Have you ever thought of everything that goes into creating the whole look of a film? We’ve brought in three experts to tell you all about it. From the placement of the actors, to the set dressing, props, costumes and make-up- all of these matter when deciding what’s going to be in frame.
Oneita Parker- Costume Designer
Oneita Parker has been designing costumes for film, television, commercials, music videos, and theatre productions for more than a decade with zeal and excitement found in everything she creates. Oneita got her start in Hollywood designing costumes for several award-winning short films that toured the festival circuit. Oneita has gone on to design costumes for several award-winning features that have also received theatrical release all over the world. Many times she has been blessed to work with such amazing talents as Samuel L. Jackson, Mink Stoll, Angela Bassett, Jazmine Guy, Courtney Vance, Don Cheadle, Corbin Bernson, Piper Perabo, and Catherine Heigle to name a few. She has worked with such great directors as Mark Webb, JJ Abrahms, Jamie Babbitt, Q. Alan Brocka, and Rosser Goodman among others. Oneita Parker got her start in the rag trade catapulting herself into college a week after high school, to pursue her dreams of being a fashion designer at FiDM in San Francisco. After a year of straight A’s it was either Los Angeles or New York. She chose New York and continued her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in fashion design and textiles. Oneita Parker currently lives in Los Angeles with her lovely wife and three cats.
Charles Haine- Director of Photography
Charles Haine is a ﬁlmmaker/entrepreneur who has been working in the motion picture industry since 1999. After completely his MFA from USC in 2005, he has worked as a freelance director, cinematographer and colorist. Since founding Dirty Robber in 2008, he has worked tirelessly to grow the company, expand it’s infrastructure and provide cost effective resources including arrange the deal behind their no-cost ofﬁce space, and recruiting talented staff. As a colorist he has worked with Radical Media, 47 Pictures, Boxer Films, Arclight ﬁlms and many others for clients including Ford, Jeep, Honda, Mcdonalds, Burger King, AMC, St. Jude’s Hospital, and many others, including several feaures, and numerous music videos. As a director of photography has has shot three feature ﬁlms, his most recent receiving distribution through Lion’s Gate, and has shot commercials, music videos, industrials and several short ﬁlms. He also is an associate professor at Los Angeles City College teaching cinematographer and editing, and he teaches color grading, visual design and stereography at Columbia College Hollywood.
Michael Fitzgerald- Production Designer
After growing up in theater in Santa Cruz, California, Michael Fitzgerald moved to LA to attend UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, & TV. One of his first jobs was creating Cuba in LA for Josh Evan’s “Che,” where only a theater nerd would make with a tobacco plant out of lettuce, rope, paint and palm leaves. Michael has created visual stories for directors including a hippie commune and teen punk world for Adam Sherman’s “Happiness Runs,” skate ramps, clubhouses, & a con man abode in Cosmo Segursons “Nic and Tristan, Go Mega Dega,” a bachelor pad loft and Seattle News station for Slamdance 2009 hit Blayne Weaver’s “Weather Girl,” Paris apts, Drag bingo, & and Silverlake artist duplex, in Jason Bushman’s “Hollywood Je T’aime,” a creepy house and a game that comes alive for “The Black Waters of Echos Pond,” and the comic book reality for a high school of jocks and geeks in “The Secret Life of Dorks.” Michael had the challenge of building two entire New York apartments from scratch on stage for Slamdance 2010 hit “Four-Faced Liar”. Currently Michael wrapped a 3D version of Fred Figglehorn’s next adventure for Lions Gate and Varsity Pictures and Maya Entertaiment’s “Without Men,” where he created a whole village from scratch starring Eva Longoria and Christian Slater. Michael has also worked on two web series with Rob Pearlstein “Matumbo Goldberg,” with Anthony Anderson and Extreme Office for Samung Galaxy Tabs. And spent the last year on Michael Kristoff’s “Live at the Foxes Den,” with Jackson Rathbone, Elliot Gould, Brian Doyle-Murray, Bob Gunton, and Jocelyn Donahue where he got to create an entire den/lounge from scratch..the Foxes Den!
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Q: Do you approach investors first or talent first? That is, if you have a script that is fully developed, what is the first phone call you make?
Kelsey (via the Film Method mail bag)
That’s a good question because it can be a bit of a catch 22. It really depends on the topic of the script. For example, the first feature I made was written and directed by a survivor of the Columbine High School shootings. Because of the topic and the fact that a survivor was directing, we didn’t need actors attached in order to secure funding. The writer/director played that role for us in a way.
If you are going to make a movie that is a bit more typical, it might be about the same topic, but you don’t have a direct relationship to the subject, then you will most likely need talent attached. This can be really challenging because in order to attach talent, they will require funding most of the time. You see where the catch 22 comes in. This is why it is so important for you as a producer or filmmaker to network and create the relationships within the film community. It can take years to cultivate the types of relationships you need to get someone of name attached to your project, so you should start now. But, I will say this, you NEVER know what an actor or manager is looking for so put your project out there. Start to contact agents at the same time as investors. If it’s your first film, try to find someone who has done it before so that they can help you navigate the waters.
I wish I could tell you specifically which to go to, but like most things in this process, there is no one-way to do it. The most important thing is to have a solid business plan, a solid script, passion and perseverance. It will take a while and it will be bumpy at parts so if you are not 100% thrilled and passionate about the project, not only will the people you’re talking to be able to tell, but there will be nothing to get you through those rough patches.
I want to do something different for my next two posts. In the past two weeks, I’ve sat down with several “transplants” new to LA. I noticed they all had similar questions so I want to point out some things you should know if you are thinking of making the move to Los Angeles to pursue the film business.
I know this sounds like a “duh” but if you can get ANY experience where you are at, do it. The more you’ve been on sets, in the casting room, in the production office, the better off you’ll be coming out here.
Brush up on your networking skills
You have to understand that Los Angeles is one big networking pool every day, all the time, so if you don’t know how to strike up a conversation with someone in line at the coffee shop or at a party, you could be missing out on some pretty big opportunities. The great thing about LA is that there are groups set up specifically for networking. So, when you go to one of their parties or events, there is no awkwardness because everyone knows you’re there to network. So, research those groups and start attending their events.
Save your pennies
Los Angeles can be a really expensive place to live. Please do your research before you come out here, have a plan in regards to where you’re going to live, what kind of work you will be doing while you are pursuing your show biz career and have some money in the bank. The majority of people here work freelance so if you have never done that or don’t know what it’s like to live from job to job, ask people who have, read articles on the subject so that you’re not stressed when you are thrust into that way of living. Also know that apartments and jobs come up at the last minute. Meaning, when I moved here from the Midwest, I planned to find a place 3 months ahead of time. Well, there were no places that had that length of notice. Typically people here give 30 day notice so you have to be prepared to jump into a place kind of at the last minute. It’s much less notice for jobs so just be aware of that when you are planning so you don’t get frustrated.
Have a plan
No matter what you want to do in the entertainment business, remember that it’s a business. Therefore, you are running your own company so make a business plan for yourself. Every successful business has one and 9 times out of 10, those who fail out here set themselves up for that failure by not having a plan. If you want to be an actor, research the shows you would be good for, find out who the casting directors are. Do those casting directors do workshops? How can you get yourself in front of them? If you want to be a director, can you intern with a director you admire out here? Do you even know the name of their production company? It’s a great time in the entertainment industry because information is right at your finger tips so make sure you do the research and create a plan. You’ll impress those you are talking to that have been here awhile and you’ll feel less stressed out when you get here and everything is going a thousand miles a minute.
November 4, 2009
Here are some photos from our first meet-up event held on October 20th.
Networking in the film industry is not only essential, it’s a way of life. If you shudder when you hear the word “networking”, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The term has garnered negative responses from all of us in the entertainment industry. You may be glad to know that it might not be as daunting as you originally thought. In this episode we talk about many different ways you can meet people in the industry, not only in LA, but also in cities across the country.
Julie is a graduate of The Second City Training Center in Los Angeles with experience on both stage and screen. She recently appeared in the feature films Disfigured by Glenn Gers and Broken Windows with Michael Gross and Larisa Oleynik. Her comedy credits include the rambunctious Pool Party and the illustrious cable TV show Manswers. Julie can often be found performing musical improvisation in venues around Los Angeles.
For more information about Julie Inmon or to contact her please visit her at one of the following locations:
Julie’s Networking Suggestions
Also, several actors try to start their own power groups, workout nights, etc- just meeting them in acting class and other opportunities sprout off of that.
Numerous television/film/voiceover/commercial/psa/industrial and theatre performances have earned this award winning actor a Telly for 60 Seconds on a Steward’s Journey PSA, plus various other awards. She can also be seen in several What I Like About You episodes, currently rerunning on ABC Family or you may have heard her giggle in Walk The Line.
Thanks to networking Hollie turned producer launching HHGIRL Productions in 2006 working with Oak Films on two Sprouse Twins movies and Academy Award Winning producer/director Bobby Moresco. The Prince and the Pauper is in stores everywhere being distributed by Sony and Kings of Appletown is in process to do the same with a possible theatrical release.
For more information about Hollie Hummel or to contact her please visit one of the following websites:
Hollie’s Networking Suggestions
In the year 2000, Jenna, made the journey to L.A. to pursue acting. She appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Malcolm in the Middle as well as several independent films. Her natural charisma, inherent organizational skills and art for problem solving led her to producing student films and as of late, her feature film debut, April Showers. Producing has given her a rare gift, one that allows her to truly love her job and to be excited every day about what she can achieve and enable others to achieve. Edwards and her directing partner Andrew Robinson have recently formed their own distribution company called Pure+Motive. Jenna and Andrew have recently begun work on their second feature film collaboration, an adaptation of Dancing Carl based on the novel by three-time Newbery Honor author Gary Paulsen.
For more information about Jenna Edwards or to contact her please visit one the following websites: