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Attn: Actors, Actresses, Writers, Directors, DPs, Editors, Etc - What's YOUR Story?

by Tambay A. Obenson
February 23, 2012 12:54 PM
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I know that a significant chunk of S&A's audience comprises of actors, actresses, directors, DPs, editors, etc, etc, etc. Some are able to earn a paycheck utilising their artistic and/or technical skills; others - and I'd say the majority - are what we've labeled the proverbial *starving artists*, working diligently, relentlessly, struggling to climb this incredibly steep hill, trying to reach some pinnacle of success - whether personal or professional. And still others exist somewhere between the former and the latter.

Where do you fall? And, as the title of this post states, what's YOUR story, and would you like to share it with the rest of the world?

Think of it as an extension of the successful S&A Filmmaker Diary series which we started last year, with Matthew Cherry as the guinea pig. I'm looking for your individual stories of struggle and/or success, regardless of what rung on the ladder you are currently on.

It takes a certain amount of courage to be able to be vulnerable and share one's plight, but I suppose that's exactly what I'm asking for; after all, not only is S&A just a source for news, its goal is also to become a community of cinema lovers where we can all share/debate/discuss/learn/teach/commiserate/etc.

Here's your chance. You might learn something; you might teach someone something.

What's YOUR story? You can either share in the comments section below, or email me ( if you prefer. You can submit your story in any format - written, or even documented on video - and I'll share it here. I probably won't share ALL of them; but don't let that deter you. 

It could be a story about a current situation you find yourself in; or it could cover several days, weeks, months, or years. It could be that you just want to vent your frustrations; aspects of, or people in this business that piss you off; aspects of, or people in the industry that encourage you. It doesn't have to be all negative, nor all positive. We're complex people, and so I assume our stories are as well.

So, who's first?

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  • Tamara | February 23, 2012 6:27 PMReply


    what's the time-limit on the video response? oh and working on that other thing ... sending something by saturday, hopefully.

  • Henry Rembert | February 23, 2012 1:36 PMReply

    It was 2007 and I had just bought my first 3CCD Panasonic camera and I was sooo hype about finally building up the courage to jump into film making. I was shooting anybody that I knew was into music. FREE MUSIC VIDEOS FOR EVERYONE! I figured it was a win/win situation, I get experience and the artist gets a video to promote. It was going great up until I sent a treatment to one of my old college classmates who has had some minor success on the underground hip hop scene. It was my first encounter with "the ego" in the film. Even though we were working with literally NO budget and all the equipment was mine and I set everything up, he acted as if he had bankrolled hundreds of thousands of dollars. Every shot I planned or decision I made was debated against, not to mention the fact that I carried a shopping cart full of equipment from Brooklyn to the the Bronx and up 6 flights of steps by myself(also it was a rainy day) to shoot his video. My passion exceeded any set backs that may have come up, with the talent, location, weather, or lack of money. After the shoot he disagreed with the edit of course, and downloaded the final cut from my Youtube account, "remixed" it in black and white and stuck clips from old vintage videos in for B roll. I was never more insulted as an artist when I saw that. To this day I chalk the whole thing up as one of the most important learning experiences I have had. I look back and think "would I do it again knowing what I do now?" I would. My passion for film making is still the same if not more. I love the process and the end result, I learn something about myself every time I take on a project whether for free or a fee.

  • urbanauteur | February 27, 2012 6:06 PM

    @Henry , 2007 seems to have been a watershed year for film avatars and/or independants, b/c that same year i had "stealthly" took a film course @ this community college, my main goal was getting my greedy hands on one of the professor's RED camera package he was using for our advance cinematagraphy class, what we(class) had to do was write&shoot a short to show our fluency with his camera,provided it stays IN_HOUSE under his direct supervision, which i respect, but entirely, so i manage to manuver it OUT the classroom into the REAL,REAL World, based on a controversial script i had written for my screen writing class(well? the powers that be, who control the purse strings caught wind of it, and the rest is History, anywho...i propositioned my enthusiastic professor(she's a new wave hippie-heehee) who petitoned my script be considered with available cash on hand(150,000$!) that this film dept spent 2 yrs ago on another "in-house" quasi-student feature-a dud called -Donnybrook-so i'm goin in withred bull steam , only to get my shit watered down,picked over and ultimately reduce to a shadow&act(no pun intended)of its original piss & vinegar tenacity now it sits on my shelf in all its original fire & brimstone(like another professor said keep your voice!!! high tail your ass back to your original intent, i did, but it cost me 150,000$ potential bucks! but whose counting;-)?i went balistic on thsoe closet grade & cheese blue dog republicans and told them they can kiss my ass two times , i aint changing shit! so there u have it in a nut shell, another one bites the dust or just chew on 5yr old beef jerky;-).
    my script was called - GUANTANAMO BASS- its about a army reject who starts up a band of revolutionary misfits and cause a sensation among the troops,which gets hinm in hot water w2ith the brass who x-communicate him to Guantanamo Bey where he fucks up even worse by accidently(?) releasing a captured iraqi solider, which get's kicked out the army,but not before he's sent to "deprograming detention school' @ some far away abode, where all kinds of hallucingenic shit(pro-democracy run by sunshine patriots like dick chaney & dick armey) until he's release under his(so-call) own reconnaissance to no avail{edit} but u get where i'm going, so making it plain, its a anti-war musical bashing George Bush, Donald Rumsfield,(tricky)Dick Chaney and the facade of amerikan imperialism in the 21st century, the best way to describe it - its a cross between Full Metel Jacket and The Wizard of Oz, i got alot of love for it, but no moloah$$$!!
    so that's my story and i am dame well sticking to it..!..;-)

  • Solaam | February 23, 2012 2:05 PM

    Henry, I think we all have stories like that. Since you're not a "name", you will always run into this. It sucks but never give up and keep plugging away.

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