Well, let me tell you a little story. Hi, this is George. I’m the creator of the site. Yes, I’m also signed up and have a profile. I’m going to share some history regarding what I’ve been through. It all started when I was in Cleveland, Ohio. I had just dropped out of college and a radio commercial came on the air selling me “the dream”. I called. What happened next was what drove me down my path in life; my dharma.
The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step
Until that point, I was heavily into physics and mathematics. I didn’t know which way I wanted to go in life. I knew how to do web development, but it was all a hobby at the time. Acting was nowhere in my mind. In fact, I disliked that my girlfriend at the time was pursuing such a useless profession. Physics and math were just too impractical. There was nothing to do, unless I wanted to work for a university. The Large Hadron Collider was not built, and the Hubble telescope was just being designed.
So, I went to this “audition” that I would have to spend $700 for so I can get myself some “acting classes”. After I did my classes, we were invited to pay some more so we can go to Hollywood and audition there. It was the IMTA, one of the largest cattle calls in the world apparently. I signed up for everything that I knew I would do ok. Acting, commercial acting, monologues, and even group dancing.
Welcome to Hollywood
I went out to Hollywood with my group and after one week, I got one callback and one interested management group. The caveat was that I had to move out there. I was too young. I had no experience besides the classes I did back in Ohio. I would have been eaten alive.
So, I went back to Ohio in hopes that I could gain some extra experience.
No one was finishing their films. Where’s my movie?
But, something wonderful happened. As I was auditioning and started acting for no pay, I was noticing a trend. No one was finishing their films. Where’s my movie, I thought. Not one producer / director could wrap up editing of their film. I was getting frustrated with the lack of content for my demo reel.
The only director that finished his film encouraged me to make my own films. He said to me that all I needed was 3 things.
- A good script
- A camera
- A bunch of friends
My First Movie
So, I got to writing a short film, my mom’s handheld fam-cam, and by this time, I had already made many friends in the industry. I held auditions at the places I auditioned.
After previewing a few scenes at a local film club, my friend who encouraged me told me that my first film was better than most peoples’ 7th film. That made my day. He liked it so much that he lent me his camera, a semi pro Cannon XL1. He was getting a Panasonic DVX I felt like I was on cloud 9. Here’s this guy that barely knows me, and he’s just giving me his camera? Wow. I must have done something right.
In hindsight, it was an OK film. Not really super awesome or anything, but here I was, re-shot every scene with this awesome camera. The quality was much much better.
So, on I moved to the second film, and third. And then, I got me a Panasonic DVX too. All of my life savings went into that thing. 10 years later, I still have that camera. I made a movie that won me some awards, some film festivals, and then I realized that production is very, very hard when you’re wearing many, many hats.
More Than Just Acting and Film Making
I started delegating work to other friends on set, but it was still very difficult. But wait… I had a skill. A skill that saved my sanity. I was a programmer at heart too. So, on I went to program the most intricate scheduling and planning system that would help me organize my shooting schedule, print sides for the actors for that day, email actors to remind them, export excel files, all with one click. Pre-production, handled.
It was still tough to do everything else, but at least I could get pre-production done in time to shoot, and all I would have to worry about was: wardrobe, late actors, food and snacks, location availability, being camera and director, and even boom in some instances, coach, and still many other hats. Imagine if I didn’t have that production tool.
So, I decided to share my tool. It got some good reviews from friends. That’s when I had the vision that this could be a full scale enterprise solution. But… there were other tools like these out there.
Acting Showcase is Born
The first iteration was a simple you tube like video monologue website. Actors would have profiles and they would upload videos of themselves. In time, I had gathered about 200 actors, and let the site be.
A few years later, I had rebuilt the site to perform better, and started to add tools in the back-end. These tools didn’t go anywhere.
A few years later still, someone gave me the idea to make a casting tool. I did. I had created the first version of the website where users could still upload videos and submit them to auditions. The recording piece was missing. Until I met another friend who showed me this great technology that would allow a user with a camera on their device (laptop, webcam, mobile) to record streaming videos. I instantly saw the potential.
Acting Showcase Gains Streaming and Recording Powers
So, it took me the better part of two weeks to implement and integrate this feature. No one else had this out there. Sure, you could use video chatting software and spreadsheets, but why? Why do that when you could simply manage your auditions, actors, and recordings on one site? All for free. Yes. Producers, at the time of this writing, can sign up for free.
So, Why Acting Showcase?
Because, currently there is no other website like it out there. Yes, there are tools out there that help you with production, and there are many that are too complicated, or tailored to high end studios, but no one out there is focusing on casting for small, no budget, independent productions.
Yes, we also have production tools being designed and developed, but for now, we believe that casting is a very important first step. I’m looking forward to helping you find your best talent.