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Why act to earn a living when you can pay to be in a movie?

Smart or stupid… You tell me!

Last week, the site www.groupon.com posted something that was both appalling and brilliant.

A film posted a groupon that allowed you to buy your way into a zombie film.

Let’s look at the positive side.

  1. the production sold something like 40 of these groupons that’s 40 people that will learn what it is like to be on set. For the record, see that information HERE. That, in my opinion, is a good thing.
  2. 40 groupons at $149 a piece. Groupon takes half of the price. That $2980 for the production. It doesn’t sound like much, but that much will go a long way on an indie production.
  3. When you consider the costs of paying extras, the food, the time to organize them all, you’re looking at $6k. So, when you add the two, amounts up… the production actually made about $9,000 off this idea.
  4. The film making community is all abuzz about this… PUBLICITY.
  5. There are now 40 people that are going to be babbling on and on and on about their experience to EVERYONE THEY KNOW… so… I’ll say it again: PUBLICITY!
I will say this, though. I wouldn’t do this for anything… I have my reasons, and I will show them with you… Mainly so you don’t think I am just complaining. 
Yup… The will have these!
Before that, I will admit… It pissed me off. They sold 40 coupons for this in a day… We have to bust our asses to book that many people and $3000 would go a damn long way. But here is why I wouldn’t do that.
  1. My production team is composed of professionals. We prize professionalism. While Hollywood treats background actors like trash, there is a certain amount of skill to being a good background actor. One of these traits is the ability and willingness to do what you are told. Which brings me to the next reason.
  2. The people who paid for this opportunity are not actors. Their performances will likely not be believable. And trust me… While background are not considered “Actors,” by the rest of the biz, they are. Most of the parts are easy, but one bad bg actor can destroy a scene… and believe it or not… NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A ZOMBIE SUCCESSFULLY. I know… I don’t see how, but it’s true… I’ve got the footage to prove it.
  3. The people who paid for the groupon are exactly that – people who paid for something. That means they are customers. Customers will have expectations. To be frank with you, any expectations will not be a good thing on set. They will want things that cannot be provided and will probably resent being pushed around on set… Because they will be told, go here, wait here, get in line, get over here… action, back to one, action, back to one, action, back to one.
  4. Ironically enough, these people who pay for things like this don’t realize just how boring the biz is… Seriously, here’s the link. If you paid $150 (I know, it’s $149, but who’s keeping track?) wouldn’t you expect to do more than sit in a sweaty tent with 40 other people and be ordered around… wouldn’t you? This is going to be a nightmare for the producers. 
  5. These people are not used to 12-15 hour days. Enough said. 
This next point, I have taken out of the numbered list because of the fact that it is more important. In the film industry, about 95% of what we do (or allowed to do) is based largely on our reputation. Perception is everything. Once you get a reputation for being a buffoon who doesn’t know how to tell a story and thinks explosions, cgi and loud noises are acceptable substitutes for plot, you are stuck with it.
There are a lot of people who don’t like me… but my reputation stands for itself. 
Seriously… Have a seat.
What the film makers of this movie don’t understand is that, even if this film makes it big, everyone of their colleagues will be hesitant to work with them. This tactic makes them look very shady. 
Not to mention background. The background community is all up in arms over this. They, rightly so, feel that this company may not be able to be trusted. I hope they can recover from all this and go on to be a successful company. 
There are a lot of people who would ask me why I would wish that… Let me tell you… there is no competition in the film industry… especially in the horror genre. Think about it. If there are 5 horror films out with good trailers… you’ll go see them all… (Insert romantic comedy, comedy, war film… or what ever genre you like.) Won’t you?
Good luck guys. I hope this doesn’t bite you in the ass. 
Images in this issue SHAMELESSLY stolen from the following sources:

2 thoughts on “Why act to earn a living when you can pay to be in a movie?”

    1. That information was not provided in the story for a reason. I’ve no wish to hurt the reputation of someone who may have made an honest mistake. And I am ABSOLUTELY certain he suffered for having those people in the film

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