nerves and into feeling confident and ready to tackle your first job.

You should plan to arrive approximately 10-15 minutes before your call time and find the contact person as listed for you on the call sheet or booking confirmation. Occasionally the production can be running behind schedule and you could be asked to wait. This is when the colouring books or iPad's come in handy! Other times the production crew will be ready and waiting for you and your child.

There are usually lots of people on set who keep production going behind the scenes and they are usually set-up in separate trailers a short distance away from the actual set so not to interrupt any filming in progress with noise or movement. 

You will be introduced to the location nurse who is there to look after the wellbeing of underage talent by making sure they are safe, taking breaks at allocated times and have something to eat and drink. Your contact person will also make sure that someone from the ‘Wardrobe’ or ‘Costume’ department knows that you have arrived. They will either choose from the outfits you brought by request or have items ready to try on. Parents can help their child get dressed if necessary. On some shoots, children might also be required to go through ‘Hair and Make-up’. In general minimal make-up will be applied and sometimes none at all for children.

Soon it will be time to make your way to the actual set for filming. With younger children, parents are always allowed to stay close by or within sight, but it is important to be aware of your surroundings and not get in anyones way. 

Here are a few general rules when on set:


  • Make sure you turn your phone off


  • Do not talk or move around once the director calls ACTION until after they have called CUT.


  • Do not try and tell your child what to do from the sidelines. Let the director (or whoever is working with them) direct your child.

If you do have any questions or concerns, speak to the person who has been assigned to look after you and your child on set.

Your child may film everything that is required for the day in one go or there might be a few breaks when you will be looking after them and need to keep them occupied. Snacks are often supplied and if filming has been scheduled over a meal time then you might both sit down with cast and crew and enjoy the Catering on location.

When your child has finished work (often referred to as being ‘wrapped’) the crew person in charge will let you know and you will need to sign out for the day. Take note of the time you have finished so you can let our casting department know. 

Once you have been told you can leave, collect all of your belongings and be sure to thank the crew and the people who have looked after you.

Here are a few additional tips:

Be positive! It’s nice for the crew to have someone around who is happy, easy going and helps make the day run smoothly, and they may be more likely to ask you and your child back for future projects.

Try to stay away from gossip about agents/money/other people in the industry. This can reflect badly on yourself, your child or your agency. 

Try not to bring any extra siblings or family members on set.
HAVE FUN! Enjoy the experience!

What Really Happens on Set?

Part 1: Preparing for the big day

Congratulations! Your child has finally gotten a job and now you need to know everything about your day on set so that it can be a wonderful experience for both of you.
Your agent will have confirmed the job and sent you a CALL SHEET as soon as it is available to them. Some productions are very busy and cannot confirm the details until late on the day before you are required on set, but be assured that your agent will send you the necessary information as soon as they receive it.

The most important details for you to take note of are;
  • your CALL TIME (the time you are required on set)
  • the exact LOCATION that you need to be at (sometimes this is a building address, but it could be a park or other public place)
  • the CONTACT PERSON you are required to meet on the day (eg. in the case of extras for a television show this would be the name and phone number of the 3rd AD). You will also be given details of anything you are required to bring with you and how long you are expected to be needed for.

Research the location you are required to be at before you have to leave home. Sometimes the call sheet will provide you with instructions regarding parking and other times you will need to figure it out yourself.

Productions are busy and very costly, so it is important that you arrive at the time you have been called for so not to delay the shoot time or halt production. Arriving 10-15 minutes early is appreciated, but do not show up any earlier than this. If you arrive too early at location, take the time to relax rather than turning up and risking being in the way before production is ready for you.

Spending time with your child onset can be a great experience, but arriving unprepared can add a lot of the wrong type of drama to the day. Make sure you have any paperwork or items you have been asked to bring, but don’t take it personally if they don’t use it on the day. It happens often that they ask for items or information, just to change what they originally planned on the day and not ask for it or use it at all.

Depending on the job, clothes will be provided while you may be asked to supply your own outfits at other times. If you are required to bring clothes the wardrobe department will inform you of what is needed; often simple things like jeans, t-shirts and runners. In general, choose items that do not have any visible branding and bring a few options of each. Bright colours are often appreciated, unless told otherwise and avoid stripes as these can often bleed together and not look good on camera. Bring as many options as you think will be helpful and remember you can ask our casting department if you are uncertain about anything!

Taking some snacks with you can also save the day. The break times for meals on set can vary a lot from your usual times so have something handy to keep your child (and you!) functioning if that is the case. Catering on sets can be amazing and might be one of the highlights of your day, but it is not guaranteed that your child will like what is provided. Some productions regularly cater for children and may have an array of choices for them while others are used to looking after their adult actors and crew and may not have the things your child prefers to eat.

It is also a good idea to take toys or games to keep your child occupied, as you could be required to wait for extended periods of time before or during filming. The idea is to provide them with enough stimulation to keep them occupied, but ready to work when they are called on set.

Now you’re ready to go!

Glossary:
CALL SHEET: a document that your agent will send you from the production company, usually on the day before your job. It specifies what time you are required on set, how long you are expected to be needed for, the location you are to meet at, the name and phone number of the person you need to meet on set (or contact if you have any problems on the day) and other details .
CALL TIME: the time at which you are required to be on set. Always arrive at the location earlier than this and aim to find the person you are required to meet with 10-15 minutes before your call time.
3rd AD: 3rd Assistant Director. This is the person who is usually in charge of the extras on a television set and who you would be required to report to if that was your role for the day. For other jobs you might be asked to report to someone with a different role.

What Really Happens On Set? Part 2, will explore what happens once you arrive on the big day

Friday, 16 January 2015

Five Fun Facts about the talent industry!

It's Friday, what better day to check out our five fun facts about the talent industry!

1. Talent often work to set hours, ensuring their wellbeing is taken care of at all times. For example, in the state of Victoria children working in TV and Film under the age of 3 can only work a maximum of 4 hours per day. Breaks are also given at regular intervals to ensure stars don't over do it.

2. If talent are selected to work on a TV series, Film or project for an extended period of times tutors will be hired to teach on set so their learning never stops! So sorry kids, no getting out of school :)

3. The principal may have to approve talent's absence from school so kids can go be stars! This ensures they know what the kids are up to during school hours and can ensures their schooling is always a top priority.

4. If talent live far away or are under a particular age travel time to the location will be taken into consideration. This ensures talent will be booked into hotels so they can wake up fresh and ready to go for the next day!

5. For younger talent, employers will try to schedule shots around their sleep times, and often a nurse will be present on set to assist with younger children. So, as a parent support is always within hands reach for you.

Lights, camera, safety! It's all about creating a safe, supportive and positive working experience for children in the entertainment industry.




We hope you enjoyed this little insight into the talent industry and if you have any suggestions for future blogs, shoot us an email at emma@bettina.com.au

Friday, 28 November 2014

How to help your agent help you!

As a parent you play a vital role in your child’s career. It is important that you update all facets of your child’s AT2 profile on a regular basis so your agent can ensure the right information is passed on for all opportunities. 

Time is of the essence in this industry with jobs turning over quickly, so the more progress updates the better!


We have put together a checklist for you to ensure you are on track and filling in your child's AT2 profile in the best way possible.
NOTE: Your agent may have pre-filled in some of the below sections. 

1. ‘PROFILE’ section  

  • Select Ethnicity - this field is highly important. Note: you are able to tick more than one ethnicity.
  • Select Complexion. 
  • Select Hair colour.
  • Select Hair Length - please update regularly in accordance with hair cuts.
  • Select Eye colour.
  • Away Status - when you are unavailable, such as going on a holiday, we recommend filling in this section so our casting department know when you can’t attend castings.
  • Measurements - Fill in ALL fields. Update measurements & sizes every 6 weeks if your child is under 3 years and as often as possible for all other ages. 
For a detailed explanation of taking measurements and sizing we encourage you to read our previous blog 'A Fool Proof Guide to AT2 - Part 2' .



2. ‘PHOTOS’ section
  • You have 10 spaces on your profile to upload photos. These can be happy snaps from home, professional shots or skill related shots (eg; playing piano or dancing) and they can be taken on your phone. 
  • You MUST be able to see their body and face clearly in the images.

For instructions on how to take great head and body shots check out our previous blog 'How to take the perfect natural head and full body shot' and for how to upload check out 'A Fool Proof Guide to AT2 - Part 2'.


3. ‘RESUME’ section
  • It is a good idea to upload a resume containing name, education, list of jobs, castings and extra curricular activities/classes on your child's profile. 
  • If your child does not have vast experience a letter can also be great option and is a unique way to show off your child’s personality. 

Check out the following example written by Luke as a guide. 


  • Ensure resumes and letters are updated regularly according to your child's developments. 

For detailed instructions on what to include and how to upload a resume check out our previous blog 'A Fool Proof Guide to AT2 - Part 3'.

4. ‘SKILLS’ section

Ensure you have gone through all fields and inputted all of your child's skills:

                 - Accents
                - Languages
                - Instrumental
                - Dance
                - Vocal
                - Circus
                - Sports
                - Performance Skills
  • It is vital that you fill out this section, clients often look for specific skills for a campaign, so the more they know the better!


5. ‘VIDEO’ section
  • We suggest that you record a chat to camera of your child and upload it to their profile. This will provide clients with an insight into your child’s personality and show off their ability in front of the camera. 

For hints on how to create a chat to camera and upload to AT2 please read our previous blog 'Hits and Tips for how to film a chat to camera'.



If you require any help with any aspect of AT2 please contact Bettina HQ via the email address: info@bettina.com.au or call our office on 1300 888 611.

We are always happy to help :)


Friday, 15 August 2014

HINTS AND TIPS FOR HOW TO FILM A CHAT TO CAMERA


Adding video to your child’s profile gives a client additional insight into your child’s personality and features whilst displaying their confidence in front of the camera. It is an added feature that can help to your child's future career possibilities. 


What is a chat to camera?

A chat to camera is a short introduction of your child speaking directly to the camera introducing themselves.

Clients are often requesting from our casting department chats to camera to grasp a better understand of the talent they are considering for a campaign. To already have a chat to camera uploaded to your child's AT2 profile is greatly beneficial and will greater the likelihood of your child being booked for a job. 

A chat to camera is great practice for your child. The more they practice being in front of the camera and getting comfortable with speaking about themselves the better. Clients will often request this at a casting or audition. We recommend playing the footage back to your child will help them to learn how they appear and sound on camera, if they need to project their voice more or hold more eye contact with the camera etc. 

No need to worry if you don’t have a video camera on hand, it is quite ok to film using a smart phone. Just ensure that the lighting is adequate and that the child’s face and features are clearly visible.

What to say in a chat to camera?

Introduce yourself with “Hi my name is….from Bettina Management.

Tell us a little bit about yourself; hobbies, favourite movie, do you have any pets. Anything that feels natural for your child. 

How to achieve a great chat to camera:

Shoot the audition in a medium close up (meaning a shot from mid chest up).

Film your chat to camera on a plain background and ensure the actor is clearly visible.

Be wary of background noises while making sure you are clearly audible. Even the slightest background noise such as muffling or distant voices can detract from the audition. 

Having a clear natural voice projection is key! Get your child to talk to the camera as if they are talking to you, a normal voice tone and volume.

Ensure that you play back the chat to camera before uploading to check that you can clearly see and hear your child.

We asked our resident actor from Bettina HQ to provide you with an example of a chat to camera and we have also included another showing to not be afraid to add personality.

video

video

How to upload your chat to camera?
  1. Log onto your child’s profile and select the ‘video’ tab
  2. Press the blue button ‘New Videos’
  3. Click ‘Add’ and select your chat to camera file and upload your video.
Once it is uploaded - your child's profile will look like this:
.
No need to remove existing videos on your child’s AT2 profile as it allows your child’s profile to have more than one video present on their profile at any one time just as long as they don't total more than 5 minutes in total. 

Just remember updating your child’s chat to camera on a regular basis is important to ensure client’s are receiving the most current and accurate representation of your child. 


Thanks Everyone!