Graphic Designer Burcin hails all the way from Turkey and now calls Los Angeles her new home. The wildly talented youngster not only wants to make brands shine with her design skills, but she finally listened to the many people telling her to pursue acting or modeling… well, here we go.

I had the pleasure to shoot Burcin in downtown L.A. and what we captured is nothing short of a very powerful, assertive and highly confident young woman… ready for Hollywood.

BurcinTest

Yale Drama MFA director Andrew Utter offers challenging acting classes
in Hollywood for serious motivated acting students.  Next 10-week
cycle (3 hours weekly) begins July 1st, 2009.

$380 pay-as-you-go after three session deposit.

For more information contact Andrew Utter at www.utteracting.com

Claudia G.

Is it time to get new headshots? But you don’t have the cash? Let’s face it, the economy is unpredictable and actors are squeezing their budgets. But I still want everyone to have a great headshot when they go out to book that role on that show they’ve been telling their friends about.

So, call now for this 2-for-1 Special: Bring a friend and pay only $150 each. Walk away with new commercial & theatrical shots in as little at 3 hours. (Price does not include make-up and retouching. Online gallery & Images on CD only.)

As a former agent, I can’t think of a better gift to give to your Agent or Manager… or yourself!

Call 213.625.1246 and book your session today!

Claudia Garciashootwithroman.com client Claudia Garcia recently booked a Nike spot where she was seen running all ‘supernatural’ with some of the world’s top runners. It pays to have multiple skills, in this case running and acting. We think this is just the beginning of Claudia’s career in television and film. 

 

Check out the funny spot here:

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shootwithroman.com client Caroline Jaden Stussi was recently interviewed by Backstage West about her way of finding the right acting coach in L.A. The Swiss native was very authentic in this interview and we commend her for saying it ‘how it is’. After all, authenticity is what the name of the game should be in this town, not sincerity.

Caroline Jaden StussiASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Two and a half years ago, when Caroline Stussi arrived in Los Angeles from Switzerland, she went to the Lee Strasberg Institute because it’s one of the acting schools known overseas. But she wasn’t happy there. “You always had to go to painful places to get something out,” she says, “and that was just not logical for me.” So she started calling teachers and schools she saw in Back Stage with a few prepared questions: What is your approach? What teachers did you study with? Do you use one method or several? What do you emphasize? Are there working actors in your classes? That last question was especially important to Stussi, because she wanted to study among professionals. Many of her phone calls were never returned, but those who responded fast seemed professional to her, and she audited three classes. Stussi found that the answers she got on the phone were quite different from the reality in the classroom — particularly the quality of the students, which was often shockingly low.

For the full article click here

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This document below was written by an agent at CAA to all of his clients regarding the current state of the entertainment industry.  My former acting teacher forwarded it to me and I thought it was well written and truly expresses what is currently going on regarding opportunities in the Film, TV and Commercial areas of the business. So, naturally I felt the need to share it with all of you guys…

Dear Clients,

I wanted to take a moment and give you a number of
important updates….

Before I begin, however, I wish to tell you all that I am
so very proud of you all for your dogged determination
during these most difficult times. Hollywood is being
challenged on multiple fronts – labor uncertainty,
paradigm shifting and the ‘great recession’.

I know a lot of your are getting antsy to get out more, and
frankly many of you are in a tight financial pinch; as such,
I wanted to describe to you all the current climate in LA
and the factors influencing the current environment.

1 SAG STALEMATE: Since the SAG contract expired on June 30,
2008, there have been few to no STUDIO feature films (this
does not include companies such as Lionsgate and the
Weinstein Company who are not in AMPTP and as such have
completion agreements). Some analysts say there are up to
200 feature films on hold. Around September, we started to
see a mass movement of film actors to TV projects. Many of
my “name” actors have done one-day guest stars
(this is very typical right now), and we are seeing a number
of Guest Star level actors doing CO-STAR roles. Remember
from November of 2007 to March of 2008, due to the
Writer’s Strike, again there were no feature films shot.
So for the film actor, there has only been 4 months of work
in the last 17 months. THE BOTTOM LINE: Due to the lack of
studio feature film production, BOTH film and TV actors are
now competing for a limited number of jobs in the episodic
and pilot environments.

2. PILOT SEASON: During the Writer’s Strike of 2007-2008,
Studios adapted and used the void to eliminate pilot season
as we know it. Gone are the days of hundreds of pilots. In
fact, this year, there are only 67 pilots to have registered
for production – of which only about 35 have been green
lit for production.

Variety article on pilots

And this year, due again to a sagging economy, studios and
networks believe that by committing named stars to their
projects, they will receive more money from this year’s
up-fronts from ad agencies. They are banking on star power
to leverage better buys at the all important UPFRONTS. So,
stars and pop-stars like Richard Dreyfuss, Chevy Chase,
Brittany Snow, Elle McPherson, Rebecca Romijn, Ashley
Simpson, Scott Caan, Skeet Ulrich, and proven TV talents
like Kelsey Grammar, Eric McCormick, John McGinley, Joel
McHale, Jenna Elfman, Donald Faison, Maura Tierney, Peter
Krauss, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepherd, etc…. You do the
math, 37 pilots… top stars being sought… BOTTOM LINE:
the conflagration of the economy and a lack of roles being
cast, means that this pilot season may be even more
competitive than the concurrent regular TV market right now.
So those of you who have gotten auditions for series
regulars… feel great about that!

3. TV: While TV has been steady, again due to the
conflagration of film and named actors doing Guest Starring
roles, we have seen a horrible trickle down. Many Guest
Stars are now doing Co-stars and Co-stars/Developmental
Actors (those with less than 5 primetime credits) frankly
are not getting seen much. One CD recently told me that she
had over 25 women who would be considered ‘working
actors’ going for a co-star role. BOTTOM LINE: Again, due
to the abundance of name and working actors, many
less-developed actors are not even being seen right now.

4. ECONOMIC IMPACT I – THE EROSION OF QUOTES/RATES: There
are really three major impacts to actors during this
economic crunch. First, we are seeing the erosion of quotes.
Due to the availability of so many talented actors, CD’s
and Producers are in the driver’s seat in negotiations.
When they say, “well we got someone else who will do it
for less”, they ain’t kidding. I have spoken to a number
of my peers who have confirmed this erosion of pay for their
actors. In short, right now, quotes are eroding and for
many, the minimum has become the maximum pay.

5. ECONOMIC IMPACT II – THE CONCLUSION OF SAG STALEMATE:
Many are hoping that with the end of this stalemate,
Hollywood will get back to normal. I have to say, that I am
not one who necessarily believes this. First off, due to the
economic conditions, most studios have lost their millions
of dollars from hedge funds; and European, Asian and Middle
Eastern money has dried up. Even Stephen Spielberg has had
to beg, borrow and steal to get his company financed ….
And it wasn’t anywhere near what he originally asked for.
I believe that, even after the SAG stalemate is over, there
is probably not enough money for 50 Studio Feature Films to
be done right out of the gate. BOTTOM LINE: While this will
help us move towards normalcy, it will not be the cash cow
some people think it will be. One side note, is that I
expect that more formulaic projects will be down out the
gate as Studios will be less likely to take significant
risks since most of these
projects will be financed by both the studio and their investors.
In short, you will see more Iron Mans, Animation,
and SAWs… they are money in the bank when you factor in
ratios, etc.

6. ECONOMIC IMPACT III – OVERALL STATEMENT OF
ENVIRONMENT: It is important that everyone follow the
economic conditions closely. I know it is easy to be
skeptical over the studios, networks, cablers, production
houses, show runners, etc, losing money, but it is a
cold-hard fact right now. These entities are truly in a
difficult spot. If you have read much lately, there have
been dramatic cut backs at every studio and network, from
firings to asking show runners to cut between 2-7% of their
budgets (not to mention the 25+% cutback shows like the
Sarah Silverman were asked to swallow recently).
Furthermore, these networks and studios are largely owned by
conglomerates who have lost in the billions over the last 6
months. When I attended NATPE in January, all the talk was
how to get ‘thinner.’ Everything is getting tight.
Budgets, Marketing, Staffing, etc., and this will
undoubtedly impact the actor. Also, the foreign sales market
(where much of the TV and Film money is made, is being hit hard by the
erosion of the US Dollar. So these entities are not able to
recoup the costs they were in better days by the one-time
explosion of the foreign markets. BOTTOM LINE: The economic
conditions are forcing the industry to be as ‘thin’ as
possible.

7. COMMERCIALS – INDUSTRY AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS: One
analyst said last year, that 2008 was the worst commercial
market since maybe 1974. I would not argue with this. Think
about it: three of the top products/services for ad agencies
are banks, cars and other financial services – all of
which were struck down in 2008/early 2009 by this recession.
This was confirmed when news struck that even the Super Bowl
did not sell out advertising this year. The good news is
that the advertising industry tends to be one of the first
ones to be negatively impacted by a recession, but one of
the first to grow as the recession moves to an end as
advertisers of products want to start accumulating market
share before the turn of the economy. Another impact relates
to the overall conditions of the TV/FILM/PILOT situation.
Many strong actors have made enough money on TV/FILM, etc so
that they have not had to do commercials in years. Due to
the
last few years and the lack of work, many top actors are now
back in the commercial market; thus again, causing a logjam
in casting.

BOTTOMLINE:
The economic slowdown has caused a dramatic decrease in ad
sales and the lack of work has caused more actors to
re-enter the commercial market.

THE GOOD NEWS!

Okay, so that is where we are today. You know me, I try to
always call it straight as I see it. So, I am not going to
sugar-coat this either. I anticipate that 2009 will be a
tough year overall for actors (and agencies). First off, the
economy will not likely get straightened out until at least
the 3rd to 4th quarter of this year and so all the factors
above will remain in place through most, if not all, of
2009. Secondly, until the labor situation gets straightened
out, we will not be seeing dramatic amount of film
production, and this seems to be dragging along as well (as
we enter the 8th month of the stalemate – it was announced
today that SAG is thinking now about taking AMPTP to court
for anti-trust violations). But again, even if it was
finalized, there is not enough investor money to see the
film production level normalize and increase for most, if
not all, of 2009. Also, since movies cost around $40 for two
(tickets, popcorn, etc) – this is not a recession proof field anymore.
During our last significant recession, there were few choices for guilty
pleasures to get away from the stress of our times – so
many people flocked to the theatres. NOT SO THESE DAYS, one
can go to the web, TV, cable (not around in 1974, 1982, 1988
much), Video Games, Netflix, RedBox (movie for a $1). So
studios are probably not in any big rush to make films –
as people cannot afford this once cheap diversion – better
to divert for a few bucks to all the many other sources of
guilty pleasures. OKAY, so that didn’t sound like good
news…

The good news is that there are some paradigm shifts
occurring that make 2010 -2012 look like it might be one of
the most prolific times in Hollywood history. Due to
technological developments, there are more platforms being
developed than ever. The internet is driving millions of new
viewers each year. Zillion is going to transform the way we
view advertising. For those who don’t know, it has
recently been unveiled by the maker of Real Player and the
‘mouse.’ It is a system that makes you watch ads before
downloading movies (they already have 14,000 Titles ready
for download), TV, other forms of entertainment to your TV
Screen. However, the consumer can choose the products they
want to see (let’s say you go retail clothing and watch a
Macy’s ad and love the jacket; you can immediately click
on the ad/jacket and go directly to their website where you
can buy it). Also, you earn points by watching the
commercials that you can use towards
purchases. Furthermore, SONY and others are now selling
TVs that wirelessly connect to your computer, so you can
download TV/FILMS at anytime from your computer (websites
like Hula, Netflix, etc) directly to your TV. In short,
technology is making more platforms which will require more
content than ever. Also, Cablers are all embracing doing
scripted shows, some have up to 5 shows this year… again,
more content is needed and thus MORE ACTORS!

BOTTOM LINE: More platforms = more content = more actors!
So as long as SAG/AFTRA can protect your rates and
jurisdictional issues, there will be more good compensated
work than ever in Hollywood by 2010-2012.

On her show ‘The Agent’s Eye’ on Breakdown Services’ Virtual Channel Network, Red Talent Agency Owner and agent Natalie Chase interviews Roman on Casting, the Winning Headshot, shooting Actors and Directing.

Roman on VCN

VCN Interview: Part 1 – Casting

VCN Interview: Part 2 – Theatrical vs. Commercial

VCN Interview: Part 3 – Portfolios

VCN Interview: Part 4 – Shooting an Actor

VCN

RED TALENT

Last March – with the help of great coaching by my favorite acting coach Fran Montano at AWS – I got cast as U.N. worker BORIS in the AFI Grad Film ‘Acholiland’ , directed by South African Director Dean Israelite. The film took place in Uganda yet was shot in Calabasas and on the Disney Ranch here in Los Angeles… makes sense, right?

We shot during beautiful weather in very authentic looking settings. The shoot was a lot of fun and I got to work with some amazing talents such as African actor Owiso Odera, German Actor Christian Oliver as well as German-looking actor (but he’s American) John Collin Barclay. The four of us played a team of U.N. workers, hijacked by Militia en route to an adjacent refugee camp…

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What was ironic about the whole thing is that I got a call from a good friend of mine while I was on the set, asking me if I wanted to go to Uganda to shoot a documentary in July… I mean what are the odds of that, come on!? (needless to say I said yes and found myself in the ‘real’ Africa, only months later… pictures below).

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Well, now, almost a year later, Dean and his team finished up the film and it will play next Sunday evening at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. I can say that I am very proud of both achievements, shooting Acholiland and my visit to Africa. As always, life is a learning experience, no matter where we go and what we do… there is always a lesson or two to grow from🙂

____

ACHOLILAND – Produced by Daniel Harrich, Directed by Dean Israelite

Length: 0 hour, 20 minutes

Synopsis:
In Northern Uganda, four U.N workers complete a much needed food delivery to a remote and war-torn village.But as they pull out of the swarming mass, news arrives that another food truck has been hijacked by the Militia en route to an adjacent refugee camp, and its inhabitants will never last without the delivery. Now, these men must return to the village they just left and reposes half of the goods; it is the only way for both villages to survive.In a place where food is everything and the militia reign with utter terror, these men will face impossible choices to keep everyone alive.

Rating: NR

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I recently got a call to coach Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard on Ron Howard’s ‘Angels & Demons (the DaVinci Code sequel) for his lines in Swiss German. Skarsgard is to me best known as PROFESSOR GERALD LAMBEAU in ‘Good Will Hunting’. In ‘Angels & Demons’ Skarsgard plays RICHTER, the head of the Swiss Guards at the Vatican.

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When I got to Sony Studios on a sunny Thursday, I felt like walking onto another Universe. To my right, an over-stressed Producer was yelling at someone on the cell phone. Ahead of me, Valets were parking cars that I personally would be afraid to have anyone else touch… and to my left a crew was shooting what seemed to be a second unit shot on a television show. Well, I was right in the middle of the magic. Right where I belonged.

Thanks to my accurate directions and maps, I arrived on time and entered sound stage 1 where Stellan, editor Mike Hill and the ADR director Deborah were ready to go. I was introduced as the Swiss Dialect coach to Stellan and we shook hands. What a nice man! He was so genuine and down-to-earth and we struck up a conversation that seemed like 5 minutes long. We talked about how Sweden (Ikea, Volvo, Saab, Meatballs) often gets confused for Switzerland (Rolex, Swiss Cheese, Banks, Chocolate) and how he just flew in the night before to do the ADR. They had worked his schedule around mine… to make sure I was there to authenticate his accent. “Can you do my voice”, he says followed by a firm laugh. “Let me hear it”, I said. He spoke a line and I repeated it as good as I could… he stops, smiles and says “you’re good!”

We started the session with a few simple Swiss lines, then progressed to more complicated Swiss expressions and dialogue specific to certain Swiss regions. About 10 minutes into the session, the door opens and in comes Ron Howard. Shorter and younger than I had expected. “Hey everyone. I know I sound like I have a cold, but I don’t. I just sound like it.” Those were the first words out of Ron Howard’s mouth in front of me. He introduces himself, then gets right to work and analyzes our next lines. For a single word the team took about 15 minutes to make sure Ron had options. He disappeared, came back minutes later and said: “Let’s say ‘mess’, not ‘bomb threat’… yeah, that’s better.”

What I got during those quick and what seemed to be minor moments is that EVERY WORD matters. Not only to be authentic, but also to stay true to one’s vision. Ron often took time to go within, think, feel and come up with the solutions he wanted. He is the master after all. His vision and name are at stake with every film. He didn’t jump over any words. Not even the ones that were to be heard only in the background. Not even ‘throw-away lines’ that one could easily just ‘make up’ or ‘wing’… he would make sure they were absolutely aligned with the story, the characters, the languages and the overall vision.

Needless to say, I had a blast, learned a ton and left inspired like hell (no pun intended). This day marked a milestone in my life and in my career in the entertainment industry. Not that my part will be seen on-screen (my name should be in the credits though), but I worked on a multi million dollar feature film with Ron Howard and Stellan Skarsgard at a major studio. Life doesn’t get any better than this. It’s those moments that need to be celebrated!

I urge any and all of you artists to start taking your every move, word, stroke and performance as serious as if your life depended on it. That’s how intense Ron Howard was. Not tight, but intense. He acted as if every word would make the film either succeed or fail. That’s what I call focus, attention, commitment and most of all vision.

May that same force be with you all!!! Power to the people… the ones who are that comitted to their craft. Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate every single success on your way to your goals… none are too small to celebrate!

Love, peace

Roman

PS: Special Thanks to Lynne Redding for her trust in me!

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Once in a while along comes a model that has the potential to do so much more than just modeling. That was the case with Claudia Garcia. When Claudia and I shot downtown shortly before the holidays, we had such a blast. She is an artist that knows what to give, how to be and where to stand; in all ways and always. It was a pleasure to just capture her poses, her way of being and her spirit. From girl-next-door to Latina supermodel to Nike runner to sexy student… she had it all in her in such a short time. I predict that Claudia will go far… not just in the business, but also travel, host, act and contribute.

We need you out there, Miss Garcia🙂

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