Cool post on how to get a Name attached to your low budget film project

Someone once said that “what ‘everyone knows’ is true, generally isn’t.” In this society, we’re often taught to “give up while you’re ahead,” and to “learn your limitations,” and that you just have to buckle down and work hard and don’t rock the boat if you want to get anywhere or be anything worthwhile.

I’m not a big fan of that.

I much rather listen to the small few who believe in miracles, and being insouciant… wonderful word isn’t it… most people don’t know it, nor what it means. Bears some clarification:

The MacMillan Online Dictionary, says “not worrying about or paying attention to possible problems (his insouciant manner)”

That doesn’t mean you don’t handle what needs to be handled, but you just don’t worry about it. You know that sometimes a little flippancy goes a long way toward resolving problems, and a lot faster than sitting down and just worrying about what might go wrong.

The following article I just ran across is that type of advice… never say die… just keep on persisting until your dreams come true — if you do, so will your dreams; but if you don’t, that’s what they’ll always be… just dreams, and while I think dreaming is paramount, achieving them is even more important 🙂


“What are the odds that a new screenwriter or filmmaker could get a star to appear in his or her film? Small to none, you say? Actually, the odds may be much better than you think.

One young filmmaker who succeeded is director Aaron Schneider. His movie project was “Get Low,” written by Chuck Provenza and based on the true story of a hermit back in the 1930s who staged his own funeral in order to find out what people would say about him.

It’s not the most obviously commercial concept, and Schneider has said that raising the money to make it was an uphill battle. However, he ended up with a great cast: Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray.

When he and producer Dean Zanuck approached Murray’s representative they were told to forget it. But Schneider decided to take a more personal route. He took three days to compose a letter and emphasized how much he admired Murray and why he wanted him in his film. He got the letter to Murray, who agreed to be in the movie.

It’s easy to assume that a star wouldn’t possibly be interested in being in a low-budget film, but remember that even stars are not busy all the time. If the project is interesting enough they’d rather do it, even for a low salary, rather than sitting around doing nothing.

Of course this tends to work best with actors who are not currently making $20 million a picture. It typically also works better with older actors who may be rich enough to choose roles based on how challenging they would be or how enjoyable to play. Also, the big studio offers are less common for actors once they’re no longer in the first bloom of youth, so these actors have more time on their hands.

If you want to approach a well-known actor regarding reading your script or appearing in your film, here are some guidelines:

* You can go through their agent or manager first, but don’t be surprised if they turn it down without even showing it to their client. These people get 15% to 25% of what their clients make, so it’s not in their interest to have their clients work for a small amount.

* Try to find a personal “in” to the actor. Sometimes you can find their email addresses or their office addresses if they maintain a production company. For mail, try writing “Personal” on the envelope.

* Best of all is speaking to them in person. If they’re appearing at a film festival or other public event, approach them respectfully, have a 30-second speech ready, and just ask whether you can leave a script for them at their hotel or even give it to them then and there. Some of them will say no, you have to have an agent send the script. However, then you can contact an agent and say that you met the star who asked to see your script via an agent. Most agents will agree to handle the script on that basis–even if only for that one transaction. Alternately, the star may say you need to sign a release. Again, if you then contact his or her office, you can say you’re doing so at the star’s request and go ahead and sign the release.

* In any contact with the star, be sincere. Flattery is fine, but don’t come across like a stalker. You’re hoping they will enter a professional agreement with them, so keep your fandom under control. (However, it’s hard to over-flatter an actor).

* If you’ve tried everything with your first choice of star and it doesn’t work out, go on to your second choice–but of course tell them they’re your first choice!

The fact is that actors are just people and most of them love to take on a challenging role. If you catch them at the right time, they can be won over and add star power to your low-budget project.”