I was recently involved in a student project for a 3 camera class (3 cameras seems to be the preferred shooting method of sitcoms) and it was both educational and a lot of fun.
To be truthful, I’ve been pretty snobby toward student projects in the past. Previous experience has taught me that these shoots are often disorganized, unprofessional, and, worst of all, passionless. But this particular project used the script from one of my favorite television shows. Television isn’t like stage where you will get multiple opportunities to play a role. Nobody is going to come up to me and say, “Hey, we’re running auditions for Hannibal and thought we’d switch it up and cast Will Graham as a girl. Y’know try to put a spin on an old classic.” So, student projects give you the unique opportunity to pretend to be part of some of your favorite films and movies.
This particular project was for IT Crowd and I was asked to play my favorite character, Moss. Moss is actually a male character which means that thing I just said never happens, happened! (sort of)
Like I said, it was a 3 camera sitcom setup. Something I did not have much experience with before. I behaved myself, so I got to hang out in the studio and watch a couple projects get filmed before it was our turn. Much like my budding director, I too was getting an education.
The student I worked with was very polite if a little stressed. He came and got me when I was lost in the parking lot, answered all my questions, AND sent me a copy of the work we did. If you’ve ever worked for “copy and credit” before, you know that NEVER happens. He was more professional than some professionals I’ve worked with.
Moral of the story, don’t discount student films, especially if you’re still in the struggling stages of your career. You have a chance to gain experience, creative opportunities, and meet aspiring filmmakers. And you never know who’s going to be the next big thing in Hollywood, so be nice!
For your viewing pleasure, Cal State LA Live Studio Production – TVF 301: The Internet! Starring two lovely ladies and my foundation line! Yeah, I see it. But hey, I want to act not do makeup.