Friday, April 23, 2010

What a talent should do during pre-production meeting

Recently, I was involved in a commercial project. Commercials are usually more professional in their conduct and shooting process. As a talent, once you're committed to the project, you have to attend all the meetings required. (you'll be surprised how many half-hearted, uncommitted & perhaps confused talents would give up last minute). Basically, the production process for the talent are: casting > shortlisted> confirmation > pre-production meeting > wardrobe fitting > shoot. Below are some points I hope will help future talents out there when they're confirmed for any job:

Get to know your team
For this entry, I chose to write about the pre-production meeting, which is extremely crucial! This is because, during this meeting, you'll be getting acquainted with the director, assistant director, producers and production head. Usually it's the main talent who will be meeting them, because he'll be working very closely with them.

Project a professional attitude
Since this is a meeting, it is advisable for the main talent to show their best behavior (only if you truly have them). You also get the chance to see how your director works and listen to his ideas envisioned. A storyboard will always be given, so the talent gets to see what frame and actions are required. Be very familiar with the storyboard.

Get to know your character...even more
Ask questions about your character, and how you should act: either very simplicitly or layered with plenty of meanings. For this commercial, I have a very distinct character. Hence, half of the acting homework is done. The other half is usually on the shooting itself. The director was impressed by my body language and facial expression.

Feel the character from the clothes
Next comes the wardrobe fitting. For this commercial project, I got to try out like over 30 sets of clothes for all the 5 scenes in the commercial. So be very good at managing clothes during the fitting. There will be belts and jackets and shoes to try on. Each wardrobe fit, a photographer will take a snapshot. So remember to smile.

Finally before you leave the meeting, try to get everyone's names in your head. Then give everyone, regardless who they are and what position they may hold in the production team, a nod of acknowlegement or a handshake as a sign of courtesy (which is very lacking in a lot of people, even those in the supposedly corporate line). Hey, it's not always you get to be the main star of a national (might be regional) advertising campaign for a famous brand.